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A/V Integration Powerhouse AVI-SPL Turns Focus To Services

April 6, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
avispl.jpgApril 5, 2012 by Chad Berndtson via CRN.com -- As videoconferencing goes mainstream and more and more solution providers tie video to broader unified communications and data center sales, video endpoints and infrastructure products inevitably become commoditzed. Where will solution providers with A/V expertise make their money going forward?

To AVI-SPL's management, there's no question about it: services are what will preserve the video channel. The $550 million integrator prides itself on having already made the leap toward substantial professional- and managed services-based revenue.

"The market is definitely going to services," said Mike Brandofino, executive vice president, video and unified communications, in an interview with CRN at AVI-SPL's recent national sales meeting in Tampa. "The IT guys can't keep up with all the technology out there, and if we can be that technology insurance provider for them -- because we know it and because we provide the services behind the scenes -- that's where the margin is. The endpoints are becoming commodities. They're going to keep going down. So where we differentiate ourselves is by connecting all those dots."

About $40 million of AVI-SPL's revenue is in services, and growing fast. It's a trend that's only just catching on in the industry, notes AVI-SPL CEO John Zettel, who cited research from A/V industry association InfoComm that only about 3 percent of traditional A/V integrators are deriving roughly a third of their revenue from services.

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