What Cisco's Digital Signage Move Means to MSPs

When MSPmentor first wrote about revenue opportunities in digital signage, some managed service providers expressed skepticism. Frankly, we're feeling a little vindicated today -- based on Cisco Systems' digital signage initiative. Here's the scoop.

Cisco has launched a "qualification program" for media professionals looking to create content for digital signage. The Cisco Academy of Digital Signage will help participants master content creation, content management and content distribution. Early proponents of Cisco's digital signage efforts (see http://www.cisco.com/go/dms) include such North American partners as Spinitar, PlayNetwork, PresentationPro and X-Factor Communications. Globally, partners such as MediaZest, Incidium, Dagobert and BlueFox have signed up for the academy, according to a Cisco release. (Ed Note: MSPmentor links out to as many partner sites as possible, but in this case some URLs were not easily found.)

Digital signage has emerged as a lucrative opportunity for traditional VARs that install high-end displays as well as managed service providers that charge monthly fees to manage the content, software and hardware across digital signage neworks. OnForce, an eBay-type market place that connects VARs with IT projects, says digital signage and consumer display installations are among the most popular service requests on its network.

The digital signage market, however, may be a bit more mature than MSPmentor indicated on its Managed Services Hype Cycle chart. While opportunities in the market are abundant, Cisco's move to help train digital signage experts suggests that this industry is maturing quickly.

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