AVaaS is a multi-faceted offering, many things for clients
Industries have a tendency to copy one another. If subscription model works for Netflix then certainly this media outlet could be “the Netflix of investing advice”. When Uber became a presumed success the company is still losing billions each quarter) then every other possible “gig” economy model arose.
In the Audiovisual industry we are tied closely with technology in general. As more systems were put on the network, it became our time for control, and then AV signals, to be transported through 1’s and 0’s. Anything as a service has matured into a business model for software, unified communications, and even sneakers/tennis shoes. It could be that AVaaS (AV as a Service) makes sense for you and yor business. However, just like these other as-a-service models, they won’t ever make sense for certain customers.
Dr. Joe Way, of USC, has been one of the most vocal critics of the system. Dr. Way has even worn his “#AVaaSMustDie” mantra on shirts while speaking. Way’s main objective comes from a career in both higher education as well as house of worship audiovisual. Way has spent his life on the consumer side. Integrators such as Matt Scott come to the topic from the dealer side. One point that Scott has made recently is that AVaaS is no different than the IT department leasing servers and switches.
Both sides claim that the accounting department will be on their side. Opponents tend to claim finance will not be inclined to take money from capital expenditures (capex) and transfer it to operational expenditures (opex) to pay the increased monthly bills. Those who would see AVaaS as a positive look at the money that could be saved along with the continued equipment updates and are confident when accounting is given the choice they will side with the as-a-service model.
One thing is for certain, this debate is not going anywhere anytime soon. Neither will it get settled shortly. It appears that just like certain opportunities there are customers for the AVaaS solution. Having either side of this debate claiming their position is the 100 percent solution for everyone is a bit naive. There will certainly be some customers who would embrace the AVaaS model while there are dealers who don’t think this is the fit for them. Wherever you fall in the AVaaS debate make certain to do your homework, understand the costs, and go into it with an open mind. You might be surprised by what you discover.
Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.