Moving to Subscription Services for Commercial AV: Lunacy or Logic?
Yes, Corporate America, AV as a Service Makes Sense
We seem to be in the age of everything as a service or subscription. Food delivery from Hello Fresh? Check. Razor blades from Harry’s and Gillette? Check. All the music you can listen to from Spotify and Apple Music? Check. More video than you can ever watch in your lifetime on Netflix? Check.
We all might be jaded and think, this is no big deal; you could see this coming. It may well be because all these services are completely mainstream with hundreds of millions or billions of users. To some extent, if you understood well the underlying technologies that enabled these transformations, you might have seen it coming. But while we all can now happily stream 50 million tracks of music from our favorite service, it’s important to understand that this model was a wrenching revolution for the music industry, all the way from the creator artists to the dominant music labels. The same has happened with SaaS (software as a service) and other sectors.
As a leading commercial AV operating nationally out of Tempe, AZ, Level3 Audiovisual is in a unique position to tell you about what’s coming next – AV as a service or subscription. You may have already seen it coming. Perhaps you’re investigating it or even employing some parts of this model. Why? Because once you analyze it carefully, like other subscription models, this one makes compelling sense for many companies. And it's going to be a revolution, too. Keep reading below as we make a case for commercial AV as a subscription. No, we’ll stop short of an acronym for this one!
The End of Ownership
We referred to the transformation in the music industry above. What was one huge change? The end of ownership of music. The streaming model lets you rent most of the world’s recorded music for as long as you keep paying. People don’t “own” CDs and records anymore, although that’s still possible. Another example closer to home is Apple’s iPhone Upgrade program. For a monthly fee, you get a new iPhone you can upgrade every year, and AppleCare+ covers hardware and software, priority support, and even accidental damage and theft. You get to use the latest technology as soon as it comes out. What’s an iPhone worth at the end of a typical five-year useful life? A small fraction of the original price. And it was already behind the technology 8-ball after three years.
Think of your commercial AV technology, like your state-of-the-art conference room from 2016? What’s it worth today? Does it integrate with the latest Zoom and Microsoft Teams software? How’s the resolution on the conference cameras? And most importantly, is it ready for the new future of hybrid work models? Granted, some of the technology may still be useful, but chances are most of it can use an upgrade or has no chance of integration with the latest collaboration platforms. If you were to sell it today, the best financial option might be to donate it to a non-profit for a tax deduction.
Advantages of Subscription Models
The commercial AV as a service model has clear advantages to businesses. There is no intrinsic value in owning a suite of thirty meeting facilities on your campus; the benefit is in having the full use of it. Your company may already not own its buildings and work with a real estate partner to fulfill its space requirements. This model can be applied to AV technology needs for similar reasons. With the subscription model, the headaches of maintenance and operation can be offloaded to an expert partner. Is it the cheapest option? It might depend on your company and how you value your physical and human resources. By and large, it's not the least expensive option, much like the iPhone Upgrade program. But if you put a value on having up to date technology, flexibility to move to different architectures, detailed analytics on what you’re using and not, consistent and intuitive user experiences, and reliable uptime cemented by a service level agreement, then a subscription model will make sense on every level, including financially.
Explore the advantages of a subscription-based managed services model for your commercial AV infrastructure. Start by contacting Level3 Audiovisual here or click the chat box below to connect instantly. We look forward to working with you.