In Search of a Concrete Service Contract Example

Customers will pay for energy and important room monitoring solutions as long as integrators provide effective metrics, says integrator Yorktel and Crestron.

It’s easier these days to provide diagnostics for video conferencing and other types of clients’ rooms thanks to technology management solutions such as Crestron Fusion that allow integrators to remotely track room status, check devices, schedule product shutdowns and facilitate help desk assistance, he adds.

“If you get all the Crestron gear, all the sensors, all the lighting and energy management products and Fusion, that’s where a commercial dealer can get service revenue because you can off this as the paid service,” said Delia Hansen, a Crestron marketing manager.

The week after the awkward 2014 BLC exchange I asked Hansen for service contract examples during a tour of Crestron’s Experience Center at its Rockleigh, N.J. headquarters. She described an opportunity to provide energy-savings solutions and clear ROI metrics to, especially, large organizations. Using Fusion she described how integrators can recognize energy patterns and suggest actions such as leveraging light-harvesting at certain times of day and strategic dimming of lights.

“Then measure all that energy savings,” she said. The work that an integrator does with Crestron Fusion, she added, can lead to a conversation like this:

“Alright, Mr. Customer. We saw what your usage was for the past three months, If you dim your lights in these four levels by 15 percent during these times of the day, I’m pretty sure we can save you 5 percent on your monthly utility bill, which by the way is $17,000 a month. So I can save you almost an entire month during the course of the year. Is this service worth $500 a month for me to save you $17,000?”

To McGinnis’ question on what clients are willing to pay for, clients “will pay for this” Guan said, citing multiple Yorktel clients that have contracts related to ongoing room status maintenance. Clients’ decision makers are normally in busy IT departments that lack the time or video skillset resources to pay continuous attention to room maintenance.

Yorktel flips around the “what are they willing to pay for?” argument. If technology prevents a meeting from starting for 10 or 15 minutes, it ultimately won’t happen, productivity will be down and the users will be hesitant to use the system going forward, Guan said.

“Then ROI will be extremely low. We help keep the customers’ wheels moving.”

The conversation becomes not about why the client should be buying a service contract, but about how they can possibly afford not to protect its ROI.

Is this a concrete example? Yes, but probably not a fair one. Most integration firms aren’t able to provide the save level of ongoing support that Yorktel can.

What level of on-going support can your firm provide? Nobody is saying it’s easy, but the need for an industry-wide shift to managed services is going to go away because it’s hard. You need to have an answer. Let’s keep the awkward conversation going.

 

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