AV as a Service - untapped potential in the AV industry

AV as a Service is an area of the market which has struggled to establish itself in the market so far. At ISE 2023, the pace of development of new procurement models in the AV market again fell short of expectations.

Project and product focus still determine the AV market

In general, there has been a trend towards many industries offering ‘As A Service models, talking basically less about buying or selling a specific technical product and more about obtaining specific added value through the provision of certain services.

The AV sector and building-related trades are still at the beginning in this respect. The classic project business with individual plans, a fixed investment and a defined time frame, such as a construction project, continues to dominate. What happens beyond the project in terms of operation and support is often neglected, taken over by the customer himself or regulated via service contracts for the corresponding installations. Although operation and service are decisive for ensuring the result and also make up the largest cost block when looking at the total costs.

Even if the client buys support services that relate to the purchased hardware, he is ultimately the operator himself and, as the owner, responsible for what happens to the technology. Almost all projects on the market work this way. The hardware is the object of performance. Demand and supply revolve too much around individual products and project-like handling.

Purchasing utility and quality instead of technical products

The pure AV as a Service approach is not about specific products. The technology is no longer the focus and the customer’s requirements and business model canhave a working model designed that best suits their application. The customer does not buy hardware. Rather, he buys a service and a level of quality that includes benefits and added value and enables him to achieve his goals.

All services and responsibilities lie with the service provider. The contract and performance evaluation are based on service level agreements and key performance indicators. For example, it may be a meeting room designed to meet needs with defined functionality, availability, platform openness, audio quality or ergonomics. How the required quality is achieved, which technology is used, is the sole responsibility of the service provider, because this is the only way it is measured.

Advantages for customers and providers

For many companies, digital technology enabling hybrid working methods, conferencing and co-working has become a business-critical factor. Operational productivity depends on technology and user experience. For outcomes driven by performance and innovation, AV as a Service is the model of choice

Budget issues are another reason to think about this procurement model, moving the investment into operational rather than capital costs.

Perhaps they also do not have the internal resources or vacant positions to manage their AV systems and achieve top quality, nor do they have the opportunity to build them up internally. With AV as a Service, the external service provider takes over all the tasks. For customers, only the management of the service provider and the contract is required. Throughout the life cycle, the customer is taken care of including sustainability issues, recovery and service options.

For service providers, another market is opening up: offering needs-based and professional quality in a scalable way, independent of location and manufacturer. This procurement model turns the classic approach on its head for clients and suppliers. This new approach and project business address different customers and scenarios. Our macom experts will be happy to help you design the right approach for your customer and business.

Author: Felix Niedrich, Editor macom GmbH