Digital signage is a growing opportunity for channel partners looking for additional revenue streams from a technology subset increasingly popular with retail customers. The difficulty: The nuances of selecting, selling and servicing the myriad digital signage solutions is not always intuitive to the average IT reseller.
To bridge that gap and open doors for VARs, distributor Ingram Micro Inc. today announced the availability of a new Digital Signage Certified Expert (DSCE) training and certification program designed for its North America channel partners. The curriculum is being offered through Ingram Micro’s ProAV/Digital Signage business unit with one-day, in-person training and testing administered by Brawn Consulting, according to Ingram Micro officials.
Topics include prospecting and identifying appropriate digital signage solutions; measuring and demonstrating ROI and business value of digital signage; mastering the fundamentals of digital signage system designs; and marketing, selling and pricing digital signage offerings.
“The service potential surrounding ProAV and digital signage solutions is explosive for partners willing to step up their game and learn more about what the market needs and how best to service it,” said Kevin Prewett, senior director for Ingram Micro’s Pro AV/Digital Signage. “Ingram Micro is the first certified technology distributor trained and approved to teach this course and that gives our channel partners a distinct advantage when it comes to marketing, selling and supporting ProAV and digital signage.
The new offering comes as the market for digital signage shows particular promise in the channel. Industry tracker IHS iSuppli projects worldwide shipments of signage and professional displays topped 17.2 million last year, up from 15.4 million in 2011 and 13.5 million in 2010.
Overall digital signage shipments are expected to hit 26 million by 2016 as demand for digital signs expands in large public spaces to SMBs, fueled in part by the rapid decline in LCD panel prices. IHS iSuppli puts retail, hospitality, health care, government, corporate campuses and education as the fastest-growing markets. Solution providers, meanwhile, are also seeing digital signage and rich-media content traction in airports, schools, restaurants and houses of worship.
Efforts like Ingram Micro’s new training and certification programs are “comprehensive and extremely valuable for channel partners serious about digital signage and want to extend their portfolio and services to include these high-margin solutions,” said Jay McCutcheon, chief engineer at South Central AV in Nashville and an inaugural advisory board member to Ingram Micro’s ProAV/Digital Signage unit.
“It is detailed programs like these, along with the cross-over portfolio and partner enablement resources offered by Ingram Micro that set it apart and keep us loyal.”