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Corporate AV support: The move to a value-centric model

Faye Bennett, owner and MD of Faye Bennett Consultancy Services (FBCS) a specialist AV consultancy, takes a look at value-centric models for long- term strategic growth

So often in AV, project sign-off represents the end. The team of sales, procurement, legal and project managers disband on client acceptance of the systems – a job well done. But is it? How do we know when systems have yet to be used in earnest? And is ‘everything functions’ really the definition of project success?

Success can only be measured when systems are in-life and subject to daily use. So how do we ensure we’ve delivered valuable systems once the installation is done, and how do we define what value even is? The answer lies in AV support. 

Functionality Focus
AV support has always been synonymous with break/fix services with a focus on functionality – are systems working? If not, how quickly can we get them working again? And while break/fix support isn’t going anywhere (as long as technology continues to experience periodic functional glitches), it’s being augmented by a new level of support that prioritises value. 

Training and adoption of systems to minimise user frustration, concierge support for use of systems (especially where broadcast technologies and live events applications are being deployed in corporate spaces), proactive incident management for maximum uptime, UX focused KPIs and perhaps the most impactful of all, data insights to drive businesses forward. 

Fortunately, we have the tools and systems available to start delivering ‘value add’ support. Take data, for example, between remote monitoring and management systems, room sensors and workspace management software we can capture and use functionality and utilisation data. How are our AV systems performing – and how will that inform future procurement decisions (with a preference for technology that’s proven to be reliable)? And how are our systems and workspaces being used, with a focus on everything from which technology we deploy based on user behaviour (are only 5% using wireless sharing with the majority favouring the good old HDMI connection?) to informing the next office lease or space we actually need. 

So, with the tools available to us (and processes not too challenging to implement), all we need is a mind shift to put user value at the centre of what we do. This involves moving from ‘project done, everything works’ to an understanding of what value means for that customer and capturing that much earlier in the process to ensure those definitions of project success are met and enabled throughout deployment. 

And the only way to define what success looks like is to take a consultative approach to each project and customer, finding out what the current state looks like, understanding the ideal future state and developing support solutions to fill those gaps for a truly successful project. The benefit for the integrator? A value-centric model that differentiates them from the masses and the ability to build lasting partnerships to retain and win customers for long- term strategic growth.

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