Last but not least we would like to introduce you to our Sales Manager, Peter de Jong! Not only has he been with us for quite some time, he also experienced the reseller side when he worked for a few of our partners. Just like Daniel, who told us what’s it’s like to be an end-user, Peter can tell us all about NDS from a different perspective. With his experience, he will walk us through what it’s like to be a PADS4 partner and how the partner network has changed during all those years.
Q: When did you start at NDS, and what is your position?
I returned to NDS at the beginning of 2019, after a four-year break from NDS. At the moment, I work as a Sales Manager. This means that I’m responsible for a few countries and I help my colleagues with the support of their partners. Another important activity is to further expand our partner network with valuable partners, so we can better serve our end-users.
Q: You told us you used to work for a few of our partners, how did you experience this?
Before my first period of 4 years at NDS started, I had already been working with a partner for almost 5 years. Going from a partner to NDS was a big adjustment, especially since NDS works in an international market. Even though that was a big change, my experience in the digital signage industry really helped with the challenges I faced.
Q: How did you go from being our partner, to working at our office?
I guess you could say it just happened. When I worked at InfoScreens, one of the partners, I always loved the solutions that PADS4 offered. Since I enjoyed selling it so much, I was also to contribute to providing the right solutions, meeting the requirements of our customers. When there was an opportunity to start working at the brains behind the solution, I felt it was a chance I had to take.
Q: Did working as a reseller change the way you look at PADS4?
Partners have a different process, one that cannot be compared to the process of a sales manager at NDS. As a partner, you’re not specifically selling PADS4, you’re selling the solutions that PADS4 has to offer. Those solutions remain the same whether you’re looking at it as a partner or as an insider. However, as an insider you’re more focused on PADS4 as a whole. PADS4 is a very powerful platform with endless possibilities. Even now I still try to keep that in mind when I’m helping my partners sell our software.
Q: How did changes within the market effect the partner network?
Our partner network is constantly changing. Back in the days, our partners only consisted of traditional AV-integrators. Nowadays, partners are more focused on one specific market. This development means that knowledge about the specific markets is becoming more intense, but it also means that more and more companies enter specific markets. This change brings out a very particular benefit of PADS4: it’s ability to support all those different markets, big or small. Not only can it support all those markets, it can also grow with changing demands of end-users. There is no limit.
Q: How does NDS and PADS4 respond to these changes?
We have a very clear vision on our main markets, which are the corporate market, transportation, retail, and hospitality. We are constantly developing new functionalities within our platform and are making sure that our future and current partners know about these functionalities and how to sell them. With the clear vision on main markets, we can quickly respond to changes within these markets.
Q: What do you think working with a partner network will be like in the future?
For the future, I see a more diverse partner network. Not only will we still have the partners we have today, but there will also be partners that are focused on very specific markets. This will mean we will be working with partners that have very specific knowledge of their market.
Q: How do you think the digital signage industry will develop in the upcoming years?
Many see Artificial Intelligence (AI) powering digital signage as the next big trend. In essence it’s context-aware digital signage to display relevant content. A very simple example is content applicable to the weather outside: ads for sunglasses can automatically be shown when the sun is shining, or ads for umbrellas when it is raining. It’s funny, because powering such data and context driven content is something we already have implemented in PADS4 for many years, mainly with our data providers and rules. But yes, in the years to come AI will optimize automated digital content based on conclusions, patterns and reactions, coming from machine-learning. With AI-driven platforms combined with facial recognition technology content will be even more relevant and personalized, providing an actual personal experience to the audience. I’m not an AI expert, but I believe that it will be normal soon to analyze interactions with your digital signage in the same way as happening now in the current online world.
Q: And then for our final question, what do you think PADS4 will be like in the future?
I think the basics of what PADS4 is going to look like in the future started in 2019. The PADS4 Foundation was created, which is a fundament based on micro services. Micro services is the technique behind big platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. This technique makes it possible to remain focused and to quickly connect new tools and functionalities to our software PADS4.
Thank you Peter for this interesting perspective. With this interview, we wrap up our expert interviews. Curious about our other experts? You can find all of them here. We hope all of you enjoyed reading about PADS4 in these last few weeks, and learned a lot about us in the process.