Today, NEC launched what apparently was a four-year, top-secret project within the company to develop something that, although aimed at the Digital Signage market, will ultimately help ANY ProAV or DS integration firm that will admit that the future of their company is selling services, NOT gear.
Being a DS hardware manufacturer, it is, quite honestly, hard to believe that NEC actually created VUKUNET. But, they did. And kudos to them for it.
For years, I’ve done seminar after seminar everywhere from InfoComm, to DSE, toCEDIA, to NSCA and even done more than 200 local dealer and distributor shows preaching the benefits of selling services alongside selling gear. It started with telling Integrators the value of selling Proactive Service Contracts – heck, I even wrote a white paper on it some years back that, although old now, still applies. If you actually implemented the things I recommended, you can still create a very profitable revenue stream for your company. If you want a copy, go to: http://www.kayye.com/whitepapers/psa.pdf
Back to Vukunet, and my point. I’ve been telling integrators for years that at the very least they need to be selling services AND gear. Many have listened, some haven’t. What other services are there besides proactive maintenance? Well, what about systems design services?
Don’t think you can do that? Well, there are about 200 design consultants in the industry who employ almost 1500 people that do it every day. You can even sell rental services, which is still amazingly profitable. And, for those of you using tools like Extron’sGlobalViewer remote management software, good for you – you understand how you can make money supporting clients’ AV systems. For those of you not using one of the remote management and control systems out there – WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Selling the system was only part of the opportunity – did you leave the rest on the table? Seriously? 🙂
NEC has a game-changer here in VUKUNET. VUKUNET allows you to not only sell Digital Signage systems (using their own proprietary CMS or ANY other CMS system out there – including the leaders like Visix, Scala, Ronin, Rise Vision, Symon, etc.) but what’s cool about VUKUNET is that NEC’s now giving you a way to get recurring revenue out of the most profitable part of the DS network – the ads. Yep, the ads. With VUKUNET, you can help your client fill their DS network with as much or as little advertising they want and, best of all, you share the ad revenue with them (your client). Your client can use it as a way to justify the capital expense of the DS network itself and you, well, you can use it to buy a new car – over and over. Oh, and you don’t have to actually sell the ads yourself – ad agencies will be doing that for you thanks to the centralized network.
Why over and over? Because, advertising will go on forever, right? And you can structure your DS system deal – if you’re smart – with your client so that you share in that recurring revenue stream for as long as you have them as a client – for as long as you add value.
Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s true and this is, again, THE OPPORTUNITY that integrators have been waiting for to sell services and make a heckuva lot more money doing so than selling gear.
We already had this opportunity once and blew it — with videoconferencing, remember? That market went the way of the phone companies since WE thought it was too complicated – or whatever we thought…
Anyway, the opportunity is here again… Grab it!