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A Pitfall to Avoid: Commoditizing AV Integrators

The larger structural shift in IT asset ownership to third-party providers has given organizations access to massively scalable, standardized, and componentized solutions delivered as a service. It’s increasingly common to rely on pay-as-you-use IT solutions, subscribing to functionality without owning the devices and software outright. And ultimately, AV is heading in a similar direction.

None of this is inherently bad for AV, but it does lead to some challenges.

[Everything You Need to Know About AV-as-a-Service (opens in new tab)]

The first challenge is for integrators. Some integrators see the commoditization of AV as an implicit threat to their business, and they’re probably right. But in an industry that advocates for innovation, it makes more sense to innovate your business model than to resist the inevitable tide of commoditization. Consumers making the move to asset-lite AV and IT solutions are doing so because it works better for them, and those market forces aren’t going to disappear anytime soon.

The second challenge is for consumers. Manufacturers will continue to market the simplicity and ease with which you can use their products and services because they understand that technology purchases are made in part based on how quickly a service can be implemented. The challenge is that while some offerings may be easily commoditized, many mission-critical AV solutions still require specialized work that’s harder to package—custom programming, design, and even managed service.

[Using Managed Services Offerings to Run a Smoother AV Operation (opens in new tab)]

We don’t see the commoditization as a threat to integrators who continue to offer valuable services that can’t be boxed up and shipped to a consumer. But that’s only true for integrators who adapt and offer what consumers really need. The question is when is “good enough” really good enough?

When AV was just “nice to have,” “good enough” was a more product-focused standard. But today, “good enough” means being able to leverage AV technology to improve your mission-critical business operations. And the best way to do that is still dependent on AV integrators, who must now take on the role of a business consultant who partners with IT leaders to make strategic decisions about what solutions to implement and how to do it right.

This blog is republished with permission from Netrix. To read more blogs from Netrix, visit (opens in new tab).

Victoria Ferrari is a digital workplace AV expert with Netrix’s Integrated Collaboration Services group. She has been working in the AV industry since 2000, and is a regular commercial AV conference speaker, and writer for all things AV. Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn (opens in new tab)