Recognizing the reality of video wall obsolescence is the first step to guarding against it.
Obsolescence is a difficult word to spell, but it is an even more difficult concept to regulate. Despite the challenges in spotting and proving planned obsolescence strategies by technology companies, various national governments have put rules in place to protect consumers against it. The French version of these laws came to the forefront in 2018 when the French government launched an investigation into Apple, who they believed may be intentionally shortening the functional lifespan of older generation iPhone models to drive exasperated customers back to the store for the newest edition. The company had been previously investigated for this behavior by both Israel and the United States, and in December, Apple responded to the French investigation with an admission that older iPhones were being slowed down but that this was due to weakened battery performance and not a result of corporate malfeasance. In any case, consumers should by now be wise to the realities of technological obsolescence.
Planning video wall obsolescence is wrong, but so is failing to plan against it
While deliberately planned obsolescence is something consumers should rally against and governments should consider regulating, the far more common issue is unplanned obsolescence. Companies intentionally worsening older products to spur consumers to buy new ones is clearly problematic, but the passive alternative of simply allowing products to decay on their own is almost equally disloyal. Technology companies are fully aware that their products are going to age out of prime usefulness as superior products are invented and sold, but any company that truly cared about their customers would explore avenues to safeguard older customers against the obsolescence of their expensive purchases.
A video wall, especially of the large-format variety, is a robust purchase. If you are reading this piece, you already know that. For such a big initial investment, a digital display needs to be effective long past its purchase date. ROI for a display isn’t in the black immediately, it takes time for a display’s value to convey fully. For many display manufacturers however, the hefty upfront transaction is the end of the deal. If the display atrophies and performance decays, oh well, it’s on to the next one. The display you buy is the display you get, and it’s the display you’ll have, until you’re finally frustrated enough to buy a new one. There is no need to make rules against this sort of arrangement, but customers should take notice of how slanted it is against them. They just made a huge purchase! They should demand a solution that adapts as they do and changes with the times. Is that too much to ask?
You can’t price out video wall obsolescence, but you can price around it
For many manufacturers, yes, it is. Large-format video walls have traditionally been bought and sold as singular products, just like any other consumer good, but stripping away the past, NanoLumens recognizes that there is no real reason why things have to be that way. Taking the lead from companies in other technology markets and from integrators in our own field, NanoLumens has begun selling our display solutions as a service. We are far from the first company to launch a form of AV-as-a-service, and search results will surely garner plenty of information online about the growing adoption of the strategy, but we are among the only large-format display manufacturers to actually implement it broadly.
Selling our video wall solutions as a service eliminates a customer’s huge initial expense in favor of recurring periodic payments that allow them to install and operate a display without needing to actually own it. Included in this arrangement are scheduled maintenance and product upgrades to keep the displays ahead of the evolutionary curve. This sort of financial strategy makes digital displays more accessible to the general public, forwarding the NanoLumens ideal of providing custom-built displays to anyone who wants one. Businesses no longer need to shell out a huge chunk of change to get a magnificent display; they simply need the op-ex wiggle room to sustain the smaller scheduled payments. In many cases, these businesses have been able to sell ad space on their displays at a price that exceeds their own service-agreement expenditures, meaning that ROI positivity is possible immediately, not just years down the line.
Video wall technology evolves famously quickly, so customers are right to be wary of buying something that may soon become obsolete, especially when it may take time to generate a positive return on the initial costs. By selling display solutions as a service, NanoLumens guards customers against the risks of obsolescence, and fast-tracks the path to a positive ROI. To learn more about how NanoLumens employs service-based purchasing strategies, give us a call today!