Now that AV solutions are the responsibility of the IT buying team, you’re likely competing against more IT VARs on RFPs and new business than ever before. Evolving your value proposition and presenting unique differentiators is critical to effectively compete against these long-standing contenders.
In talking with technology decision makers throughout the country about the advantages of using an AV integrator over an IT VAR, three considerations always come up. Keep in mind there are many permutations of IT VARs, but these best practices will still help you in the bid process.
Take a holistic approach to projects. The ability to consider all aspects of a room or building from environmental controls to seating to technology ranks high with decision makers. It reduces the risk of interoperability challenges and budget overruns that can occur when all systems and capabilities aren’t considered at the onset of a project. IT VARs tend to think only of technologies and the network. Advantage: AV integrators.
Understand IT technology and AV technology. Technology decision makers expect vendors to understand the implications their solutions will have on the network. They also expect high-performance audio and video. Fine-tuning AV systems is an art built over decades of experience, making it a harder expertise to acquire than network competency. IT VARs lack the skills and expertise required to deploy high-performance AV systems. Advantage: AV integrators.
Be the single point of contact. Because many IT VARs don’t have AV competencies, they will subcontract the AV component of projects. This adds more layers and complexity to projects. Technology decision makers value simple processes because it minimizes failure points and keeps the chain of accountability clear. Advantage: AV integrators.
In your bids, demonstrate how you deliver on these important differentiators. It will help you establish a true competitive advantage over IT VARs and ultimately win more projects.
Erin Bolton is the Director of Digital Demand Generation Solutions at MarketStar. This feature is part of SCN's "Hush Hush" October print issue.