The world that we knew has changed forever. With new protocols and rules of engagement in place, enterprises are readying themselves to move into the workplace of the future. The past year has been a test of resilience as organizations across industries struggled to ensure business continuity and keep the lights on. Technology emerged as the ultimate leveller – those leveraging digital technologies had it comparatively easier navigating the uncertainties unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this treacherous time, the as-a-service consumption model helped many of those organizations accelerate their capabilities to use digital technologies by removing the cost barriers that come with heavy infrastructure investment. This trend has now entered the AV industry as well and is helping organizations move away from traditional AV models of purchase and installations.
AVaaS, or Audio-Visual-as-a-Service, provides organizations access to modern and cutting-edge AV solutions without needing them to make a heavy upfront investment. Much like the other as-a-service models, with AVaaS, businesses get to fit AV into their budget without worrying about capital-draining expenses that cripple flexibility.
Under the AVaaS model, IT departments focus on how they use the entire AV ecosystem that involves hardware, installation, integration, and support under a single umbrella. Moving to this consumption model makes sense in today’s business environment for some key reasons, the primary ones being:
– AV hardware and AV technology solutions are becoming essential to the enterprise landscape to drive collaboration and improve customer experience in a remote and socially distant world. The rise of the hybrid workplace makes AV solutions business-critical enablers of the modern-day workplace
– The pace of change in the AV industry is accelerating rapidly and it does not make sense for organizations to use old, dated solutions to drive a futuristic experience for their internal and external customers.
While technology evolution is accelerating, the rate of technology depreciation is also increasing. As such, investing huge capital to own AV equipment requires careful thought. The depreciation of technology has also caused a greater demand for access and use versus ownership.
The move to AVaaS
AVaaS helps organizations of all sizes leverage the benefits of state-of-the-art AV and collaboration systems while moving away from the CAPEX model to an OPEX model. A monthly fee provides organizations access to the most current AV equipment without worrying over service and maintenance. There are several advantages of AVaaS that include:
AVaaS follows a subscription model and as such allows organizations better control over their AV costs. Organizations also do not have to disrupt their cash flow with large and hard-to-predict AV investments and instead, can keep their cash in reserve for unforeseen expenditures. It also gives organizations the flexibility to optimally leverage the resources at their disposal instead of committing them to single projects-driven outlays.
The cost manageability of AVaaS also helps organizations conserve capital as they do not need to exhaust credit to invest in AV and instead utilize it in business activities. The OPEX approach also removes budgetary uncertainties and replaces that with a trackable and defined monthly expense. This also makes it easier to get budgetary approvals that can help organizations, especially SMEs, to improve access to business-critical AV technology solutions.
Flexibility and Scalability
The AVaaS model infuses the power of flexibility and scalability into their AV investments. With AVaaS organizations can scale with their AV providers and quickly duplicate AV implementations across meeting spaces and buildings.
From the smallest huddle rooms to the largest experience centres, AVaaS makes it easier to manage AV investments and provides more transparency into usage patterns. Organizations can leverage this visibility to plan out their AV requirements and increase or decrease investments according to usage and thereby also prevent wastage.
Improved support and maintenance
AVaaS makes it easier for organizations to manage the maintenance and support needs of AV investments. This benefit is especially useful for SME’s who might not have the additional staff to train existing users to manage equipment. AVaaS makes it easier for organizations to delegate to integrators and make sure they manage essential tasks like installation or ongoing support and maintenance.
Opening a service line with integrators via AVaaS also gives organizations access to AV specialists and engineers to optimize the AV design environment. Organizations then only need to concentrate on creating visions of AV expectations and executing design, planning, and strategy while the worry of installation is passed to the vendors. Of course, this raises the stakes as far as AV integrator selection goes. You need a partner with deep knowledge of AV solutions, close relationships with the top product principals, and a proven commitment to service quality and delivery.
Access to the latest technology
With AVaaS, organizations also get the flexibility to remove AV solutions from their kitty that no longer fit the bill. Organizations can upgrade to brand new solutions or upgrade hardware and software according to the evolving needs of the organization.
Instead of paying upfront costs, the OPEX model helps organizations get the most from their AV investments. In a CAPEX model, organizations can only upgrade technology when they have the funds for it. This can potentially lock organizations into outdated solutions for years. With AVaaS, organizations can upgrade to the latest technologies with modest cost increments. This also helps organizations keep their AV budgets in check and does not put pressure on companies to acquire today’s technology using tomorrow’s cash.
With the world of work becoming boundary less and the dawn of the hybrid workplace, organizations need access to cutting-edge AV solutions to enable collaboration within the workforce, improve customer experiences, and empower faster decision-making. AVaaS is a great step in the direction to make AV technologies more accessible to organizations of all sizes and gives them a competitive edge in this fast-moving business world. That said, it is also true that AVaaS models are still being worked out. As applications evolve, important details like SLAs and Pricing will also evolve. To that extent, we may have to look at AVaaS as a trend to observe for the future. The early adopters can blaze a trail and show the way for others to follow. Once that choice is made the next step is to find a suitable AV partner. That’s where we can come in.