Integrators looking to offer complete A/V solutions to their customers will eventually need to offer telecom services as part of those solutions. Currently, Pro A/V integrators are offering products, services and solutions that have converged with IT. Consequently, they will require some form of telecom service for it to work effectively. As an audio visual professional, you work closely with your customers to ensure they have the right technology for their digital signage, outdoor displays, surveillance and videoconferencing. But, there’s one thing they need to help ensure these applications run successfully: bandwidth.
Bandwidth governs all access to the Internet, the speed that data, images, and video can be uploaded and downloaded, and whether usage will be seamless or problematic. Capabilities vary from venue-to-venue, location-to-location, and project to project. As A/V technologies and solutions advance there is a perpetual need for the correct telecom services that will make them work well. There are many key indicators that trigger the need for more bandwidth to be successful in a new project.
But how well are you prepared to handle bandwidth requirements and telecom services on your next A/V solution? What are some of the key benefits and advantages to offering these services?
When you are involved in the process of determining the appropriate telecom services for your customer you become more valuable to them in many ways. Bypassing telecom service offerings and leaving it up to the end-user to determine can negatively affect the performance of your A/V solution. Being involved from the beginning of the decision making process for telecom/bandwidth services makes your A/V project run more smoothly, while also making your presence in this solution recognized.
Let’s discuss some of the key advantages and benefits of offering telecom services to your customers:
- Become a more complete solutions provider to your customers. You can make yourself an even more important resource for your customers by providing the robust connectivity they need. Not only are you a valued technical advisor and trusted integrator, but now you are also their telecom service consultant and can become intimately involved in their decision making process to accomplish their A/V goals more efficiently. As a result, data connectivity and bandwidth requirements are in high demand and must be addressed for these A/V solutions to function. Who better to address those needs than a trusted integrator with telecom service offerings? Not to mention that you will not be doing your customer’s a great deal of service if you just refer them to the local cable/telecom agent for their needs. They will ultimately wind up in a carrier’s call center to speak with an agent that knows very little about their business and solutions needs. After that call, who will be the one to help them as their needs increase or if problems arise? You can be their trusted telecom resource that will back them up indefinitely, start to finish.
- Tap into a whole new revenue stream – Adding business communications to your portfolio of products and services that you sell can realize an incremental revenue stream; getting monthly commissions for the lifetime of the contract (including renewals and upgrades). Telecom service providers will continue to pay you as long as your customer has telecom services that they’ve initiated. Oftentimes a lump sum or finder’s fee will be given to integrators who refer their customers over to telco carriers. However, a one-time lump sum is nowhere near the cumulative amount that will be paid to you over the contract period. And, with technology requirements increasing the drive for more data, the customer’s services will undoubtedly be requiring more bandwidth in the future. That translates into higher monthly recurring revenue for you for the lifetime of the contract. Plus your monthly commissions will continue to bring cash flow into your business, and can even help free up financial resources during economic difficulty.
- Save your customers money and help budget their A/V projects. Part of this involves you proposing to evaluate their current telecom bill and offer other carriers that may have a better pricing alternative. If your customer’s existing carrier has left something to be desired with regard to price, speed, and reliability then you can save your customer a lot more than just a reduction in the monthly bill. Think about how critical connectivity is to that business’ every day operations. What if they require multiple services that can be bundled to save them money? How much will it cost in downtime for unreliable services? How much will your A/V solution be impacted by poor bandwidth and insufficient download/upload speeds? When answered honestly, these questions can help form a realistic picture for your customer to understand the critical nature of their network bandwidth and telecom service requirements. Additionally, the money you can save your customer can also help offset or augment their A/V project budgets. If your customer or project needs guaranteed services for mission critical projects, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate their current uses and future needs.
- Become more aware of telecom services to offer; educate yourself on telecom requirements for A/V projects of any type. Identifying opportunities and projects that need telecom services are an important part of becoming a telecom services provider. Whether it is for a video wall or digital signage that requires substantial download speeds for regular HD content updates; streaming video services that gobble up lots of download bandwidth to view HD content (and eventually 4K UHD content); surveillance cameras that upload their images to a remote network NVR (Network Video Recorder) or cloud service; implementing a video teleconferencing system that needs loads of upstream bandwidth to avoid choppy images and lagging video/audio; or even for customers who have upgraded to an advanced business phone system (VoIP) or hosted cloud-based PBX system; as your experience evolves, so will your knowledge of telecom services. Identifying opportunities is only one aspect, but now you will also know which telecom services go hand-in-hand with your A/V solution to offer your customers.
- Evolve your business by incorporating and offering telecom solutions with your A/V projects. You effectively can drive more business to your company by adding these services. When you become an integrator that can offer essential telecom services to your customers you will be paving the way to a whole new customer base. Not only will these services be an important part of the daily A/V solution, but by offering Business Class Internet, cable TV, voice services (VoIP, hosted PBX) you have effectively added a whole new facet to your business. And, there is literally no financial investment on your part to getting this started. Equally important, you will not need any formal training or education to become involved. From prospecting and developing leads to closing the deal; it is all taken care of for you when you partner with Almo CONNECT. What better way to add new business to your existing capabilities without the costs of new customer acquisition (including training for your staff)?
Remember: Key indications that you need a bandwidth discussion begin with a complete evaluation of the project, network environment, and overall requirements. Without the right speed, their applications may be slow. They need connectivity that will help keep everything working as you intended. And they are going to look to someone for connectivity. Why not have it be you? Offering customers something that they have an existing need for adds an additional tool in your tool belt, and allows integrators to become more complete solutions providers. If you are a trusted technical partner of your customer and they depend upon your expertise to keep their projects running flawlessly, you should be involved in the discussions for bandwidth requirements and telecom services.
Almo CONNECT’s national telecom service partners aim to be your complete telecom solutions and bandwidth provider that will help you become even more valuable to your customers and their projects.