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August 9, 2023
D&H Distributing has launched a technology solutions program and expanded its training and demo facility to drive the sale of pro AV, hybrid work and other solutions through its solution provider customers mainly serving small and medium businesses (SMB).
IT distributors typically focus on a pre-sales tech support model that mainly deals with inbound calls. While D&H won’t change that model, its engineers and technicians working on the new Technology Solution Program will focus on outbound calls to partners as a way of building up their technology offerings with more complete solutions based on guidance from the distributor’s sales teams and vendor partners.
D&H’s Jason Bystrak
“It’s a technician-to-technician, engineer-to-engineer discussion about how to build out practices and make sure they understand the resources, capabilities, service and certification requirements,” said Jason Bystrak, senior vice president of the distributor’s modern solutions business unit.
The solutions lab, which opened in D&H’s new headquarters right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, now showcases products and technologies from multiple vendors focused on the ProAV market. They include Black Box, Buffalo, CyberPower, Dell, HPE, HPI, Intel, LG, Logitech, Microsoft OEM, MSI Systems, NETGEAR, Samsung Electronics SSD, Sharp NEC, Ubiquiti and Zyxel.
Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.
Throughout the year, many of them will offer live and streamed training and demo sessions from the lab. Harman Professional Solutions, for example, recently held a three-hour training session on leveraging Microsoft Teams solutions for hybrid collaborations.
That session illustrated how the ProAV market is expanding from a traditional base to MSPs and others whose clients are asking them to expand Microsoft Teams and other cloud-based solutions they installed. Those technology solutions usually center around optimizing communications and collaboration in a cloud-based, digitized, hybrid work environment. The offerings can include higher-end video and audio products, as well as new AI features that increase productivity and improve the overall experience.
“Now we’re able to come in and help train them to build and install that solution,” Bystrak said. “They’re starting to sell the hardware from vendors like Neat and Logitech and Poly. What we’re seeing in the market is that the software platform is now defining the hardware that’s used, rather than the other way around.”
The training and lab programs, free to qualified partners, have three tiers:
Explore: D&H solution experts will provide recommendations for entry-level partners on how to build complicated ProAV and collaboration projects.
Empower: The distributor’s certified engineers and subject-matter experts will guide partners who do a certain level of business with D&H on installations. Partners can schedule time in the lab with D&H technicians to build large-scale infrastructure projects.
Enable: Sales engineers host product and technologies trainings. The technology solutions team will reach out to eligible customers with training opportunities each quarter. Some of those will be in conjunction with D&H’s THREAD technology events.
Many of those programs will pertain to MSPs, as well as VARs that are transitioning to managed services. The distributor’s AIM (assess, implement, manage) Solution Architecture program helps VARs with the transition. In the case of building out a conference room, for example, the AIM experts can recommend the best screens, speakers, conferencing tools and video/audio optimization software. They can then help VARs learn how to tie that into a cloud-based network.
“We spend a lot of time recruiting and enabling VARs to transform into the MSP model,” Bystrak said. “We consult with our partners by helping them build out the solution and recommending the services they need to make it happen. We can also lean in with our service capabilities that VARs can white-label. We’ll help them monetize that.”
Jeff O’Heir is a journalist and editor who has spent much of his career covering the business leaders, issues and trends that define the IT and consumer technology channels. His work in print, online and on stage has showcased, educated and connected small and large solution providers, MSPs, channel pros and vendors. During his career, Jeff has also covered engineering technologies and breakthroughs, crime, politics, food and the arts.
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