How to find and work with digital signage companies


Digital signage companies are growing at a rapid rate, bringing with them a vast range of solutions and services for almost any industry application. 

For anyone new to the world of digital signage, this can be daunting, making it a challenge just to understand what they offer and how to choose between them. Without much readily available and widespread information on how the industry works, many are left asking themselves how exactly do you buy and install digital signage and from whom?

First off, it’s important to be crystal clear on who sells what. While you can buy digital signage equipment online from retailers, if you’re unsure of what digital signage solution you need, and/or how to deal with the installation, then this isn’t likely to be a good option for you.

AV and IT resellers, VARs and systems integrators

In this instance, you’re much better off approaching resellers, value-added resellers (VARs), or audio visual systems integrators. As they don’t represent any specific hardware or software brand, they can offer impartial recommendations about what you need. 

When acting as purchasing agents for their clients, they’re also able to negotiate the best prices, thanks to the sheer volume of products they buy.

Resellers and VARs also receive many other discounts and special offers from distributors, as well as product manufacturers, which ensure they can offer customers exceptional value for money.


If you’re strictly just after some good advice and the purchase of digital signage equipment, then resellers can certainly help. Offering a wealth of specialist sector industry experience, they’re perfectly placed to help you find the right technologies, working closely with many brands, as well as distributors.

Value added resellers

Often referred to interchangeably as “integrators”, Value added resellers (VARs) offer additional services, literally adding value to the products they buy by customising them and integrating them with services. VARs can install, set up and manage your digital signage systems.

Audio visual systems integrators

Audio visual systems integrators similarly build solutions for you, combining hardware, software, networking and storage products. For a client commission, they can also sometimes resell products to customers as part of a systems integration project.


You’re likely to see many distributors online. However, while some do sell direct to end users, for the most part, they sell to resellers and VARs. This usually helps to improve the end user customer experience, as resellers and VARs have the time, experience and expertise to help customers find and build exactly the right custom-fit solution for their needs.

How to manage a digital signage project

Fundamentally, for any digital signage project, you’ll need screen/s, media players to deliver your content on-screen, and ideally, a content management system (CMS) to help design, schedule and distribute your campaigns.

While this may seem easy enough to manage, there are countless options for hardware and software, each working well for a different kind of application and solution, so it’s always worth taking your time to research them. You’ll also have to ensure that the products you select are compatible with one another. 

Often dubbed “solutions providers”, VARs can help guide you and immediately identify what overall digital signage systems would work best for you, and fit your budget, as well as which compatible products you would need to build them.

What to expect when working with VARs

1/ Assessment of your challenges and goals

When you work with value-added reseller businesses, they often ask for an exhaustive list of the technologies currently in place, what challenges you wish to resolve, and what you expect from your future install. 

They’ll trouble shoot your challenges and work out whether you can use some of the technologies and hardware in place, or whether it’s better to source new products for everything.

To ensure that you give your appointed VAR all the information they need, consider the following points when talking to your contact:

  • Be as specific and detailed as possible in your objectives, outlining what you want your network to do, the desired outcomes, and who your target audience is. 
  • Next, be clear about where your digital signage will be installed 
  • Be honest about the kind of budget you have in mind. Consider how far can this be stretched, if necessary.
  • Discuss the size of the network you’re planning. If you’re considering a multi-location network, then you might struggle to manage this in-house. You might need to outsource the management of the network, and/or invest in cost-effective technologies that can help to streamline the workload. 
  • Don’t forget to ask how you can future-proof your plans. Even if you’re not looking to make a big initial investment, make sure that your digital signage solution is scalable – that it can grow with your business.

2/ Location evaluation

VARs will also assess the environment/s in which you propose to install the network. Typically, they will take into consideration:

  • The size of the space and available layout for the technology
  • What kind of screen viewing angles are possible
  • How the lighting/acoustics of the space will impact any recommended solution
  • The availability of power and connectivity for any proposed equipment

3/ Review stage

The next step is the review process, where your assigned contact will sit down with you to go through the range of recommended options. At this stage, you’ll be able to assess the benefits and downsides of each option, and how closely they meet your pre-specified budget. 

With the help of the consultant, you can work out which functionalities are must-have, and which can be substituted or modified, either to ensure you keep within the limits of your budget, or to optimise the solution.

4/ Build stage

Once you have decided on a solution, the digital signage company you work with will begin the installation.

5/ Testing

After the installation is complete, your VAR will perform a series of tests to check that your newly installed digital signage works perfectly.

6/ Training

Don’t forget that, from your side, the project is only really getting started once the digital signage has been installed. In-house, your teams will need to understand how to make full use of the network before it launches. 

Reputable VARs will work with you, and with the manufacturers from which they purchased and/or licensed your products and services to offer training sessions.

7/ Ongoing support

Once your network is configured, your hardware is installed and your content is up and running, you may decide to opt for an ongoing support package. These typically include update training, assistance with hardware and installation and warranty services to simplify your digital signage management.