Ingram Micro Gives VARs High Sign

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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The distributor creates a new division for digital signage solutions.

Looking to capture more of a fast-growing market for channel partners, Ingram Micro has launched a new division devoted to digital signage solutions.

The division will focus on selling digital signs, both LCD and plasma-based, as well as the products that work behind the scenes to enable digital signage.

"The channel as a whole is seeing high double-digit growth in this market," said Kevin Prewett, vice president of vendor management for the IT distribution giant and leader of the new division. "We are right in line with that and tracking higher than the overall channel."

Providers who have focused on selling just displays rather than entire solutions have seen their growth taper off recently as average selling prices for such systems have dropped, Prewett said. Those selling full solutions—including cables, brackets and mounts, power supplies, media players, content, and a PC or network connection—have continued to see big growth, he added. Ingram Micro's new division will offer all of those components from various vendors that make up a total digital signage solution.

Read about Ingram Micro rival Tech Data's digital signage efforts here.

The new division currently employs about 10 people, including some for a technical support desk and some business development managers who are field deployable, plus some marketing specialists, Prewett said.

"We have plans to add more as the business grows next year," he said.

Digital signage is seeing particularly strong growth in verticals such as doctors' offices and hospitals, college campuses, and houses of worship, according to Prewett. The distributor identifies a new vertical opportunity for digital signage about once a month.

VARs who are particularly well-suited for a digital signage specialty include those who specialize in networking, according to Prewett. In addition, Ingram Micro will target audio/video professionals as potential partners.

"Creating a new division for this creates focus and gives us more freedom to operate out of the box," Prewett said. "But it also creates accountability."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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