As we had suspected, AV as a Service (AVaaS) was THE BUZZZZZ at InfoComm this year among integrators and consultants; designers and installers. The structure of this aaS intrigues me. Aside from the possibly large capital layout integrators may face as an initial barrier to entry- the potential recurring revenue/ profit of which offsets that hurdle, in theory. What really interests me is how the structure affects higher ed institutions.
A few possible consequential changes (positive? negative?) may occur if higher ed institutions adopt AVaaS:
- · The change of general campus technologies (from an institution’s budgetary forecasting POV) from Capital Expenditures (CapX) to Operating Expenditures (OpX).
- · The potential reduction in product decision making/ specification for the institution.
- · The potential decrease in technology staff/ employees as tier 2/3 support become a piece of the service model.
- · The potential for increased down-time of rooms with the reduction on-campus staff for tier 1/ helpdesk calls.
- · The concept (yay?) of guaranteed pre-planned and approved upgrades to all rooms under service contract- reducing legacy technology support and maintenance calls.
- · The potential for unplanned upgrades to flex rooms that may have a variety of requirements semester to semester.
And these are just some of the considerations of moving to an AVaaS model. Susan Brower, Media Services Coordinator at Loyola University New Orleans, and I discussed recently that as you think about the implications of one change, two additional questions seem to pop up. The as a service model is not new. But the breadth to which integrators foresee providing AVaaS is far reaching and customizable- making it difficult to really wrap your head around for medium to large universities with complex budgeting and purchasing structures in place. Heck, make that any size college or university.
In advance of the CCUMC panel, I suggest you read this article. It is the most clear and concise piece on AVaaS that I have found so far and uses existing and well-known examples from other industries to illustrate the concept.