“It’s all about reseller and distributor partners.”
Despite the challenging socio-economic conditions of the last few months, Signagelive has enjoyed incredible growth in both the UK and Ireland. Now, for 2022, the company is ready to take the next steps to build on this success, bolstering its growing EMEA team with the addition of new members, including Matt Talmage, Channel Manager for the UK and Ireland. We talk to Matt about his new role, and how he plans to help move the company forward.
What made you want to work for Signagelive?
The culture that came across in the interview process was definitely part of it – everyone is really friendly and welcoming. But also, the growth of digital signage in the UK has been massive. What’s gone on over the last couple of years has opened that up on a wider scale – opened up digital signage opportunities to people who maybe weren’t considering it – and that marries up with the growth plans that Signagelive has in place for this year, which is really exciting. This is a role that enables me to get my teeth stuck into something, and really be an integral part of the company’s drive for growth.
Do you have any experience in the digital signage sector?
I spent the last four and a half years in distribution, and the most recent two and a half years of these working for Maverick AV Solutions, the AV arm of Tech Data. I was the Business Development Manager, and looked after the signage and display business, which included interactive displays, projection, and large format displays. Part of my remit was also to take care of Signagelive.
Prior to this, in the wider Tech Data organisation, I was a Business Development Executive, looking after a couple of vendors – Eton, a provider of back-up power UPS, or uninterruptable power supply, and then Netgear, which produces networking hardware.
What does your role entail and what do you believe will be key to your success?
As the Channel Manager for the UK and Ireland, I’m responsible for reseller engagement. My job is to work with distributors to identify new resellers that we can introduce to Signagelive, not just for our benefit, but for our partners’ benefit too. For me, building a strong partner base will be fundamental to our success. It’s all about reseller and distributor partnerships. I want to work in partnership with both resellers and distributors to grow together, because ultimately then everyone is winning.
Knowing the industry and how it works is always an advantage. My background in distribution – the strong relationships that I built with vendors and partners over the last four or five years – will be useful. It’s important to have the knowledge share and to be able to reach out to contacts and see what they are finding – what they need, and generally what is happening in the industry. The AV sector is more of a community, which you really need to understand and be part of, if you want to make any progress.
What are the challenges and opportunities for 2022?
Moving forward, for 2022, I see more opportunities than challenges. The trend for remote working and meeting room solutions has led to more and more platform-led discussions. Instead of focusing on the hardware alone, businesses are increasingly understanding the importance of considering how the overall solution will work – that is, how the content will be managed. This change in dynamic is having a positive knock-on effect, driving awareness around the benefits offered by digital signage content solutions, as professionals spend more time and resource concentrating on what they want to achieve from a content perspective.
Signagelive is perfectly positioned to help, not only because it offers a versatile platform that is easy to use, but also, because it has the hardware partnerships necessary for businesses to create a seamless overall digital signage solution. It can, in effect, be that missing link for businesses in virtually any sector.
This year, I think enterprise-level opportunities will be huge for us, because of new Signagelive developments, such as Secure Dashboards. Meeting room solutions – a buzzword phrase in the industry for the last three years – will continue to drive business, offering more and more opportunities for the digital signage sector. But I also think that working closely with the traditional AV sector will still be important, as digital signage has become pivotal to so many more solutions.
What are your passions and interests?
I do love sport. I studied sports management at Bournemouth University and ended up working within the sports industry at Reading Football Club for a couple of years. I worked in the group Ticketing and Events team, so effectively worked with local schools, and local football clubs to help them buy discounted tickets to get more kids into football. We did things like half-time penalty shoot outs on pitch. You can imagine how amazing it was to see seven year olds get the chance to go on the pitch and score a goal.. It was great – I really enjoyed my time there.
I also love technology and the AV industry. The great thing about this industry is that it’s people-oriented and that completely fits in with my character. I love building relationships and working with people. The same faces always turn up!
After I graduated, I worked as an internal salesperson at Maverick for a year and a half, and I still have those relationships from 10 years ago. I think that’s what separates the AV industry from any other. It really is relationship-led and people want to help each other and have conversations and support where they can. That was definitely always the pull for me to get back into the AV sector.
Will customers have the opportunity to meet with you in person at any forthcoming trade shows?
I will be attending ISE in May. I’m really looking forward to it, as it’s a chance to meet with customers face-to-face. However, before then, I hope to have many conversations with customers around signage. I’m always more than happy to jump on a call or come and see them in person to get an understanding of their current offering, discuss where any potential opportunities lie and how Signagelive can support with that.
To learn more about Signagelive solutions and to discuss your digital signage requirements, please get in contact with us.