Over simplification can create trouble.
But I’ll do it anyway.
It’s well-documented that demand for digital signage is explosive with markets beyond retail including corporate, higher education, health care, hospitality and more clamoring for displays and solutions.
Meanwhile, it’s obvious that AV integration firms are well-equipped to be digital signage solutions providers for their existing customers and beyond.
However, the AV integration industry hasn’t embraced digital signage as emphatically as it could have through training and certification to fully take advantage of the momentum.
“I don’t necessarily agree with that,” says Rich Ventura, the VP of business development and solutions for NEC Display Solutions of America that was recently named as Digital Signage Federation‘s 2017 chairman.
“Diversified has certainly embraced it. AVI-SPL has embraced it,” Ventura points out.
Still, Ventura acknowledges that most integration firms don’t take a very wide view when it comes to digital signage. Certainly they’re embracing corporate communication and providing customers across several markets with kiosks, for instance, but he says they’re just scratching the surface when it comes to digital signage opportunities.
One of Ventura’s top priorities—one that he hopes will be part of his legacy as DSF chairman—is to work toward righting that wrong. He’s focused on getting integrators more involved in DSF and effectively closing awareness gaps.
For instance, DSF offers digital signage certification with its Digital Signage Experts Group (DSEG) program, Digital Signage Certified Expert.
“How many integrators know that?” Ventura asks.
“How many are getting involved? How many end users know the importance of having a certified digital signage provider?”
A new integrator committee within DSF, Ventura hopes, will improve awareness of digital signage opportunities within the integration community.
The idea is to help integration firms take their digital signage businesses to the next level, but the benefits go both ways, Ventura says.
End users benefit as does the digital signage category when integration firms are involved. “I think without the integrators’ involvement the industry’s not hitting on full cylinders,” he says.
Venture describes a great-looking display with lackluster content creation.
“It’s not a good experience.”
The same logic applies to the great-looking display that lacks system integration. “Every piece has to work together,” he says, “and without the integrator you run the chance of it failing.”
Just the fact that the DSF chairman knows that is a big deal for the integration community.
NEC is firmly entrenched in the integration channel. Ventura assuming the DSF chairman role might just have a ripple effect on integrators that until now have only been dipping their toes in digital signage’s deep opportunities.
But I think I’m right.