Communications, collaboration, and workplace technology continues to change at a pace faster than ever imagined. To help your organization gain the knowledge, experience, & point of view needed to stay ahead of these advancements, I had a chance to sit down with Alan Rosenkoff, Business Development Director for Corbett Technology Solutions (CTSI). Alan has served as a subject matter expert in the communications & technology industry for over 30 years. In this thought leadership Q&A, Alan shares the trends & issues that have had a large effect on the industry.
Q: From your perspective as a technology professional, what are some insights about the industry & what are key aspects companies need to consider when integrating technology into their environment?
A: Technology innovation continues to accelerate so quickly that organizations unable to support that pace are facing significant business challenges. Waiting to implement required technology impacts their competitive advantage. They are challenged in supporting their employees and customers, while struggling with rising support costs and inefficient business operations.
As it applies to accelerated technology advancement, two years ago, businesses were planning their conferencing and collaboration technology infrastructure around existing market leaders. Hello Zoom! Suddenly new market entrants and mature providers migrate their platforms – Skype to Teams for example – offering further workplace technology innovation and making a significant impact in available options.
Q: So, with these types of changes in technology, how can customers continue to make the right technology decisions?
A: Many organizations are faced with making the right technology decisions, often with limited capital, and then struggle to maintain the budget required for ongoing support, upgrades, and technology refresh. They attempt small capital improvements that don’t deliver business impact, preventing them from obtaining competitive advantage, such as high availability and costs savings associated with new technology deployments.
Companies should consider how assets will continue to benefit them from a long-term perspective. Once the system is installed how do you manage it? How do you support it? How do you make sure that it’s continuing to function and operate at its best?
He suggests customers evaluate their workplace technology options under the following lens:
- Avoid the single vendor solution trap. You want the solutions that are best for you and your environment. Choosing the best software and hardware elements across multiple vendors is what gives your business maximum flexibility.
- Maintain relationships with vendor neutral subject matter experts, i.e. integrator engineers or consultants, prior to making final technology decisions.
- Ensure your technology architecture and financial business models enable flexibility to add capabilities using a clear change management process.
- Focus on the user experience across the business.
Q: Do you have a specific example of a client that was impacted by limited capital and aged infrastructure?
A: We just completed a project for a client that was relocating and building a new headquarters location. The original technology was installed by another systems integrator over 10 years ago, which was referred to by the CEO as the “AV nightmare”. When they solicited our services to design and install their new headquarters, their capital budget was insufficient for their technology and business requirements.
By selecting an AVaaS solution, they applied their limited capital to other building improvements, while deploying conferencing and collaboration technology that delivered the outcomes they required, supported by a full managed services statement of work. While this enabled the business to deploy the solution required for the new facility, the game changer for the CFO and CEO was the notion of flexibility and ongoing technology refresh. Every 3-5 years their organization could fund upgrades and technology refresh as required.
Many of our customers are challenged creating and maintaining effective workplace technology systems. Even though they may have the capital budget required now, often future upgrades are very difficult to fund or support. CTSI noticed these issues occurring so frequently that it influenced us to develop the Subscription Services Model.
CTSI Subscription Services (AVaaS) helps customers invest capital in assets that appreciate, fund the workplace technology required to make business impact, conserve cash, and maintain an operating budget to fund ongoing managed services and required technology refresh.
Q: How does the Subscription Services Model help clients plan for technology down the road, especially with limited budgets?
A: Subscription Services helps overcome budget shortfall by providing the flexibility of having equipment. As a service with no up-front capital required. For a fixed monthly subscription fee you receive: design, engineering, installation, hardware, software, proactive monitoring with preventative analysis & complete on-site maintenance support with any of the infrastructures that CTSI installs. It does not matter if the technology breaks or needs repairs. The burden is on CTSI to deliver the service that this equipment needs to function. Subscription also offers the option to renew, discontinue services or plan a technology refresh at the end of the term. Periodically, refreshing technology ensures reliability of the equipment and/or improves speed and capacity. So when someone has a limited budget like almost everyone does, and companies couldn’t acquire the technology that they needed, the Subscription Services Model changed that. They were finally able to quickly deploy and finance the technology required to support their business properly.
Something to look forward to
Alan’s next article will further describe the components of “Workplace Technology as a Service” and guide you through the questions to ask your provider as you develop the subscription that works best for your organization…