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D&H Distributing's New Program Gets Partners Into Digital Signs

The NPD Group Inc. said the market for commercial digital displays grew 27 percent in terms of unit shipments, while shipments of collaboration displays grew 200 percent in the first quarter

Digital signage is booming, according to an industry analyst, and distributors like D&H Distributing are helping channel partners get into the business with white-glove services that give end users displays for lobbies, checkouts, and conference rooms.

D&H Distributing announced Tuesday that it is expanding its Solutions & Services business to include Pro AV/digital signage space, incorporating solutions such as large format digital signage, collaboration and videoconferencing solutions, projectors, video walls, screens, audio solutions, media players, mounts, and accessories.

’The big opportunity for the SMB VAR community is to is help their end customers collaborate more intimately and effectively every day,’ Peter DiMarco, vice president of VAR sales at D&H Distributing told CRN. ’By leveraging open huddle spaces in the office, they are not restricted to hard wall conference rooms and can schedule informal discussions at a moment’s notice to share content, create new ideas, make decisions, and close business faster.’

According to Michael Diamond, director of industry analysis for B2B technology at NPD Group, the market for commercial digital displays grew 27 percent in terms of unit shipments, while shipments of collaboration displays grew 200 percent, in the first quarter 2018 versus the year ago quarter.

’The market will continue to be one of the fastest growth segments for the B2B channel since it is one of the key pillars for helping firms in retail and hospitality digitally transform themselves in pursuit of enhancing the customer experience,’ he said in a statement.

Using D&H, Todd Drunagel, owner of Winchester, Va.-based MSP Tech Team Solutions, has sold large-format digital signage systems to industrial manufacturing companies and multi-screen smaller format signage systems in the hospitality market. He said signage is a great way for channel partners to showcase their talents to a business with a relatively low up-front cost.

’Just be creative,’ Drunagel said. ’If someone is looking to get into this find or think of a way for it to fit into any market segment. We’ve done it in medical, manufacturing, hospitality …. You can find a reason and a way to use this anywhere. Any waiting room, or anything. It’s up to the content. There’s dozens of apps that you can utilize to feed the content. So find the content feeder, relative to that customer or industry and boom, you’ve got a solution.’

D&H has invested in a team of Digital Signage and Collaboration Specialists who can support VARs in the complex task of managing ongoing content, creating opportunities for managed services revenues, D&H said. Having worked with them Drunagel said D&H has been extremely helpful to have as a partner.

’They’ve been great,’ he said. ’I was very happy with the service and product knowledge that they had before we got into this, but going into this, not knowing that much about this industry, they’ve just been right there, almost as a teammate with us, to provide us with the product information, product knowledge: ’Here’s what you need. Here’s how you use it.’ They get us to the point, where we’re self-sufficient. They help us to educate ourselves.’

D&H is not the only distributor to jump into the digital signage game. Last week, rival Ingram Micro announced a similar white-glove service for its partners. Signage Valet is a simple-to-use, fee-based, online tool that enables easy creation, editing and managing of digital signage content, Ingram said. Additionally, Ingram is offering qualified channel partners a variety of pre- and post-build design services at no cost. These services can be used to create video walls, menu boards, kiosks, stadiums, sound and video, and more.

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