VIRTUAL VISION 2020 • Sept 30 - Oct 1

3 Reasons MSPs Shouldn’t Pass on AV Work

3 Reasons MSPs Shouldn’t Pass on AV Work

One of the most hotly discussed topics in the professional Audio Video integration industry is “How do you manage your client’s systems and what is your revenue model for doing so?” AV systems, particularly in the business environment, can be complex and require a significant amount of ongoing maintenance and upkeep to consistently perform to the client’s expected service level. As these systems and equipment have evolved over the last decade to be increasingly connected and dependent on IT for functionality, the amount of monitoring needed has only grown. However, a big portion of the AV Integration industry is still learning how to effectively manage their client’s systems in a systematic and profitable way. MSPs have had the service contract and reoccurring revenue model figured out for years and, very often, already have the internal infrastructure in place to support these types of ongoing client needs. It would seem natural for MSP companies to extend their service offerings to include AV work and support, but there is a surprisingly high percentage of MSP companies that are very reluctant to involve themselves in AV work for the clients. Those that do, are missing out on business growth, improved client satisfaction and a significant revenue stream. I can point to three specific reasons that MSPs who are turning down AV work are making the wrong decision:

  1. Nearly all AV equipment used in the corporate or business environment (and the residential world for that matter) is connected to the network and, in many cases, is reliant on connectivity to properly function. Everything from video distribution and power management, to room control and scheduling is happing on, and over the client’s network and AV equipment can cause significant network performance issues if the network infrastructure isn’t set up to properly manage the AV data traffic. The AV hardware is going to be on the network YOU are managing; do you really want to leave the configuration of that hardware up to another company? No one knows your client’s network and systems better than you, so who better to make sure that the AV systems that are installed won’t impact their system up time or your SLA metrics?

  1. No longer do AV systems, always require a site visit to solve the smallest problems.  Now, tools exist that allow you to manage the AV systems as part of the clients overall network and AV Integrators say that 80% of client AV issues can be resolved via a remotely managed portal or system. Connected AV hardware is now (mostly) remotely accessible and via management platforms, like SnapAV’s OVRC, allow you to configure, troubleshoot and manage that AV equipment in the same manner as your client’s network.

  1. If you don’t do the work, the client will find someone else who will and they may end up displacing you as the service provider for the client. End client feedback consistently says that one of the primary factors on selecting service partners is previous experience or an existing relationship with a firm. As a company who is already managing their IT systems, there is a built in level of trust your clients likely have that will often lead them to ask you first about doing any AV work in their business. You’re already the incumbent service provider, why turn away business from an existing client you trust? Your AV vendor partners are absolutely invested in helping you specify and deploy their systems so why not rely on your partners and help grow your business?

For those of you who have been doing AV work for some time and have been reading this post thinking, “Well, duh,” hat tip to you, you’re doing the right thing. We talk with MSP partners every day who exhibit an initial reluctance to jump into doing complex AV systems but, in most cases and with our support, they are able to successfully deploy and manage AV systems for the clients and grow their business.

– Josh Litwack, Director of Commercial Sales @ SnapAV