By exploring these integration categories you just might discover a new revenue stream.
August 12, 2013
WARNING: What are you about to read may encourage risky business behavior.
The concept of diversifying into different markets and product categories is very compelling for integration firms, the carrot being the potential for new revenue that isn’t currently available to them. But there are risks. When companies get all gung-ho about something new, they occasionally chase it without taking the time to properly prepare for the shift in focus.
Staying focused — while perhaps boring — is sound business practice for integration firms. “You’ll find that the best years your company has were when you were focused. It’s when you go outside when you start to falter and lose money on projects,” said NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson in CI’s 2013 State of the Industry report.
The problem with staying focused is it can stifle innovation. In the commercial integration industry, firms owe it to their clients to innovate. The trick is to recognize areas of potential diversification in which the ratio of opportunity versus risk is palatable, and then to prepare.
InfoComm 2013, June 8-14 in Orlando, Fla., provided a great opportunity for integrators to prepare to chase new revenue. Whether it’s learning about an evolving demand (such as mass notification emergency communication, or MNEC), realizing that applications for a particular category have grown beyond their traditional markets (broadcasting and distance learning) or discovering solutions that aren’t typically in integrators’ wheel houses (cell signal boosting and lighting control), InfoComm classrooms and exhibits offer plenty of resources for those looking to pursue new revenue.
Check out these five potential sources of new revenue that integrators can explore as showcased at InfoComm 2013.
It used to be that the “broadcast” vertical referred to integration happening at large broadcast facilities, but it’s no longer so exclusive. Just like the definition of broadcast has evolved from the days of the three big television networks to include the countless ways in which people can get video content to audiences today (think YouTube and distribution of archived video), the broadcast integration vertical has evolved.
There is now a “light broadcast” market that includes higher education, corporate, large venue and house of worship (HOW) clients. Clients in these markets, in particular, have taken to producing, managing and finding ways to broadcast (albeit on a limited basis) their own video content. Integrators already engaged with those clients have an opportunity to provide solutions to facilitate this.
“Right now we sell more studio cameras to churches than we do to TV stations,” said John Rhodes, product line manager for system cameras and switchers for Panasonic, during a recent CI webinar. He pointed to that as a “real indicator of how things have changed.”
Indeed, light broadcast has become “a low-hanging fruit” for integrators that know how to grab it, according to distributor Almo Professional A/V business development manager Rob Ziv. During that same webinar, Ziv suggested talking to corporate clients about the benefits of capturing training content and explained that integrators can easily provide those “broadcast” abilities with simple pan-tilt-zoom cameras, recording media and a little bit of training.
When it comes to large venues, integrators should think smaller, Ziv said. Sports teams, for instance, are no longer just interested in broadcasting games; they’re also interested in recording practice footage and then managing the content so players and coaches can easily access and analyze it.
The great thing for integrators is that they have an opportunity not only to deliver these solutions but to educate many existing clients on their benefits.