The AV market has evolved significantly over the past five years. No longer are kiosks and other digital displays mere standalone devices with limited capabilities. Today, customers in hospitality, government, and other verticals want a digital display experience that includes full integration with other IT business applications as well as the cloud to provide useful data analytics and business intelligence.
Cultivating strategic partnerships is what enables Advanced Digital Solutions International Inc. (ADSII) to meet these business needs. “We regularly communicate with our vendors to get help with training and certifications,” says Norman Karamat, sales manager at ADSII. “For example, within the past six months we brought in Samsung AV engineers to assist our sales team and engineers with certification requirements. We’ve also been working very closely with Cisco to get our engineers CCNA [Cisco Certified Network Associate] and CCIE [Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert] certified.”
ADSII doesn’t only rely on vendors for internal training; it regularly uses vendor assistance for customer consultation. “We believe it’s important to keep our vendor partners up to speed on what our customers are looking for, so we look for opportunities to take them on customer visits to learn as well as to share their industry and product expertise,” says Karamat.
Some of ADSII’s partners, like Ingram Micro, even serve as an extension of the integrator’s business, at times assisting with on-site technical support for ADSII’s customers and helping to expedite RMAs (return merchandise authorization). (Learn more about how Ingram Micro helps ADSII with its customer service initiatives by reading my full interview with Karamat in Embracing The Burgeoning Digital Signage Market).
ADSII is also adamant about not having its internal sales team, technical support personnel, and field sales workers operate in silos. “On a regular basis our field technicians tag along with the sales team to meet with clients and discuss their project requirements,” says Karamat. “They take down notes, and the key takeaways are followed up by a solution proposal meeting with our technical sales engineer and the account team. The team presents possible design solutions to the client, plus any preliminary cost analysis for each option for the client to move forward. The solutions we provide are vendor agnostic, and we let each client decide which technology vendor is best for them and their environment.”
Note: ADSII’s 2014 sales growth rate was 20%, and it’s projecting 15% growth this year.