The technology world has largely moved to subscription-based models, for everything from streaming music and movies to creative and office software. With the “software as a service” (SaaS) model, customers pay a flat fee at regular intervals for a software service hosted in the cloud rather than installed locally on individual computers. This payment model gives customers better pricing and flexibility, as well as ensuring that they always have the most updated software versions across the entire organization.
Audio visual integrators are beginning to offer a similar payment option for their customers. But can the “as a service” model work when you’re dealing with physical spaces and hardware like displays, speakers, and video conferencing systems?
Here’s how AV-as-a-Service works, it’s advantages, and how to determine if it’s the right solution for your business.
In a traditional payment model, customers pay for their AV equipment and services up front. This lump-sum is commonly paid in two payments, one to start the project and the other at project sign-off. The lump-sum includes costs like design, installation, and ongoing maintenance.
The AV-as-a-Service model (AVaaS) offers customers a set-term subscription.
A quick search will show a variety of AVaaS offerings, with the similarity being pay-by-the-month. Beyond this, AvaaS solutions can vary dramatically between providers.
As we discussed in 3 Common Audio Visual Budgeting Mistakes, many businesses underestimate the costs of building out and maintaining their conference rooms in the initial budgeting discussions. Someone searches the internet for the cost of consumer displays and speakers, adds up the individual product costs with a little added for labor, and then assumes that’s the total bill. They forget about services like design and programming, video conferencing subscriptions, and ongoing managed services.
With AVaaS, all of these costs are wrapped into the flat monthly fee. It includes everything required for your intelligently-designed custom AV system: design, programming, commissioning, installation, support, firmware updates, and professional training for your team.
Traditionally, the purchase of AV equipment is paid for as an up-front capital expense (CapEx) that’s then depreciated over time.
Not all companies have the budget needed for the AV system of their dreams, and they end up sacrificing quality and experience in order to meet the budget.
With the AVaaS model, companies can budget the flat monthly fee as part of their standard operating expense (OpEx). With everything included, there’s no unexpected charges due to maintenance, support, training, or other unforeseen issues.
*Be sure to check with your accounting team to see how AVaaS would impact your business.
Technology can change a lot over 3 years, but the up-front cost of workspace technology can leave businesses using systems beyond their appropriate lifespan. Even if you have the budget for a refresh, what do you do with the outdated equipment?
When your AVaaS subscription term ends, your conference room gets a complete refresh for the next 3 year term agreement. Your room is revitalized based on your evolving needs, feedback, and new technologies that have hit the market. You’ll get brand new conference room technology for a new flat monthly fee.
The SaaS model revolutionized the IT world, and AV customers are seeing the value in meeting place technology as a service. But is it the right choice for your business?
The best way to find out is by getting us involved as early as possible in your decision-making process to get realistic estimates for your team to evaluate. We offer the choice between AVaaS and traditional payments on our projects. So you and your team can decide whether outright equipment purchase or monthly payment is the right fit.