IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

D&H Adds Free Pre-Sales Technical Support

Effective immediately, VARs who purchase from the distributor have access to advice about pending deals from a dedicated team of technical specialists at no cost. By Rich Freeman

Buoyed by strong growth in its recently concluded 2016 fiscal year, Harrisburg, Pa.-based D&H Distributing Co. has made new pre-sales technical assistance resources available to its resellers at no charge.

Effective immediately, D&H partners with questions about pending deals can solicit insights and guidance over the phone from a newly formed team of dedicated in-house specialists. The new program supplements the configuration and post-sales support offerings long available to D&H resellers.

Dan Schwab“A lot of times they’re looking for the technical support and guidance, often on best practices, prior to ever discussing configuring orders,” observes D&H co-president Dan Schwab (pictured), who says the new program directly reflects feedback provided last year by D&H partners during customer engagement events.

There will be 12 people total on the pre-sales support unit initially, but D&H ultimately expects it to contain about 30 technicians, ranging from SMB generalists to specialists with expertise in specific vendor product lines and solution categories, such as digital signage, document management, and wireless networking.

Many of those will be veteran employees brought in from other units, but D&H will backfill most of those positions with new hires, so the final impact of adding pre-sales support will be a significant payroll increase. All told, and factoring in some associated in-person training events and webinars the company plans to conduct over the course of this year, the new resources will cost D&H roughly $1 million.

Those extra outlays follow a series of similar channel investments by D&H in 2015, including the creation of new advisory groups that bring resellers focused on specific markets together to discuss needs, strategies, and best practices, and new “VAR Track” educational sessions during D&H technology trade shows. The company also added executives to provide concentrated leadership in new technologies and critical reseller segments, such as Peter DiMarco, vice president of VAR sales in the Computer Products Division.

According to Schwab, today’s announcement is the next logical step in those ongoing efforts to promote partner growth.

“By investing in them and helping them to grow, we expect that to help us in return,” he says.

That strategy has been showing measurable results too, as became clear last week when D&H reported final results for its latest fiscal year, which concluded April 30. In a global IT market that contracted by two percent in 2015 when measured in U.S. dollars and that will grow just two percent this year, according to IDC, D&H recorded a 21 percent increase in sales to its resellers, including a 71 percent surge in cloud license revenue, a 48 percent spike in server product revenue, and a 32 percent uptick in desktop and monitor revenue.

“In a challenging market where those categories are in decline, D&H has been able to stem that tide by really differentiating ourselves, and more importantly helping our resellers differentiate themselves in the marketplace,” Schwab says. “The results, I think, speak for themselves.”

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