NCR have always seemed desperate to be (properly) in the Digital SIgnage marketplace which makes Monday’s acquisition of Netkey, Inc all the more strange; plus we don’t quite understand why NCR purchased the ‘assets’ of Netkey and not ‘Netkey the company’ itself (but that’s probably another story for later in the week).
As the vast majority of Netkey’s business was kiosk related (by our reckoning something like 80%) and NOT digital signage and add into this equation the ongoing internal war (that has been brewing for 12 months or so) as to whether NCR should be doing their own DIgital Signage or just reselling Cisco kit then it makes a strange acquisition indeed. Cisco of course will also now lose out.
NCR themselves should be strong as hell in our industry, they have all the right capabilities, but their execution (like many large corporates) is impossibly bad.
Netkey. Inc had been shopping themselves around since late last year and the asking price back then was USD 7 million. We think at the time they would have taken USD 2 – 3 Million and that is the likely sum of this particular deal, though no financials were released in the official press release.
NCR may think they have just made an investment that gets them into the Digital Signage market whereas we think they may have in fact just bought themselves out of it!