Ingram Micro boosted its digital signage offerings in a big way Wednesday with the addition of ten new product lines to its portfolio.
The Santa Ana, Calif., based distributor sought to stay ahead of the pack with the latest additions to its product offerings, said Keven Yue, senior marketing development executive.
“If we want to be best-in-class, we have to be dynamic too,” Yue said.
Videoconferencing is shaping up to be a lucrative market, Yue said, with analysts projecting 20 to 25 percent growth in North American sales through 2018.
Vertical opportunities abound for partners in healthcare, Yue said, following by retail, hospitality, corporate governance and education.
One of the new vendors is ZTE, the third-largest maker of videoconferencing products in the world. Yue said they’ve invested a significant amount for Ingram to spend on marketing digital signage products.
Other new vendors include Jelco, which offers displays between 40 and 55 inches, and Mediaplay, which resellers or end users in the health industry can use to preview multimedia.
Ingram Micro was also named the exclusive provider of media products for ProConnect by Buffalo Grove, Ill., based Sherlock Systems.
Sherlock’s signature product is the ProConnect five-head media player, which can feed up to five screens off a single media player, Yue said. The product offers 4K resolution and supports applications such as video walls and display walls in public venues and business environments.
“There’s a demand coming up for 4K displays,” said Sherlock President and CEO Dave Sallander.
Sherlock is also working on media players that can feed up to eight and 12 screens, Yue said.
A perk of digital signage products, Sallander said, is that most are sold exclusively through the channel.
“It’s not going to show up on Amazon,” he said. “It’s not going to have price erosion.”
Solution providers for digital signage, however, aren’t just traditional IT resellers. Sallander said media and content companies have also gotten into selling digital signage, though they often turn to channel businesses for technical expertise.
Digital signage also offers partners the chance for recurring revenue streams beyond the product itself, Sallander said. Those include installation, warranty support, maintenance and managed services to look after the IP address.
More clients of Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Baroan Technologies have been looking into digital signage with each passing day, said company founder and president Guy Baroan. He said businesses of all types are interested in digital signage for their lobbies, hallways and conference rooms.
“It’s a very powerful service,” Baroan said. “The more Ingram adds, the better they are.”
But margins can be limited, Baroan said, when firms are looking at items such as a consumer-grade television for a conference room. In that scenario, solution providers are competing against big box providers like Costco and Best Buy that offer both low base prices and free shipping on monitors larger than 50 inches.
Baroan encourages fellow partners to highlight the benefits of business-grade televisions, such as better durability for 24/7 use. He said deals involving multiple displays and installations of back-end contents can be very lucrative.
Other new digital signage vendors offered through Ingram Micro are Epiphan Systems, Kontfel, Mediplay, NanoTech Entertainment, Relamplt, Vidyo and VS Networks.
PUBLISHED AUG. 14, 2014