Partners Say D&H's Technology Muscle Is Key To Closing Deals

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D&H Distributing's partners say the company's technology solutions muscle combined with its ability to drive deep and long-lasting sales relationships is powering big sales growth with their SMB customers.

D&H is willing to make the necessary investments to help power solution provider businesses, including a rep for every single D&H customer along with free pre- and post-sales engineering support for complex solutions deals, partners say.

Three solution providers tell CRN how the distributor is helping them close deals with their SMB customers.

Dayton Cincinnati Technology Services

Dayton Cincinnati Technology Services, which specializes in K-12 education solutions, is winning big deals in the education market by teaming with D&H.

The Blue Ash, Ohio-based solution provider has partnered with D&H on an E-Rate project -- a $2 million school district deal that featured Hewlett Packard Enterprise Aruba products, said Rick Grinstead, a managing partner for Dayton Cincinnati Technology Services, which was founded in 2005 and has 28 employees."D&H consistently delivers for us and follows up," he said.

Grinstead, a longtime member of D&H's K-12 Advisory Board, credits D&H Vice President of VAR Sales Peter DiMarco with helping drive a stronger focus on solutions in the education market. "Peter has really helped take the D&H K-12 business to another level," he said.

Grinstead also praised D&H for providing partners with a forum to collaborate and share ideas on the education market.

"We have become closer to D&H as a result of the advisory board," he said. "They listen to us and they respond."

Among the keys to the solution provider's success in the education market is that it uses the products it sells to schools in its own business, including those from vendors HPE Aruba, Palo Alto Networks, ViewSonic, HP and Acer.

Dayton Cincinnati Technology Services also provides its own education software applications to school districts. Among the apps it has built for school districts are online enrollment, bus schedules, display controllers, and a container application called Onmedia Spot for streaming video, photos and PDFs.

The Onmedia Spot application -- which can be class-specific -- provides permissions for obtaining access to specific content. The application is now being used in about 30 school districts. "It's been a great product for us," said Grinstead.

D&H's ability to constantly look to the future during its 100- year history is a credit to the company and key to its continued success, said Grinstead. "I think it speaks to the fact that D&H can change as the technology changes," he said.

D&H's employee-owned business model also is a competitive advantage, said Grinstead, and has created a culture of strong, long-lasting relationships with partners. "It's easy to get to know D&H from the president down to the sales reps," he said. "They are very approachable and attentive."

Unlike some other distributors, D&H makes sure every solution provider has its own sales rep. "With some distributors you go into a pool of reps," said Grinstead. "We have a dedicated rep with D&H. They know us, and we know them. They know what we need."

-- Steven Burke

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