VANCOUVER – LG Electronics Canada has announced its Concierge Advantage program for its commercial division products at its Hospitality & Digital Signage show, aiming to take the complexity out of selling digital signage solutions for the channel.
The new program features a mix of digital signage solutions such as LG’s Pro Centric display line along with hardware service and support through CoxCom Inc., financing options from GE Capital Vendor Financing Group and marketing initiatives.
LG’s Concierge Advantage program is uniquely Canadian, said Shawn Snobelen, director of sales for LG Canada.
The market place and the IT channel is finally ready for digital signage, he said. Many solution providers currently are unable to do nationwide installations or service large format displays since the majority are bound by their local markets. Digital signage has been a market that has been growing rapidly for many years for professional audio visual dealers and some IT solution providers.
“Resellers need this level of support and we’re reaching critical mass. Projects are getting larger. Five years ago we saw 20 unit installs on average. Today, it’s not uncommon to see 2,000 unit installs. We need to provide the resources to meet this kind of demand,” Snobelen said.
The on-site service portion of the Concierge Advantage program will offer solution providers next day service on all LG LCD flat panel displays, while the installation segment provides cross Canada deployments with on-site evaluation and 72 hour quote turnaround.
Mike Abbott, president of Adflow Networks, said the service piece will give solution providers a lot of help. “If you don’t have to roll out the truck with two guys just to take a screen off a wall it’ll l be a huge cost saving. The next day pick up service is great. They’ll pick it up at the front door. When customers ask us to pick up screens it’s a non-starter for us because of the costs and liability issues,” Abbott said.
Abbott added that Concierge Advantage will give his company reach in the market place, especially with IT solution providers. Abbott said that IT solution providers can now start to offer digital signage solutions to existing customers and share margins with Adflow in the 50 to 60 per cent range.
Adflow is transitioning its business into a software and content management company. IT solution providers, according to Abbott, are a fit for his business because they offer many pieces of the solution including the most important for digital signage — networking. “This market is maturing slowly and with broad adoption you will need to partner with the IT channel because they do installation, break fix, training, sell hardware. We can do that too, but we really want to add and update the software,” he said.
One IT solution provider and distributor at the show in Vancouver was Pro Data of Winnipeg.
Cam Janzen, the president of Pro-Data, said from the computer side he sees the Concierge Advantage program as a way for IT resellers to finally engage with the audio-visual partner community. “AV people know a little bit about computers, but not much after that. IT people can adapt quicker and make inroads in this market,” he said.
The stumbling block in the past for IT resellers was that they couldn’t put the whole digital signage solution together. With LG now offering installation, service, software and leasing it puts all those pieces of the puzzle together. “They hit a home run with this program,” Janzen said.
LG also released SuperSign, a software application for about 200 screens in a closed public network that can create, organize and schedule published content along with a new network monitoring product called SmartVine.