It’s Budget Season – Get a Jump Start on Your Meeting Room Tech Upgrades
Here in the Midwest, there’s a chill in the air…the leaves are changing into vibrant colors…pumpkin patches are filled to the brim. That can only mean one thing: it’s Q4, and it’s time to prepare FY24 budgets.
Okay, so that’s certainly not as enjoyable a process as carving jack-o-lanterns, but it doesn’t have to be as painful a process as businesses often make it. When it comes to the meeting room, Q4 is a chance to explore the latest in AV technology – for example, upgrades in voice and camera technology that enable equitable in-person and remote meetings. The industry is moving at such a fast pace that it’s likely even if you purchased new technology in the last few years, there’s already an offering that can streamline your AV setup even more.
Throughout the budgeting process, one of the most common questions we’re asked is should AV tech be treated as a capital or operational expenditure? The answer is truly it depends. There are positives to both approaches.
Operational Expenditures – Keep Your AV Cutting Edge
Every September, like clockwork, Apple rolls out its newest iPhone – with an improved camera, streamlined login, or another new feature that further enhances user experience. Upgrades come so fast and furious that many major cell phone carriers offer plans that specifically allow customers to move to a new iPhone as soon as it’s available.
These types of upgrade plans may be more commonly associated with consumer tech, but the “as a service” model is starting to trend within the meeting room space as well. Facilities managers looking to move AV technology into the OpEx column should consider AV-as-a-service offerings. At RoomReady, AVaaS offers our clients a fixed monthly fee for equipment rental, integration, support and training. AVaaS significantly reduces upfront costs, and enables upgrades to the latest and greatest technology as soon as we have it.
Moving forward, AVaaS will only continue to get smarter. Providers will be able to monitor each device within a meeting room to determine whether it’s online, troubleshoot it remotely, and offer on-site service if it needs additional repairs.
So while businesses may not own the tech outright with an AVaaS plan, the convenience of a smaller fixed payment and access to upgrades can make the plan an attractive option.
Capital Expenditures – Take Advantage of Current Benefits
Say you have a budget surplus and prefer to invest in your own equipment – keeping AV in the CapEx column might be the right option. But because this approach requires a much heavier investment up front, it’s still important to look for ways to lessen the burden and save budget for other line items. Enter Section 179.
Section 179 is a tax deduction designed to help small- and medium-sized businesses keep their office equipment upgraded while lessening the burden of such a heavy investment. Businesses can deduct up to $1.16 million from qualified meeting room tech, an increase of $80,000 from 2022. The only catch is equipment must be purchased and installed by midnight on December 31, and with limited availability during the holidays, businesses looking to take advantage of Section 179 should make the purchases as soon as possible.
If you’re unsure where to focus your upgrades but want to upgrade your AV systems, the RoomReady team can help. We offer a complete room evaluation to determine which pieces of tech are out-of-date, and which aren’t fully compatible with your selected collaboration platform. And if you choose to work with us, we can provide the hardware, integration and service in-house.
OpEx or CapEx – Either Way, Don’t Miss Out
If you’ve been using the same voice and camera technology for 2-3 years, or even longer, you’ll be amazed to see the upgrades manufacturers such as Cisco and Poly have made. Camera tracking technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, making it easier than ever for remote participants to see a speaker’s face clearly. AI-driven microphone technology can filter out background noise and even translate in real-time.
Whether you choose to invest upfront, or spread the cost out using AVaaS, now’s the time to start selecting your meeting room upgrades. Our team is ready to assist in finding the right plan for your needs. You can learn more about our available technology here, and you can always contact me at email@example.com.