Last week, I took a stab at seven predictions for the digital signage industry. Well, it seems that the prediction of new consulting practices entering the fray may already be coming true. In the wake of the blog post, I heard from an industry friend who gave me the scoop on plans he and two partners have to start up a consulting practice that blends the skills and backgrounds of the three principals. I don’t want to take all the wind out of their sails by naming names (hint: neither Athos, Porthos and Aramis nor Moe, Larry and Curly) or even revealing the name of the new firm, as they plan a public announcement on Monday.

What I can tell you without betraying confidence is that you will recognize and respect all three partners, and quickly see the value that they will be able to offer to potential clients. As a former career consultant, I can’t help but see the opportunity to build a significant practice across several competencies in our space. The need is there, big money is entering the fray, and the traditional IT and management consulting firms are pretty much clueless on our industry. These folks are going to be busy, and will likely engage others as they grow. Moving from a preponderance of single-shingle operators to the emergence of a real, scalable practice is a sure sign of legitimacy for our industry. My guess is that they will be able to establish a strong beach head before the usual suspects move in. Good luck to the entrepreneurs!

UPDATE: (9-14-09) The news is public now…. The Preset Group, comprised of partners Dave Haynes, Pat Hellberg and Paul Flanigan is open for business. Good luck, gentlemen!