Professional AV and the Move to a Service-Based Model

Recently I got the chance to attend the USAV/APEX Summit which was a 6 day training/professional development event  held in Denver for PRO AV company owners and “next generation leaders.” I must admit that one of my motivations for attending (along with an ISI senior project manager and a  network specialist)was based on the theme: Innovate, Integrate and Motivate. 

Candidly, I wasn't really sure that any of us had the time to attend a 6 day event which is a long time to be out of the office. And during our busiest time of the year. But...could we afford not to?  And what about our next generation leaders? Don’t they need to have a “say in our future"? The more I thought about it, it kept hitting me that those words really are the keys to the future of the AV/VTC industry. All of us at ISI need to get a better handle on what it will take to be successful in the future. 

Once we got to the APEX Summit, it seemed like every speaker talked about how we will have to motivate our employees to not only embrace innovation but to successfully integrate it within our organizations to survive and hopefully thrive in the future. Throughout the week, there were a number of really good presentations that we sat in on that included  issues like understanding cloud based services, remote monitoring, customizing service level agreements (SLA’s) and transitioning to new services based business models. Heady stuff for sure! I can’t speak for everyone at the event but It seemed to me by the end of the week, there were more questions than answers. 

And maybe that’s the way it is going to be for the foreseeable future. No quick fixes but a general migration to a much different way to make money in the PRO AV space. At one point in a session on services-based revenue models, I did stand up and make the point that it is my belief that the future of the industry will likely create a new definition of success and we all better get used to it. 

In my opinion, it will be more about the bottom line net profit that will define company success as opposed to top line revenue. The PRO AV companies of the future that successfully embrace innovation and integrate a services-based model  into their business will produce far less revenue dollars (bad news) but generate far greater profit margins (good news). It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out.  But in the long run, that should be a good scenario not only for company owners but for our next generation leaders as well.

Posted by Jay Myers at 3:20 PM