IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ViewSonic Flexes into Pro AV

The diversified hardware maker is employing flexible policies to attract integrators capable of deploying interactive whiteboard solutions. By Rich Freeman

WHEN CHARLES DARWIN was formulating his theory of evolution, he employed a collection of finches from the Galapagos Islands with slightly varied beaks and bodies to show that biological species naturally adapt to their surroundings. That finches figure prominently in ViewSonic’s famous logo too seems somehow apt, given how often adaptability comes up in connection with the vendor’s AV Solutions Program for audiovisual solution providers.

Want your pick of distributors when placing orders? ViewSonic works with all the big ones, including D&H, Ingram Micro, Tech Data, and SYNNEX. Want to collect margins on a deal before a sale instead of after? No sweat.

“This isn’t just a come one, come all, type of program, so we can be very flexible and cater the program to meet [member] needs,” says Ryan Strayer (pictured above), ViewSonic’s senior director of sales and channel chief.

Founded some two years ago, the AV Solutions Program is tailored to AV integrators with the know-how to deploy and support ViewSonic’s interactive whiteboards. According to Strayer, though, that shouldn’t stop ordinary channel pros from signing up for the offering too.

“A lot of them are probably already selling into a lot of places that are buying the Pro AV types of products,” he says, noting that they can outsource installation and other unfamiliar tasks to distributors and other third parties if necessary. “There’s definitely a path for them to get into that business fairly easily,” Strayer states. “It’s really just making that commitment that they’re going to go that direction.”

Prov AV Revenues Rising

There are plenty of good reasons to commit to the AV market. Accelerating deployments in the education, retail, and hospitality verticals, as well as corporate conference rooms and huddle spaces, are driving Pro AV revenues up swiftly at present. Indeed, interactive displays are currently the fastest growing category in ViewSonic’s expansive product catalog.

Businesses also like the one-stop shopping of getting their AV gear and IT services from the same company—and will happily take their business to an AV-first specialist who offers IT support if their IT-first channel pro doesn’t play in both markets.

AV Solutions Program members get special pricing, a dedicated account rep, and access to leads from ViewSonic’s inside sales force. Still not sold but want in on the Pro Av opportunity anyway? No problem. ViewSonic is flexible about that too. “Even though they may not be specifically in the program, we’re not going to say ‘hey, we can’t work with you,’” Strayer says of nonmembers. “We’re going to do everything we can to partner and try to make it easier for them.”

“We’re one of the few display manufacturers that actually can offer solutions in pretty much any display technology.”—RYAN STRAYER, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF SALES AND CHANNEL CHIEF, VIEWSONIC

In or out of the AV Solutions Program, he adds, partners will never find themselves competing with ViewSonic for a deal. “We’re a completely channel-friendly company,” Strayer emphasizes. “We don’t sell direct.”

It does, however, sell products ranging far beyond interactive displays. Unlike vendors that specialize in Pro AV or digital signage or large-format displays or media players or projectors or desktop monitors, ViewSonic makes all of the above. “We’re one of the few display manufacturers that actually can offer solutions in pretty much any display technology,” Strayer says. The end result for partners, he continues, is simpler vendor management. “It just makes it a lot easier to deal with one brand than have a bunch of different brands all over the facility,” Strayer notes.

Hardware isn’t all that ViewSonic offers these days either. The company has been working in recent years to make software for meeting room collaboration, desktop virtualization, and other tasks a differentiator as well. “We’ve successfully made the transition from a product-focused company to a solution-based company,” Strayer says.

Just the same, he continues, ViewSonic is more than happy to work with partners that don’t sell solutions, or Pro AV hardware for that matter. ViewSonic’s Finch Club program provides deal registration, demo unit discounts, marketing benefits, access to inside sales resources, and other benefits to traditional product resellers. ViewSonic, it seems, is flexible enough to accommodate more or less everyone.

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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