Every year, the end of the calendar sparks a barrage of content being created to review your last 12 months and provide AV integrators guidance for the year ahead.
Some of this content is super helpful, and a whole bunch of it, I think, is an utter disgrace to systems integrators and their businesses everywhere; but you take the good with the bad. The Internet has helped us to understand that adage more than ever.
With an introduction like that, it would only be appropriate if I peppered the eggs a little bit and added some of my own prognostication for the year ahead.
In short, I believe there are some tremendous opportunities for AV integrators and, in particular, some of them involve services that many systems integrators may not be thinking about.
The long and short of it is we’ve been discussing the AV industry’s changing forces for a number of years now, but the change is getting faster and the need to change what you are selling and how you are selling it is moving at warp speed.
This is why I think 2018 is the year to take a new approach and start shifting away from what used to work and start selling what people are most interested in.
I’ve identified four specific places to start.
This one is the oldest of the bunch. But…this doesn’t mean that we have reached peak adoption yet.
Companies are buying more and more of their services in an opex (operational expenditure) manner. So this isn’t just for a few things that customers are buying.
This is a question of “how can I take traditional AV solutions and make them into a monthly expense?” Cisco has figured this out with its Spark communications services product. This is where integrators need to be thinking.
How can we help customers better understand the value of their investments? This should be asked with everything we sell. When people are using technology, is it being used well, often and is it working?
When customers feel their investments are paying dividends, they tend to invest more.
3. Mobile First
This one is easy to understand if you consider your own usage patterns. More meetings are happening remotely. People are connecting on more types of devices than ever.
Room-based technology has its place, but it is most certainly not the preferred method of engagement anymore. How can you help customers embrace mobility and do more of their collaboration and communication in mobile settings?
Every business on the planet is looking to digitally transform. Can you define via 1-3 above and other products/services that you are offering how your company is helping to drive digital transformation?
Can your technology improve user experience inside or out? If you can help improve the way people work, your clients will put you into a whole new light.
These four suggestions have one important thing in common: These are topics that are at the core of business discussions. This isn’t stuff that AV integrators or an IT people talk about.
Things like new purchasing models, data-driven decision making, mobile business and digital transformation are C-Level discussions. If systems integrators can find their way into those discussions, they are exponentially more valuable to the client.
The beauty of a new year is that it’s a clean slate, and while last year may have been terrific, or an utter failure, with the calendar’s annual changewe have the chance to write the next chapter.
If your AV business focus is still the same as it was 10 years ago, it’s time to start the reinvention process. This doesn’t have to be overnight, but the important thing is that there is movement.