We’ve been pondering the importance of meeting room audio recently, mostly because it appears that integration customers aren’t budgeting for it correctly. So it’s time to examine who’s at the top of the ladder when it comes to making meeting room solutions decisions.
As is the trend in commercial AV purchasing, the key decision maker that integration firms and consultants are selling meeting room audio to is no longer in the facilities management department. Only 12 percent of surveyed integrators say their typical meeting room audio purchasing point person is in that department.
Instead, it’s most common for an IT department member to be making those meeting room audio decisions, according to a third of respondents, as shown in the above graph.
If not an IT professional, it’s likely a department manager or a company executive or owner that’s the most influential decision maker.
Based on CI’s anecdotal research, those non-IT decision makers require buy-in from the IT department anyway, leaving the IT department overwhelmingly influential when it comes to deciding what audio goes in meeting rooms.
In terms of what they’re willing to pay, survey respondents indicate that when breaking out the cost of meeting room audio solutions the budget typically falls between $1,000 and $10,000 with a majority falling in the $1,000 to $5,000 zone.
Where your meeting room solutions customers place priorities…
Are we really surprised here?
Room acoustics were in the basement in terms of priorities, just below AV networking and AV furniture. Next up in the priority chain are loudspeakers and mics which, by the way, are critical to hearing what other parties are saying in any remote meeting.
What’s driving these trends?
The increasing amount of telecommuting that today’s workforce is performing is helping to drive the use of collaboration systems that need reliable and intelligible communications.
Research firm Global Workplace Analytics reports approximately 3.2 percent, or 4.3 million Americans, work from home at least half of the time, while about 40 percent more U.S. employers now offer flexible workplace options when compared to what employers offered just five years ago.