D&H Unveils Hands-On And Virtual Solutions Lab: ‘Seeing Is Believing’
‘What this really solves is that in order to provide demonstrations, training and proofs of concept to win deals, somebody has to have all that equipment on hand to show how it can work,’ Jason Bystrak, senior vice president of the Modern Solutions Business unit at D&H, tells CRN.
D&H Distributing now offers a collaborative solutions lab at its Harrisburg, Pa.-location that partners can dial in to virtually and get help with demos, training and enhanced presales support.
The Technology Solutions Program helps the distributor’s MSP and vendor partners leverage a “state-of-the-art, dual-purpose training and demo facility” that includes live hands-on offerings and virtual opportunities.
“What this really solves is that in order to provide demonstrations, training and proofs of concept to win deals, somebody has to have all that equipment on hand to show how it can work,” Jason Bystrak, senior vice president of the Modern Solutions Business unit at D&H, told CRN. “Especially when you think about something as powerful as video collaboration, it really comes down to seeing is believing. This allows all that to happen, whether it’s us bringing channel partners in to do the training alongside the vendors or everybody meeting at our facility to use this as a proof of concept with an end user to win a deal,” he added.
The solutions lab includes a 24-foot-wide video wall with an eight-input-by-eight-output UHD signal matrix switcher. Cameras and microphones are also installed throughout the lab as events can be attended live or broadcast simultaneously to off-site locations. “We want the people that are virtual to be getting the same experience that the people [who are] local are getting,” Bystrak said. “The idea is that that hybrid experience is much more immersive. You need to make that experience as immersive as possible to be able to have them participate actively and collaborate.”
MSPs are getting more involved in video collaboration as more and more end customers, particularly SMBs, are figuring out their hybrid work strategies, he added.
When there are multiple presenters in the front of the room, the lab allows the cameras to follow a particular individual so there is a fully immersive microphone and speaker system within the room, said Jeff Hunt, D&H sales engineer manager.
“Plus, if you’re doing anything hands-on where you’re trying to really work from a technical perspective, it also gives us the ability to bring cameras down into what’s happening in the lab so that you can actually see at home and it’s not blurry,” Hunt told CRN.
Mark Menzella, vice president at Educate-me.net, a Fairfield, N.J.-based solution provider, gathers his sales staff together for training sessions every month virtually to use the solutions lab for ProAV and esports projects.
“What’s great about D&H is the amount of opportunities they provide for training. They don’t wait for when there’s an issue to offer support,” Menzella told CRN. “I don’t know of any other distributor that’s as proactive as D&H when it comes to delivering training programs. Between the Technology Solutions Program, the Partnerfi community content and their THREAD conferences, D&H is always looking to deliver opportunities. It’s a differentiator.”
The market opportunity is to build these hybrid work solutions because SMBs and midmarket customers are looking for them, according to Bystrak. D&H is also seeing MSPs build services around them, such as a help desk aspect.
“There’s a profit opportunity there,” he said. “There’s a ton of ways for MSPs to really extend their value, add more things to the network and drive more recurring revenue and services.”