Value-added resellers (VARs) have long found success in many different areas of the electronics industry. From computer networking and security to virtualization and imaging, VARs are known to be jacks of all trades—and masters of many.
As a result of such diverse experience and expertise, VARs like yourself are in a somewhat unique position to easily diversify their business, branching out into new markets as opportunities present themselves. Today, VARs around the country are beginning to incorporate technologies such as professional audio/visual devices, physical security solutions and point-of-sale systems into their product offering.
We wanted to take a closer look at one of those categories—pro AV—to examine the business opportunity for you and your fellow VARs. When deciding whether to branch into the pro AV world, consider these four “pros” to see if the technology is right for your business:
1. You already know the technology.
Since you already work with networking, voice and video, and other similar systems, you’re already well on your way to understanding the back-end of pro AV technology. The only missing piece is to familiarize yourself with some of the various systems and devices, including video conferencing, meeting rooms, digital signage, projector systems, desktop sharing and live chat.
There is a wealth of knowledge available to any VAR who wants to better get to know the AV world, as well as technology distributors to help you get up to speed. Once you get started, you’ll likely see that many AV devices are very similar to those you’re already working with.
2. You’re working in many of the same verticals.
As a VAR, much of your business probably comes from corporations and small businesses, as well as some retail, healthcare and education customers. Not only are you already familiar with what makes these markets tick; you likely already have plenty of contacts in each area—which is a great place to start.
Follow up with your existing customers, and let them know that you’re now offering pro AV solutions. You may be surprised how many customers are also in need of video conferencing, digital signage or remote access technologies.
3. Your start-up investment would be minimal.
By doing a bit of research, or by partnering with a leading technology distributor, you can quickly work your way into the pro AV market, leveraging your existing knowledge and skills. Since you’re already familiar with much of the back-end requirements for pro AV systems, your start-up investment in new equipment and training will be relatively small. You can quickly and easily get yourself and your co-workers up-to-speed on pro AV technology, and start working on projects sooner than you could in other similar markets.
4. Pro AV ROI opportunities are everywhere.
Like many technologies, pro AV devices provide the opportunity for ongoing revenue. Many VARs in the pro AV market offer monthly service and support contracts, extended warranties, training and more.
In addition, pro AV offers plenty of unique ROI opportunities. For example, you might offer to provide your digital signage customers streaming content, while charging your video conferencing users to subscribe to streaming voice and video services. The possibilities are great, and are only getting more diverse as technology advances.
In your opinion what are some of the pros and cons of branching into the pro AV market? What would you say are the odds your company will begin to incorporate pro AV technology in the next few years?