IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

D&H Launches Digital Signage and Audio-Visual Solutions Initiative

Part of the distributor’s Solutions & Services program, the new sales push is designed to help channel pros capitalize on rising demand among SMBs for a new generation of simpler, more affordable signage and collaboration offerings. By Rich Freeman

D&H Distributing Co. has launched a digital signage and audio-visual sales push aimed at helping its partners profit from increased demand among SMBs for projectors, video walls, displays, media players, videoconferencing solutions, wall mounts, and accessories.

Officially unveiled earlier this week, the new initiative is part of the Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor’s Solutions & Services program, which is designed to help resellers supplement packaged hardware and software with everything else their customers need to design, implement, and support end-to-end technology deployments.

“Think of it as a platform,” says Peter DiMarco, vice president of VAR sales at D&H, of Solutions & Services. “We have a platform of services that we sell today that will continue to evolve over time.” DiMarco spoke with ChannelPro this week at IT membership association CompTIA’s annual ChannelCon conference in Washington D.C.

Manufacturers participating in the latest addition to Solutions & Services include Acer, ASUS, Barco, Casio, Chief, Dell, Epson, Gefen, Intel, Lenovo, LG, Logitech, NEC, Planar, Ricoh, Russound, Samsung, Sennheiser, Tripp Lite, and ViewSonic.

According to DiMarco, the “pro AV” and digital signage markets have both become ripe opportunities for channel pros thanks to a new generation of more affordable, less complex products better suited than legacy systems to businesses with smaller technology budgets.

“The technology historically hasn’t been right for the SMB space,” he says, noting that ten years ago digital signage solutions required stand-alone content servers and software, plus displays costing thousands of dollars each. Today, DiMarco continues, SMBs can get all of the hardware and software they need to support a basic configuration for a thousand dollars in some cases. Those systems are simpler to customize and maintain as well, he adds.

“Large display companies now have content software that’s built into their panels,” DiMarco says. “The MSP or the owner of the business can manage the content themselves.”

That has businesses that were priced out of the signage space in the past, like restaurants, local retailers, and small medical practices, investing in digital signage more heavily.

According to DiMarco, similar trends apply in the collaboration and conference room segment, where a wide range of economically-priced and easy-to-use products has become available in recent years.

“Historically, this market has been driven by an elite set of pro AV integrators at the enterprise level,” he says. “Now it’s really being driven down to the next level of organization.”

Quietly introduced three months ago at the beginning of D&H’s 2019 fiscal year, the Solutions & Services program helps resellers augment their own capabilities with assessment, configuration, integration, support, and other services from D&H professionals. The goal is to help channel pros grow their top and bottom lines by selling solutions rather than just products.

A new team of digital signage and collaboration specialists now available through Solutions & Services can assist VARs with content management as well. the device-as-a-service offering D&H rolled out in April is also part of the program.

Enticed by the same market potential D&H sees, distributor Ingram Micro Inc., of Irvine, Calif., added content and build design services for pro AV and digital signage solutions last month.

Tech Data Corp. and SYNNEX Corp., meanwhile, are both strategically committed like D&H to turning mere hardware and software resellers into providers of comprehensive, industry-specific solutions.

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