During the 2015 CI Summit, commercial market focused group USAV and residential market buying group ProSource announced a partnership in the new CI Edge, a group designed to support firms with small-to-moderate commercial businesses.
Today CI Edge announced it is officially accepting membership applications. The group plans to introduce its concept to potential members, a concept that was actually conceived at the 2014 CE Pro and CI Summit one year earlier.
“We started talking with ProSource and it quickly became apparent that there is an underserved segment of small to mid-sized commercial integrators in today’s technology integration market,” says USAV CEO and CI Edge Founder K.C. Schwarz. “We have spent the last year developing a buying group concept that specifically supports integrators with under $10 million in annual revenue, and we are very excited that today we officially launch CI Edge and start building a team of integrators.”
The brainchild of these two influential organizations will be a collaborative effort to provide members direct access to buying programs with top technology suppliers, giving them an “edge” in the market. Members will also be part of an extensive network of integrators where they can collaborate, make connections and share resources, according to a CI Edge announcement.
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Today, CI Edge offers programs with nearly 20 manufactures and distributors also referred to as CI Edge Preferred Partners. These Partners include: Barco, Chief, Da-Lite, Draper, FSR, Hitachi, Herman ProAV and Herman Integration Services, InFocus, Kramer Electronics, Liberty AV Solutions, Media Vision, Middle Atlantic, NEC, ScanSource, Sharp, Shure, Stampede, and SurgeX.
“We have a line up of Preferred Partners that are leaders in the industry. I could not imagine a better group of companies to work with. I am confident CI Edge will have a smooth start with these partners,” said USAV CFO and CI Edge Founder Chris Whitley. “I also look forward to expanding our set of programs, providing more value to CI Edge members.”
CI Edge members will have access to a unique collection of benefits that equip them with an edge in the technology integration marketplace. Benefits include:
- Receiving national account pricing with CI Edge Preferred Partners.
- Direct volume rebates earned through purchases with CI Edge Preferred Partners.
- Getting elevated backend support with CI Edge Preferred Partners.
- Participating in events with other CI Edge Integrators focused on collaboration, education, and best practices.
- Increasing business footprint by networking with a national group of commercial integrators.
CI Edge will operate as its own entity separately from both USAV and ProSource.