SCN Exclusive: Datapath Doubles Down on Service

Mark Bohs, Datapath
(Image credit: Future)

With new offices, a new demonstration suite, and more than 200% growth in U.S. support staff, Datapath has shown strong resilience to the industry pressures of recent years. In 2018, the company decided to bypass the trusted model of distribution sales to launch "Project Direct," which allowed it to identify opportunities and sell to customers directly across North and South America.

SCN Exclusive

(Image credit: Future)

Mark Bohs, director of sales (Americas), oversaw the change in approach, which now sees Datapath North America as the company’s most prolific division by unit sales. “We have more than doubled our staff and have gone from one technical support person to five, with more expected in the near future," he noted. “We have a dedicated training team as well as two pre-sales engineers and a full-time system builder.”

The growing team, which now covers the contiguous United States, coincides with an expanding portfolio of hardware and software-based video processing solutions. Datapath has also been recognized for its Aetria solution, which provides control of multi-source, multi-endpoint video from a single interface.

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With the ability to help design full systems from scratch, as well as the control, management, and monitoring of complex systems, Aetria can be a challenge to fully explain, even in virtual training sessions. Datapath North America’s new Pennsylvania offices now have one of the most comprehensive video management demonstration suites in the country. Built in conjunction with Planar, the facility boasts 12 dvLED video walls, which allow operators to test Aetria’s capabilities. Planar has also installed its own Datapath demo facility in its offices in Providence, RI, along with demo suites in South Florida and Washington, DC.

As well as its portfolio of hardware and software, Datapath's growth in the United States has also benefitted from the increased offering of commissioning and additional services. Bohs and his team were the first to initiate a full commissioning service to Datapath customers, allowing SIs and end users to utilize Datapath engineers before and after installation. This "by-your-side" service has been well received across the company's target markets, so much so that commissioning has now been successfully utilized across Datapath’s global divisions.

“The commissioning service has been a big hit in both North and South America," explained Bohs. "Most of our large projects require a degree of bespoke personalization with differing requirements for processing power, outputs, and the necessary capture and graphics cards. Selling services is now a big part of our offering, and now that we have the personnel, we are able to get more projects progressed and it continues to grow. We are always mindful of integrators’ needs, and we don’t want to encroach where their value-added sales are, but our service is there if required.”

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So, what of the future? “AV-over-IP is discussed in more opportunities,” Bohs observed. “We are seeing KVM-over-IP being requested as well, specifically in the control room and NOC environments that we are going after. In the digital signage space, direct-view LED is now taking over and being pushed a lot—but has not fully embraced AVoIP yet. In stark contrast, in sportsbooks and similar environments, AVoIP has been a game changer. Having any content anywhere in any size makes things a lot easier for these type of customers—and that is, essentially, what Datapath is about: making things easier for our customers and our customers’ customers.”

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