Commercial Integrator July 2022 - 50

LEADERSHIP INSIGHTS
Supersummit
One of the most valuable components of the PSNI Global Alliance's Supersummit was the
opportunity for face-to-face networking among peers and colleagues.
their failures. When steel strikes steel, Snow
said, both blades sharpen. Likewise, friction
between and among ideas births innovation
and greater team success.
Recurring Monthly Revenue
Attendees enjoyed a choice of breakout sessions.
I opted for the recurring monthly revenue
(RMR) discussion that Paul Metzheiser,
managing partner of TAMCO, presented.
He made the financial case for integrators to
build out their RMR, pointing out that ~20%
margin on project sales versus ~50% margin
on recurring-revenue-based deals could
completely transform an integrator's successfulness.
Metzheiser reminded the dozens
of integrators in attendance that we've
now entered the subscription economy;
people are conditioned to pay for Apple
Music, Netflix, Microsoft Office and Audible
in a regularly monthly or yearly cadence.
Why, then, he asked, shouldn't integrators'
customers view their AV systems through
the lens of a subscription? He espoused
an approach whereby the customer avoids
a large initial capital outlay and, instead,
finances the equipment through a third
party like TAMCO. The integrator partner
integrates the system, provides ongoing
maintenance and support, and collects
monthly revenue in the bargain.
Metzheiser acknowledged that project-based
sales will always play a key role
for integration businesses. As such, he proposed
a relatively modest goal: Integrators
should aim to generate 25% of their revenue
from the RMR model. To achieve that,
though, he said businesses must take several
concrete steps: Those include ensuring com50
Commercial
Integrator JULY 2022
plete leadership buy in, creating proposals
built around service/subscription offerings,
training salespeople to convert their selling
style, aligning marketing assets so that they
undergird and amplify the message of AV
as a service, and shifting mindsets from AV
systems designed for ownership to AV systems
designed for use. TAMCO, he added,
can help with things like proposal writing
and team training, in addition to financing
the initial equipment acquisition. The level of
post-talk engagement indicated to me that
integrators in attendance were intrigued.
Employees Take the Power
The final speaker whose presentation I saw,
writer and reporter Charlie Warzel, offered
bracing insights into the ascendance of the
labor force and the concomitant disempowerment
of employers. Contrasting his
views with the seemingly endless debate
about whether employees will work from
home forever or whether they'll return to
physical offices, Warzel argued that the real
future of work is flexibility. He cited a recent
survey indicating 58% of employees are
open to looking for a new job this year, and
he added that the percentage is yet higher
for employees who feel that their employer
is inflexible. This mode of thought - and
its outcome - has been termed The Great
Resignation. Integration business leaders
might be wary of Warzel's key takeaway:
that people want to work where they want
to work, when they want to work. And if
that sounds like an ultimatum...well...for
some employees, it may be.
If your business embraces flexibility - that
is, allows employees to work in the location
that suits them, on a schedule that works for
them, while respecting the sanctity of their
personal time to pursue their interests and
passions - Warzel said that you'll have your
pick of top candidates. Incidentally, he added,
that might mean embracing the four-day
workweek, which has been much discussed
and debated in recent years. Warzel argued
that institutions' ingrained blocks against
new ideas cause them to discount things
that they've not yet tried. But, he said, " We
are living through an inflection point. " And
whether you're an AV integrator or a financial
services company, you're likely going to
have to leave your entrenched biases aside if
you're going to attract and retain a generation
of employees who are " rewriting work. "
Concluding Thoughts
There are crosscurrents here, offering both
warning signs for integrators wedded to
the old ways of doing things and glimmers
of promise for those who choose to
embrace transforming and revivifying not
only their sales approach but also their
human-resources philosophy. The macroeconomy
will probably present headwinds
in the months ahead, especially given the
increasing likelihood of a recession before
this time next year, and it's likely that customers
will continue to be inquiring about
product availability for many months. But
our world is replete with incredibly talented
knowledge workers, and the commercial
AV industry has a good shot at attracting
many of them. The metaverse, extended
reality, artificial intelligence and immersive
physical environments offer near-limitless
potential for client investment. And that
investment, if " subscriptionized " and delivered
upon as a service, can perhaps yield
your business 50 points of margin.
These are just some of the insights that
I gleaned from having attended PSNI
Supersummit. Ask your local CSPs and PVPs
for their takeaways, which might be quite
different from mine. But know one thing
for sure: Those who trekked to Houston
enjoyed a unique opportunity to ponder,
learn, strategize and commune. Those
who work with PSNI's global network of
solution providers will reap the benefits of
something that is regrettably rare: a true
thought-leadership retreat. I'm honored to
have been part of it. CI
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Commercial Integrator July 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Integrator July 2022

Commercial Integrator July 2022 - Cover1
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Commercial Integrator July 2022 - 1
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