Ottawa-based AV DataVisual will expand ViewSonic’s presence in the AV channel, and will focus on selling their interactive flat panels there.
While ViewSonic has a large channel in the IT solution provider space, their presence in the AV channel has been more limited historically. The company is looking to change that in Canada with a new two-pronged initiative. They have signed a distribution deal to cover the space with Ottawa-based DataVisual Marketing, a large AV distributor in the Canadian market, which will see DataVisual focus specifically on expanding the AV channel business for ViewSonic’s interactive flat panels. ViewSonic has also launched a new AV solutions program, and added AV specialist Stan Klebanoff as Business Development Manager Canada to run it.
Several factors have come together to make this a good time for ViewSonic to expand their efforts into the AV channel in Canada, said Deidre Deacon, General Manager for ViewSonic Canada. The increased convergence between the IT and AV channels in the display space has been a major factor, with growing demand for product like large format interactive flat panels.
“We have dabbled in the AV space in the past,” Deacon said. “However, traditionally, the AV business hasn’t been channel-friendly, and many of their manufacturers went direct. It didn’t fit our model where we sell only through the channel. But in the last year, the convergence has really taken off, and that has turned the relationship with AV into a co-existence model, whereas before it was adversarial. Now they play the way we play. As a result, we have seen a lot of traditional IT resellers like CDW become more involved on the AV side.”
This wouldn’t have meant much for ViewSonic if the company hadn’t stepped up its product portfolio for the AV space.
“Before, we didn’t have a strong enough product line to address the specifics of that market,” Deacon said. “It’s a different line, and you need product that is appropriate for it, and now we are able to deliver that. We now have a full line of product that works for AV. Without that product line, it wouldn’t have worked for us regardless of the trends in the industry. The video walls and the kiosks have them interested. It’s a good opportunity, and there are net-new visuals opportunities for us.”
Deacon said that DataVisual Marketing is the ideal distribution partner to drive ViewSonic’s presence in the AV channel in Canada.
“They run as a hybrid distributor and rep firm, in which they work like Ingram Micro, but also sell to Ingram Micro,” Deacon said. “They have both rep support and tech support. They also have more of a boutique focus rather than a commodity focus, and like to focus on partnering with one vendor in each particular category. They will be using us for interactive flat panels.”
ViewSonic is supporting the AV initiative itself through a a new, national AV Solutions Program.
“This is separate from our regular Finch Club channel program, and we rolled it out a month and a half ago,” Deacon said. “We have 15 AV reseller partners in it so far, and we will be expanding that each month, especially now that the DataVisual partnership has launched.
The new AV program delivers the typical benefits that partners expect from a Tier One channel program.
“It provides special pricing, marketing funds, and a dedicated rep,” Deacon said. “We have also brought Stan Klebanoff on board to manage the AV Solutions Program and our ProAV strategy for us.”
Both components of the AV strategy, the DataVisual distribution relationship and the new partner program, are now live.