The whole turnkey solution thing for digital signage has been around forever – sold by pure-play “solutions providers/integrators” – but also, more recently, by software companies looking to add more margin-based revenues and close deals by saying to clients that they’ll pull all the bits together.
Now we’re seeing other elements of the signage eco-system also introduce formal solutions offers – notably one of the big guys in AV mounting solutions. Chief announced last week, coinciding with DSE, that it now has a Technology Solutions Group in place to help end-users with digital signage rollouts “from start to finish.”
The group, says the Chief product announcement, “will provide a full service offering to manufacturers, content providers and their end users. From product phase recommendations, site surveys, pilot phase support and project management to product modifications and engineering assistance, the group works as a trusted partner and consultant to provide the support and expertise needed at each step of development. Additional capabilities include staging and kitting, site surveys and cost of ownership analysis.”
“Together,” says the announcement, “the team is equipped with everything it needs to be the source and subject matter expert for any digital signage project.”
“This focused group is backed by dedicated support teams across the entire Milestone organization. Customers will have access to all Milestone commercial product brand offerings, including Chief mounts & AV accessories as well as Da-lite Screens. In addition, marketing, engineering, customer care and technical support are available to assist throughout the projects.”
The group is being led by the sales directors for US and Canada (Frank Pisano and Dave Galos) and has three people focused on service solutions.
“I’m excited about the new group and our deeper focus on digital signage,” says Pisano. “It’s a growth category for all of us and one we need to focus on. Our extensive capabilities allow us to compete on any project from the simplest to the most complex.”
It’s an interesting move. Mounting systems are big parts of signage projects, but they’re functional components that don’t have the marketing sizzle of the displays, software or content. I can’t imagine a lot of end-user customers start their research and decision process with the mounts. But I do think there are all kinds of small to medium integrators who buy a lot of mount systems from Chief for conference and control rooms, and are stumped when their clients ask them to pull together digital signage jobs. If they can pull Chief in to navigate the minefield, that’s probably a happy moment.
I don’t think the other big mount guys – Peerless and Premier – do this sort of thing, at least officially. But just about selling done in signage is built around solution-based pitching and free consulting love.