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D&H Expects ‘Two-Fold’ Growth In Digital Signage

The Harrisburg, Pa. distributor is expanding its ProAV unit, with a new director and new certified experts to help partners accelerate their display business, a market that experts say has grown by double-digits.

D&H Distributing wants to help partners break into the digital display market and is offering a portfolio of products and services to help solution providers make the leap, the company said.

The company expanded the ProAV business it launched last year by installing industry veteran Peter Hurley as director of its ProAV Business Unit, as well as offering partners a dedicated team of certified specialists with InfoComm CTS and other vendor certifications. The company promises there will be a ProAV focus at the D&H 2019 Technology Conference West Coast, and in an upcoming series of Road Show training events.

Not only is there margin opportunity for partners on the hardware, but Hurley said there is recurring revenue on the service side, and the market opportunity is only headed up in 2019, said Hurley.

“The growth opportunity here is significant,” he told CRN. “It’s going to be greater than two-fold. It is exploding. The numbers are billions.”

Market analysis from NDP Group shows the digital signage market grew 17.4 percent overall in 2018. That growth was propelled by retailers upgrading their customer experiences, and fast food restaurants upgrading interactive menu boards and drive-throughs, NDP Group said. However two categories stood out: collaboration displays, which grew 93-percent year over year -- as companies “are upgrading their campus infrastructure for the open office trend” -- and interactive white boards in the K-12 education market, which grew 65 percent.

One D&H partner who spoke with CRN said this line of business has huge potential for MSPs and resellers who are already working in areas such as transportation, health care, and hospitality.

“This is a great opportunity for guys who have customers in hotels and restaurants, really anywhere in hospitality, even transportation,” he said. “It’s an easy way for them to increase margins and their as-a-service numbers.”

Hurley said he believes growth in the display market is everywhere.

“There is not a vertical market that is not served by some display,” he said. “And how I came up with that is I went and looked at who our customers sold to. It is everywhere. It’s at a hotel. It’s in a lobby. It’s in a dentist’s office. It’s at a carnival. It’s at restaurants, sports bars. There isn’t a space where you’re not seeing or hearing something and that’s really the audio-video side of things.”

He said for solution providers who are not already building and installing digital signage, D&H is there to assist.

“We help take what could be perceived as a complex solution by educating the reseller on available hardware, installation while leveraging long established vendor relationships for deal registration and technology training,” he said. “Specifically D&H’s ProAV BU offers our current and prospective integrators and resellers years of experience in: design, solution and vendor selection, project registration w the vendors, project management and installation.”

Rival distributors IngramMicro also launched a digital signage program last year, with a focus on content creation and layout. Ingram described its Signage Valet to CRN as a “simple-to-use, fee-based online tool that enables easy creation, editing and managing of digital signage content.” 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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