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The Future of Managed Services in Pro AV

The evolution of the pro AV market is showcased via digitalisation – where more devices become network capable. Traditionally, device management and AV Managed Services (AVMS) were focused on outsourcing internal services with external maintenance, where specialists were required to handle the smooth running of equipment and AV systems. 

Meanwhile, the ability to be connected to a network created an innovation influx in the AV market, starting with AVoIP capabilities, allowing more devices to be connected and managed remotely. With the growing number of devices connected over IP and the transformation of workplaces, remote and hybrid working environments, the pro AV market is experiencing an emergence of new AV-managed services. 

The Evolution of AVMS and Convergence Within the IT Market 

The development of AV over IP promotes real-time device management solutions and increases demand and requirements for enterprise conferencing and collaboration tools. With the adoption of AVoIP well underway, managed service providers are looking at opportunities within the system integration domain. AV customers are moving past remote monitoring and on-site/on-call services, and into automation and proactive device and system management solutions.  

Due to the need to provide a broader range of capabilities, the pro AV vendor value chain is changing dynamically, adding subsegments such as AVMS, AV-as-a-Service (AVaaS), AVMS software tools, platforms and system integration services into the mix. 

Market Challenges and Opportunities 

As the sector evolves, established players are innovating and upgrading existing offerings, and new players are entering the space. Vendors face several challenges, but there is also a degree of opportunism from some existing players, making them market leaders due to domain expertise. Among the ecosystem trends and vendor positioning, Futuresource Consulting has identified the following trends: 

Vendors that achieved early success in the AV market are trying to move towards more horizontal applications for their platforms – such as IoT or smart buildings. On the other hand, OEMs and traditional AVMS providers are exploring opportunities in the AVaaS market and partnering with Sis to provide end-to-end services. This includes software and hardware components. AVaaS is expected to grow, enabling enterprises to significantly minimise CAPEX and automate and streamline their AV equipment management. 

The emergence of software-based tools and multitenant PaaS offerings shows how previously IT/OT players can now enter the AV market with centralised and proactive device monitoring and take the vendor-agnostic niche in the AVMS market. 

Finally, system integrators are investing in PaaS offerings, and expanding their capabilities towards multi-tenant management and automation via partnerships with IT/software vendors. This brings SI and SaaS players into the ‘coopetition’ realm. 

The Bigger Picture: IoT/AV, AVoIP, Sustainability and Data Visibility 

Managed services for the pro AV market is an expanding sector, which has broader implications for an AV ecosystem. The bigger picture of AVMS is directly embedded with the convergence of AV and the Internet of Things, as it allows enterprises to gain greater visibility of their devices and data. 

These players are making it possible to implement a data-enabled strategy in building management, as well as considering AV implications in sustainability. On the other hand, it sparks the conversation: with the growing number of devices and data from machines, would bigger players and hyperscales enter the pro AV world? 

Convergence of AV and the Internet of Things 

The deployment of AVoIP is gaining momentum, making it easier to deploy, manage and update devices regardless of their location. A similar strategy has been used over IoT devices connected via the internet. However, the genuinely interesting synergy is taking place in the physical world – where AV switches, streaming devices, audio receivers, microphones and cameras are enhanced by IoT sensors. 

For example, microphones with movement sensors can increase or decrease a microphone’s volume, turn lights on or off – or even activate device shutdown, if left unattended. The synergy between AV and IoT can bring ultimate efficiency, asset performance and the optimisation of a device’s lifetime. 

AV and Sustainability 

While the convergence with the Internet of Things taking place, the connectivity of AV and fully managed services (i.e. device management) allows enterprises to gain greater visibility of the health of their devices. On a macro level, device activity can be connected to other sensor information, such as HVAC, lighting and building management. 

Vendors offering software tools and platforms for AV can analyse and advise enterprises on potential energy-saving opportunities, which directly connects the pro AV market to sustainability efforts and initiatives. 

The AV industry is already considering material waste, supply chain transparency and product packaging. However, AVMS can bring AV sustainability closer to the enterprise and help customers understand how they can become sustainable when using AV tech. 

AV and Cloud Providers 

Finally, pro AV is going cloud native. More vendors are now offering cloud-based device management services via software tools and open API sources. For example, Poly, Utelogy and Netgear actively promote their cloud-based installation, monitoring, maintenance and management capabilities for AV devices.  

That being said, the AVMS market is yet to see hyperscale, such as Google or Microsoft joining the competition for device management. This means well-established AV players, and not public cloud vendors, offering cloud services. 

Futuresource AV Managed Services Market Outlook Report 

Futuresource Consulting’s upcoming report on AV managed services will discuss the opportunities to transfer from AV to more horizontal PaaS and offer more comprehensive device and content management capabilities. As well as vendor strategies that specialise in smart cities, smart buildings and homes that have ambitions to enter the AV vertical with its horizontal platforms and develop an out of the box application for AV. 

Date Published:

Kateryna Dubrova

About the author

Kateryna Dubrova

Kateryna Dubrova is a Senior Analyst for Futuresource Consulting. She is covering and reporting on connectivity and up-the-stack technology for the Pro AV market. Kateryna's research is focused on the evolution of the AV sector, on connectivity and software-enabled tools that are becoming a disruptive element for the vendors, and how their go-to-market strategies are evolving. Her main areas of expertise include digital transformation, connectivity, professional services, and technology’s impact on sustainability.

Before joining Futuresource Consulting, Kateryna was a research analyst covering SaaS/PaaS with Core Analytics and ML/AI technologies within the IoT domain. Her specialization included O&G and renewable energy markets, industrial domain, telco, and sustainability markets. She also conducted several academic research projects in political economy and global studies.

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