As promised on Saturday here are some of our notes in relation to the work we are doing in preparation for our ‘Top 10 Digital Signage Vendors 2010‘ list which will be published, as usual, in early 2010.
First let’s look at three folks who might just be in with a chance of gaining a Top 10 Spot…
- CoolSign, as we said last year, we are excited by the new management team BUT we need to hear of rollouts or there will be no chance of being in the list. You have a great VAR channel (Scala’s is probably the best but yours runs a close second we reckon) but they need to win business for you in Europe (not just the UK) and of course in the Middle East (and what are you going to do about China?)
- Omnivex. Making a lot of good noise with some clever rollouts. Marketing themselves very well and surely close to a top 10 spot BUT just how committed are they to the RoW – are they another AdFlow / EK3 that has a great team and a great product but never seriously leaves the shores of North America?
- X20 (now we know how to pronounce your name (X two O) and met you at InfoComm we know a lot more about you. Your name keeps coming up in conversation in the US but you are going to have to convince us that you have some business outside the US as well
By the end of the year our top 10 list will have shrunk. We firmly believe that there will be some consolidation – look for yourselves at the numbers 1, thru 10 and ask yourself which ones do you think might merge? We know for a fact that several have been close to that already 😉
Having said that then, in no particular order let’s quickly revisit those who were in the Top 10 in 2009 …
- If Scala keep innovating as they have done and winning chunks of new business (even if they drop their pants on price like with ECE flatmedia to win the business) they should get higher up the list. Bizarrely what we think Scala needs is more executive management (and we think their board wants that as well) – too much at the moment rests on the shoulders of current CEO Gerard Bucas
- signagelive are probably one of the noisiest players (in a nice way) in the market with a constant stream of twitter, blog posts and press releases. In the UK, especially in retail they are most certainly the vendor you would have to beat to win any new business. Having failed once before in the US they started again from scratch and seem to be winning some nice bits of business now. They have a done great job in Norway especially winning a hell of a lot of business there. Many folks think these guys are small in number but with 12 owners and employees they are actually bigger than 1 or 2 of the others in our list. They continue to punch well above their weight.
- STRATACACHE need to get back on their feet in Europe and have been promising a new head of Europe and a new office in Ireland for some time. Some BIG announcements coming from them at IBC in September (so BIG in fact that we will be flying over specially for the announcement whereas usually we would give IBC a wide berth). Many folks in the industry just don’t get the sheer size of their business. Number 2 last year – can they go higher?
- EnQii you made a start with announcing 10 wins but we know you have more that you are not allowed to talk about and what about China – we had high hopes for you really turning yourself truly into a global solutions provider. Your music software and partnerships there have been a start but are you really still a technology company at heart? With all that VC money you should be making bigger waves than you are at the moment
- BroadSign, now we are friends again we get your news and press releases. You seem (somehow) to have kept the Neo Media Group business, your sales folks in Europe are well respected and you seem to be hanging on in there. Despite all your troubles of the past your software is good and you have been our number 3 two years running. We are still looking for you to make more headway in Retail though
- TELentice. Oh dear, no one else in the top 10 wanted to buy you when you ran into trouble. Will you end up being Fujitsu in our list next year or even Fujitsu and not in our list next year? Maybe you will be Maler Corp? Your fate seems undecided but we don’t think you have legs to stay anywhere near our top ten in 2010. Sorry.
- C-nario. We probably know more about your technology than anyone else on our list as we have had your systems on long term test in our labs. You seem to have gone backwards in terms of marketing and sales – you just started to get the hand of it (building a brand) and then you drew your horns in and let it all whither away. Winning JCDecaux wasn’t as easy as you thought AND we have told you before, don’t let your CTO talk to potential customers, especially at trade shows. He just scares them.
- Wirespring. Another product we are intimate with thanks to Bill Gerba’s insight in shipping us the software and another one we have on long term test. More installs in Europe than people know about and well respected in the kiosk community to boot. Hey we even saw Bill take floor space a an exhibition this year (whatever next?). They have had a good first year in the list and will do well again next year.
- Ryarc Media Systems. Your tenure in our list may be short lived. You have gone quiet. How safe is your EYE business which we guess is what keeps you alive? What else have you been up to? Some of your VARs were doing rather well and now nothing, You were so strong in India but that market seems to have disappeared. A one hit wonder perhaps?
- Dynamax. You retreated from the US with a lot of dignity (others would have handled it poorly) but we can’t help feeling that it’s Titan and Clear Channel that are the only jewels now in your estate (but hey NICE ONES TO HAVE). It’s a tough world in the OOH marketplace which seems to be your forte and you are going to have to work hard to keep yourself relevant to these folks and get into the regions where they are growing. More marketing needed – you need to build a brand and you need better content to show off what your systems can do.