Selecting an AV Integrator: Three Points to Consider

By Joey Davis
AVIXA
Managing Editor
Because we live in an era of innovation, most organizations are integrating a variety of technologies to sustain themselves in increasingly competitive markets. Audiovisual systems have become crucial to this endeavor for a variety of reasons, including a dispersed and decentralized workforce. 

As companies begin upgrading their older systems, or implementing AV for the first time, they're finding choosing the right tech stack to be a daunting task. With infinitely more choices available today than just five years ago, they're turning to AV integration services for advice and installation. But, just as there are now more choices in AV technology, the landscape has become crowded with companies lining up to install and service them. Choosing the right one for your needs is essential. The wrong one could cost your organization thousands, even millions, of dollars. Here are three tips for hiring AV system integration services that will ensure your business's bottom line is protected and you get the AV systems you need:

1. Get References

Companies implementing AV systems should have a reputation that precedes them. Their websites are likely full of case studies, images, and videos of previous projects. Studying those is just step one in vetting the integrator you'll eventually entrust to be your AV partner. You'll also want to personally contact the companies each integration firm has worked for in the past for a reference. After all, these pros are essentially applying for a role at your company. A thorough background check is in order.

2. Consider How Long Each Firm Has Been in Business

It's imperative to keep in mind that your business will grow and change over time, as will your AV needs. A seasoned AV integration firm knows this and will offer proactive advice on how to scale your system for the future. Newer integrators may have the skills to install and service your AV system today. However, more established ones can meet all the requirements you currently have and the ones you may have in years to come.

3. Tech Support Must Be Just be a Phone Call Away

Like any service company, an AV integrator may utilize one of several types of customer support, including service plans and emergency service. The key here is that they DO offer support and it's dispatched rapidly. Downtime for an AV system can be expensive for a company in terms of time and productivity and "we'll send someone out next week" is never good enough. Inquire about their technical support up front and make sure it's spelled out in any paperwork and contracts signed.

Tech Support Should Include a Warranty!

Product warranties and work guarantees are an important extension of technical support.  It's critical to not only understand the warranties attached to the products being installed, but also if the integration teams you're considering stand behind their work. Reputable HVAC and auto repair companies offer long-term, even lifetime warranties on parts and labor. The costs associated with most AV systems and their installation far exceed those of most other industries so they, too, should also have a similar promise and, again, be included in negotiations and contracts.

Conclusion

The market place for AV integration companies has expanded almost as quickly as technology has advanced. There is a wide array of factors to consider when choosing an AV integration provider. If you approach it as you would any other expensive project or job hire, the right choice will be easier to make. 

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Joey Davis
AVIXA, Managing Editor

Joey is a seasoned content and marketing professional with over 15 years of progressive experience in fast-paced digital media environments. The 2019 TAG Marketing Innovator of the Year recipient, he specializes in web content development, marketing strategy, writing, and graphic design.