VAR uses digital signage to grow business

Here’s how one VAR turned to digital signage and hasn't looked back.

Eight years ago, Dave Sallander decided to get out of the IT enterprise VAR business. He hasn’t looked back.

Today, he has three companies. Sherlock Systems Inc., is an IT systems integration company, established in 1985. SherVision, a subsidiary of Sherlock Systems, that offers the SherVision Digital Signage Software, Software as a Service (SaaS) private label content management software. Most recently, Sallander launched Chicago Digital to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) with Web solutions, digital signage content and solutions and online marketing.

The lion’s share of  Sherlock Systems business is in custom media players, with the remaining 20% coming from controller devices for industrial applications. His core business is providing digital signage solutions.

“I was looking for another business opportunity and recognized that companies were using digital signage as an extension of business branding for sales and services. It was another way for companies to communicate,” Sallander said.

One business led to another. Sallander initially provided the custom hardware and then custom hardware and content management software when customers didn’t’ want to manage their own content in-house.

Finally, Sallander got into digital content creation when his customers needed help there.

Sallander’s diverse customer base includes corporations, dry cleaners, medical professionals, schools, movie theaters, gas stations and auto dealerships. His value-add is customization as well as white-label products for his reseller partners.

“The price of hardware, the media players and screens have come down, and SaaS software doesn’t require a big financial outlay,” Sallander said. “It pays to buy a custom solution so customers get exactly what they need.”

Check out how digital signage can bring new revenue for VARs.

Lynn Haber has extensive experience as a business and technology writer for magazines, journals and online media. She has written hundreds of articles on the channel, technology, communications, business management, employment and careers. Contact her at lthaber@comcast.net.

This was first published in June 2011

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