What is Hardware as a Service, and How Does it Help Your Company?
Yes, Even Hardware Can Be a Service
We’ve discussed the merits of managed services at length on these blog pages. The term SaaS (Software as a Service) is well understood in the IT lexicon and the technology world. Managed services are also starting to become well understood and, generally speaking, are all about delivering an outcome-based level of performance and service for a set monthly fee. So, what, then, is Hardware as a Service (HaaS), and how does it play into the world of managed services?
For the most part, HaaS is the same concept as any other managed service. We’re going to use a consumer example here, and while it may not correlate directly to the commercial audio-visual world, it is illustrative.
Volvo currently offers some unique leasing plans for some of its models. In fact, they don't call it a lease; they call it a subscription. Unlike common car leases, this one offers full maintenance (including tires), insurance, road hazard coverage, and almost everything you need to operate the vehicle but fuel. It doesn't even require a long-term commitment. It’s as close as you get in the auto world to the car as a service, where you get almost all the benefits of ownership without most of the downside.
HaaS for your Phoenix, AZ company can work in much the same way as Volvo’s subscription-based model, and then some. Let’s explore the HaaS model for AV and its benefits in more detail below.
The ongoing pandemic forced a major shift in work models. Companies that were planning on being fully back in the office by now have been forced to adapt to hybrid models. Some, like Microsoft and Google, have fully embraced remote work and are continually adapting their workforce to this new reality – perhaps not surprising for two companies whose technology fundamentally enables remote collaboration. Others like Apple are looking to encourage employees to spend three days a week in the office. Regardless of the hybrid model, it forces changes in the infrastructure. With a traditional hardware ownership model, companies may be faced with scrapping hardware solutions that don't fit the new work models.
What changes? Think about camera placement in meeting rooms. Do they work for remote employees to feel like they're part of the meeting? Perhaps meeting spaces will need new PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras, higher resolution, and wider fields of view. And the room may need a redesign to accommodate the new model.
Similarly, audio quality is paramount for remote meetings. Microphone technology and placement may need to change in updated meeting rooms to ensure that remote staff have the same experience as in-person meeting attendees. With a HaaS model, your company could adapt and upgrade without upheaval.
Going back to the Volvo model, it focuses on the automobile as an outcome-based approach. You get a vehicle of your choice to use whenever you need it. When you need something different or new, it is easy to upgrade or shift into something different that better meets your transportation needs.
HaaS can deliver on that promise for AV infrastructure. With HaaS, the focus is not on hardware but on results. Do you have a system that seamlessly handles your preferred collaboration solutions from Microsoft, Zoom, WebEx, or Google? Do you have a variety of spaces set up for the new work models – small spaces for impromptu meetings that can link in remote staff, larger training rooms to handle streaming for a worldwide virtual event, and an environment that adapts to different spacing in the office with ongoing health concerns? With a HaaS model offered by a managed service provider (MSP), your organization can focus on reorienting and reorganizing work while the MSP ensures your AV systems match your evolving needs.
Monitor, Measure, Adapt
A key asset that HaaS MSPs bring to the table is an investment in analytic tools that can ensure your systems are operating according to established service levels and stay up to date with software fixes and features. But analytics also serve to bring understanding in the use of your infrastructure. You can analyze how your systems are used, how often, and for how long. Each piece of equipment is monitored, bringing valuable insight into your evolving hybrid work models. The data can empower decisions on how to design meeting spaces, what equipment needs updating or retirement, and what can be better redeployed in a different setting. You won’t have to buy the analytics package, worry about which equipment can be monitored, or deal with software licenses or cloud deployment costs. Try getting this level of information out of a Volvo auto subscription!
Want to learn more about HaaS and managed services for audio-video systems? Get started by reaching out to Level 3 Audiovisual here or click the chat box below to connect instantly. We look forward to working with you.