D&H Launches “Education Community,” Delivering Expert Insights, Product Knowledge & Assistance with ECF Funding

D&H is bringing together education industry authorities and manufacturers to address evolving needs, including support for complex programs like the Emergency Connectivity Fund and E-rate.

D&H Distributing, a major provider of SMB, mid-market, and consumer technologies to the North American channel, announces it has launched a new partner engagement group, The D&H “Education Community.” A selection of nearly 60 solution providers with a major focus in the K-12 and higher education markets. D&H assembled these partners to address the increasingly complex needs and opportunities in the education vertical. The group will address the ongoing demands of learn-from-home and on-campus environments, providing resources, guidance, and insights to empower partners to rise to these opportunities.

The community meets quarterly with industry-leading experts from the education field, curated by D&H, to brainstorm on how to best serve this rapidly evolving marketplace—one of the hardest hit by 2020’s pandemic shut-downs. It will help these partners navigate complex government programs such as the new Emergency Connectivity Fund (“ECF”), approved March of 2021, in addition to the traditional E-rate Universal Service Fund. D&H is developing specific materials, training, and access to resources, helping partners through these processes. Such funding can deliver ample opportunities for channel partners to upgrade connectivity for their education end-users.

So far, D&H has presented the newly-formed Education Community with a webinar from John Harrington, CEO of the E-rate consulting firm Funds for Learning, entitled “2021 State of Education: Funding, Programs & Qualifications.” This session is now available on-demand or at dandh.com/education. Partners can access additional resources and funding updates on D&H’s education landing page. The distributor also arranged for an exclusive presentation in June from Microsoft and Lenovo for a group of D&H education VARs, which provided predictions on future needs and how partners can adjust their current business models in preparation, plus info on Microsoft’s latest education devices. The Education Community also met with a CTO from a large urban school district in Pittsburgh to discuss the changing parameters of the classroom.

“We’re positioning ourselves and our partners as thought leaders in this vertical, strategically incorporating the viewpoints of leaders in the field. This will empower us to better assess how classroom requirements are changing,” said D&H’s Vice President of VAR Sales Peter DiMarco. “This group will pose big-picture questions like ‘What will the landscape look like in three years?’ Or, ‘What will the next big technology for the classroom be?’ With the right resources and insights, we can forecast those crucial, impending needs.”

For instance, D&H was one of the earlier distributors to advocate Chromebooks for the K-12 classroom—now a staple for computer labs across the country. D&H has become the go-to distributor for these deployments, offering suites of devices, DaaS subscriptions, life-cycle management, and Chrome management software. The distributor wants to identify the next generation of innovation for this sector, whether that’s AI, multi-function electronic whiteboard displays, 3-D printing and scanning, high-performance WiFi to accommodate hybrid learning—or something not even launched yet. D&H is honored to help its partners drive advances in digital learning, helping to provide access to impactful curriculum to all students regardless of economic status.

Members of The Education Community receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on White Glove services including asset tagging, laser etching, and enrollment services. Members can also receive five hours of in-depth ProAV Solutions Design services with a CTS Design Engineer, for projects ranging from virtual classrooms to full-blown gaming arenas. Both offers extend through December 2021. Manufacturer-driven programs and incentives will be updated monthly and will run for varying timeframes.

Additional benefits include free helpdesk support from Funds for Learning through 2021, including E-rate application assistance. And D&H offers a menu of Professional Services for education environments including Wi-Fi pre-configuration, connectivity assessments, and deployment services. D&H provides ongoing training via its cutting-edge Solutions Lab, including the recent session “Microsoft Education: Empowering Students and Teachers Today for a World of Tomorrow,” on-demand at dandh.com/solutionslab; in addition to its Partner Services customizable marketing collateral.

Brainstorming Unique Strategies

D&H has been able to execute inventive action plans, such as the green shipping policies that education solution provider Twotrees Technology (Wichita, Kansas) provided for customers during their push to accommodate remote learning. When Twotrees purchased more than 2,000 Chromebooks for a large district, D&H was able to significantly consolidate packaging, minimizing waste, conserving materials, and alleviating the district’s requirement to dispose of literally thousands of laptop boxes.

“Green shipping is a simple service, but a much-needed one. Such a tremendous volume of Chromebooks, all packaged individually with cardboard and Styrofoam, can create the equivalent of a whole dumpster full of trash for districts to deal with—all while they’re trying to pivot to online learning,” noted Twotrees Manager Susie Smith. “Yet this is only a small part of what’s involved in getting so many devices into the hands of school districts. D&H has been a strong and reliable partner in providing the expertise, logistics, and hands-on offerings such as White Glove services that allow us to effectively migrate education users to these new connectivity environments.”

“We’re seeing commitment from manufacturers and partners on this initiative, in addition to positive responses from end-users in the field,” added DiMarco. “They’re deriving value from D&H’s Education Community, and are impressed with the support and innovative thought we’re applying to the challenges that educational institutions face right now. This is a moment of opportunity for the channel. It also addresses a dire need for our country’s K-12 and higher-ed student and faculty communities as they rebound from 2020. We’re proud to contribute to that effort.”

D&H solution providers who are interested in the Education Community can contact Rhonda Hebbard, rhebbard@dandh.com. Partners can visit www.dandh.com/education, or see the distributor’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, https://www.facebook.com/DandHDistributing/ and @dandh. Call 800-877-1200 to speak to an account representative.

About D&H Distributing 

D&H Distributing supports resellers and MSP partners in the corporate, small-to-midsize business, consumer, education, and government markets with endpoints and advanced technologies, as well as differentiated services. D&H is ready to fill new market needs created by the recent consolidation in the marketplace. As the company enters its 104th year, its vendors and partners can be confident in its ability to provide a wealth of enablement resources, multi-market expertise, credit options, and consultative services. D&H is agile in response to the needs of its VAR and MSP partners, demonstrating resilience through decades of industry mergers and market disruption, overcoming everything from wars and recessions to pandemics.

The company works to expand the competencies of its partners in areas such as cloud services, ProAV, collaboration, UCC, mobility, esports, digital displays, smart home automation, video surveillance, digital imaging, and server networks across a range of markets. Its value proposition includes highly lauded training opportunities and partner engagement events, dedicated Solutions Specialists, certifications, professional marketing resources, and an expanding digital Cloud Marketplace.

The distributor is headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, in the U.S. and Brampton, Ontario, in Canada with warehouses in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Fresno, CA; and Vancouver, BC, Canada. Call D&H at (800) 877-1200, visit www.dandh.com, or follow the distributor’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, https://www.facebook.com/DandHDistributing/ and @dandh.