If there is a common obstacle that many AV integration firms are struggling with, it’s increasingly likely that distributor Almo Professional A/V has a service program to help them overcome it.
With its Content Creation Services, Almo Pro A/V taps into the reality that most integration clients these days are creating more video content than they have in the past and are often in need of support. Since most integrators aren’t in the content creation business, it puts them in a tough spot as a client’s AV partner. Sending them searching elsewhere for a content creation solution may not bode well for the integrator when it’s time for the client to revisit their AV system. So being able to lean on Almo Pro A/V’s content creation team serves not just to salvage but to reinforce that partnership.
With its Installation Services, Almo Pro A/V is helping integration firms avoid the growing pains they so desperately want to avoid repeating with recession memories lingering. The good news is that many integration firms are benefiting from increased local business and opportunities outside of their traditional geographic areas. Many firms are trigger-shy, however, when it comes to hiring staff to support new opportunities. They don’t want invest in training and benefits or risk layoffs if the new opportunities bubble bursts. So Almo Pro A/V’s Installation Services provide firms with a qualified and vetted alternative to hiring when it comes to staffing projects.
“If they have an opportunity to sell bandwidth for digital signage or control rooms or bar and hotel rollouts where they need cable and TV services, we’re going to help them not to leave money on the table,” says Almo Pro A/V’s Eric Olson
By tapping into its latest, Almo Bandwidth Services, integrators can sell their clients bandwidth services from top providers, including Comcast Cable. That additional bandwidth is becoming a natural progression for AV that increasingly draw on the network and the ability to sell it gives integrators a quick and easy answer to clients’ questions about systems’ impact. Meanwhile, when integrators sell high bandwidth connectivity to their clients they’ll, in turn, get a monthly commission on their contracts providing recurring revenue.
“The integrator passes the end user to us and ultimately to Comcast, Time Warner or whoever the [logical service provider] is in that region,” said Almo Pro A/V executive VP and COO Sam Taylor during an E4 AV Tour stop in Teaneck, N.J. “When they pass that along they’re going to get a recurring monthly portion of that contract percentage for as long as that company has the bandwidth there. And we all know what happens. They’ll eventually need more, not to get rid of it. So as you increase it, you get more [recurring revenue] over time.”
High bandwidth connectivity and AV integration are increasingly becoming complementary offerings, says Almo Pro A/V business development manager Eric Olson. The need to upload digital signage content, to connect during video conferencing, to support HD cameras and 4K demands all require bandwidth, he points out. So Bandwidth Services helps integrators take advantage of being in the right place at the right time.
“We’re geared toward letting the resellers become more complete solutions providers,” Olson said at E4. “If they have an opportunity to sell bandwidth for digital signage or control rooms or bar and hotel rollouts where they need cable and TV services, we’re going to help them not to leave money on the table and not pass up on a recurring revenue stream.”
Service providers like having integrators’ feet on street, said Vincent Barrett of Time Warner Cable. “It’s a logical fit because all these appliances [pointing to the E4 show floor] require bandwidth. For [integrators] it just adds to their tool bag.”
Also adding to that tool bag is another element of Almo Broadband Services which allows integrators to offer customers data and analysis, Olson added. “We can also do bandwidth auditing. We can look at their total project and the applications and we’re going to audit the bandwidth they need to sell it successfully.”
The services that Almo Pro A/V have rolled out so far seem to resonate with its integration firm partners. I sat on an E4 panel discussion alongside three Almo Pro A/V representatives. I watched the audience ask question after question about exactly how to acquire and execute Almo’s installation and content services.
Since the distributor seems to have its finger on the pulse of what integrators need, it will be interesting to see what service program it rolls out next. My guess: Programming services.