New Revenue for the New Year

New Revenue for the New Year
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With the loss of regular revenue comes the loss of stability, growth, and confidence in the industry. We saw this firsthand in the AV industry when many integrators struggled to combat lockdown measures and strict safety protocols. Yet, for many in the industry, instead of accepting this loss, they embraced new technologies, giving way to the reestablishment of regular, recurring revenue. However, this embrace of innovative technology is not just a solution for a crisis moment—but instead is shaping the future of Pro AV.

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The AV and IT industries have been merging for some time; with this merge comes an increased acceptance of IoT and cloud-based solutions within the industry. No longer a "nice to have," these solutions became a "must have" during the pandemic and, with wider acceptance, are now an industry standard. While the advantages of cloud technology are widely known—remote control, configuration, and monitoring of systems—there are even greater advantages that can apply to integrators and end users alike if they take full advantage of the operational benefits of the cloud.

The cloud can allow for individual AV components or entire systems to be accessed and controlled securely from anywhere in the world. This capability delivers greater visibility and response time, and enhances preventative maintenance, simplifies troubleshooting, and cuts down or even eliminates on-site maintenance requirements. In turn, the cloud saves both time and expenses across the board.

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So, how can integrators use this new technology to create recurring revenue? With addition of the following offers to a service contract:

·       24/7 remote system monitoring

·       24/7 remote system control

·       24/7 remote troubleshooting

·       remote system reconfiguration

·       proactive preventative maintenance

·       system data analytics (to increase system efficiency)

·       remote system updates (firmware)

·       system data storage

Service agreements provide a variety of benefits for integrators, including a regular, predictable cash flow, sustainable customer loyalty, and opportunities to upsell new devices, solutions, training, and support. A service agreement also enables better business practices. The integrator can fix many problems remotely, but if a service truck is needed on site, there is greater insight as to the scale of the issue and the tools or team required.

For end users, a service agreement ensures their systems will always be operational and maintained in a timely manner. This helps maintain the customer/solution provider relationship over the long haul.

When evaluating potential manufacturer partners, it is essential for integrators to seek out one who understands the business and provides guidance while shifting to the recurring revenue model. Additionally, the cloud solution should be easy to get up and running. Some manufacturers, such as LEA Professional, offer the cloud capability for free with the purchase of their product.

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SVL Productions, a full-service sound, video, lighting, and production company, has seen a positive impact on business since they began using the LEA Professional Cloud Platform. "Utilizing the cloud platform has changed the way we do business," said Brent Hayes, president at SVL Productions. "We can log in remotely, see if there are any issues, and address them immediately. By adding this service to our contracts with end users, it has not only bolstered our relationships but given us a new, additional form of income, future-proofing the business."

A new year for many means new opportunities and new challenges, but it also means new contracts. Now is the time to negotiate the addition of these services. If you are not adding these offerings to your service contracts, you are essentially leaving money on the table. Pro AV integrators who have a larger portion of total revenue composed of recurring revenue will be better positioned to weather any future downturns in the economy. 

Brian Pickowitz is the vice president of marketing for LEA Professional.