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 Audiovisual Tools Are Enhancing Business Productivity… When They Work


A new survey from Onepath found that web-based audio and video solutions and traditional AV technologies such as video monitors, projectors, and recorders are as popular as ever inside SMBs, but tech and support problems can limit their utility

Atlanta, Georgia (February 6, 2020) Onepath, a provider of managed technology services to small and midsize businesses, has completed a survey on audiovisual (AV) tools. The survey was conducted in January and taken by more than 100 IT decision-makers, managers, directors and executives. One of the survey’s key take-aways is that AV tools are widely used by SMBs and provide a range of benefits, but too often they don’t work as expected, creating an ongoing burden for in-house support staff.

AV tools such as video monitors, projectors, and recorders have a long history of providing value in the workplace. Among other things, they’re useful for presentations and connecting remote workers. But AV tools are also notoriously difficult to set up and maintain, and many companies lack the time and resources to handle this responsibility. Web-based AV tools have eliminated some of these problems by shifting maintenance needs to the vendors, but too many SMBs are still woefully unprepared. This point is supported by the results of Onepath’s survey: 

AV Tools are More Popular Than Ever and Offer a Wide Range of Benefits – 88% of IT pros responding to Onepath’s survey said AV tools are used by company employees weekly or daily, and 59% said they’re used by at least half the company’s staff. Web-based video tools are the most popular (77%), followed by video monitors (75%), projectors (68%) and web-based audio (64%). Meanwhile, 76% of respondents said AV tools are being used to increase productivity, and 45% said they are used to eliminate employee travel. 78% of IT pros surveyed by Onepath said AV tools are being used to show presentations, and 77% said they’re being used to connect with remote workers.

Problems with AV Tools are Persistent and Costly – 61% of respondents said employees experience problems with AV tools weekly or daily. Common problems include poor WiFi, web, cloud, or Bluetooth connectivity (48%), an inability to see or hear everyone on audio/video conferences (37%), and difficulties using or setting up tools (27%). More troubling, however, is the perceived inability of companies to deal with these issues. 29% of respondents said their companies have too few people to help with AV problems, and 24% said IT lacks the expertise necessary to handle them. Meanwhile, 53% of survey respondents said at least 6 hours are wasted in company meetings every month due to AV challenges.

SMBs are Dedicating Significant Resources to Support AV Issues – 29% of survey respondents said their companies have at least 8 people who are responsible for maintaining AV tools, and 62% of companies have at least 4 people. 40% of respondents said their AV support staff is receiving at least 11 help requests per week, and 69% are fielding at least 5 requests every week. 42% said it’s taking at least half a day (4 hours) to respond to typical AV support tickets, and 15% said 1-2 days is the average. Experience with video systems (78%), web and cloud-based systems (76%), and audio systems (75%) scored about the same in terms of which skills are most important for maintaining AV technologies, and 58% said it was somewhat or very difficult to find workers with these skills. 62% of companies are spending at least $10,000 annually on AV tools and support, and 46% are getting help from an outside consultant.

“The data in our report is consistent with what we’re hearing from our clients,” said Michael Lane, Director of Commercial Interiors & Audiovisual at Onepath. “SMBs continue to make heavy use of AV tools and they’re investing in these technologies as much as ever. But it doesn’t mean the tools are foolproof, and in most cases, significant resources are needed to support their use. As new tools emerge and more companies depend on remote staff, we expect use of AV technologies to increase, creating opportunities for experienced partners like Onepath.”

The complete Onepath 2020 Audiovisual Trends for SMBs report can be found here.

About Onepath

Onepath is the one source for all things to do with designing, deploying, and supporting technology — from cable to cloud. Whether it’s installing digital menu boards at quick serve restaurants across the U.S., designing systems integration for one of the nation’s newest stadiums, or providing IT support and managed services for fast-growing businesses—Onepath is the easier way to get hard things done. We bring more horsepower, more commitment, and a more complete game plan to Fortune 500s and small businesses throughout North America.