*“Tonight let’s raise a glass my friend to those who couldn’t make it, a century has shut it’s eyes and who are we to wake it?” – replace century with a year and swoon a little (there’s a very clever piece of pop trivia in their somewhere and in the title for the initiated) and you have, what will be published next Tuesday, our third Top 10 Digital Signage Vendors List.
I think readers know that we put a lot of effort into the list – we certainly don’t take the creation of the list lightly and this year (2009) more than ever have put most of the software solutions in this list through their paces, used them in many cases in real life situations and spent countless hours with their techies and folks in the factory.
Today’s post covers two areas. First those that did NOT make the top ten but were in it last year (and explains why) and secondly those that were considered (were very close in some cases) but didn’t make it BUT doesn’t explain why (just yet) as we will leave that to another post in the weeks ahead.
- TELentice ceased to be a business earlier this year (hell they don’t even have a web site) when the company (called TELentice) which owned the Intellectual Property rights and licensing went into administration. The IP reverted to a banker owed money by the business and the company (well there was never a company after the ‘administration’ – just the source code, IP and rights) was put up for sale.
We believe that in the last week or so the business has been sold (back) to Fujitsu (the original owners strangely enough) although there has been no official confirmation of this.
We cannot however in our right mind recommend any software solution that is not a going concern and whilst there seem to be some OOH folks in Scandinavia who seem to have chosen TELentice recently for some new projects coming up – how the hell you can get a software product from a company that does not exist through any normal due diligence is beyond us – it’s obviously not for us to recommend a solution from someone that is not a proper business.
Whilst we think that TELentice has in the past been one of the best products for traditional OOH folks running digital screen networks, any casual glance at their solution at the moment shows that little or no investment in the software has been made in the last 12 – 18 months. The product is clearly showing its age and is now missing a couple of key offerings that others have. Basically other vendors have pretty much caught up with what it had early on.
- The Australian folks Ryarc Media Systems looked to be flying at one point – they seemed to have the OOH world at their fingertips. Well liked by EYE Corp who were happy to be a reference site – with only a little bit of marketing, a little bit of effort and these fellas could have stolen a march on others wanting to get big digital billboard business. Alas we think that a base in Australia, 1,000’s miles away did not help them win business in Europe and the US and a lack of establishing a brand and being able to differentiate what they had means that they went backwards in 2009 rather than forwards.
Well that’s it for the two folks who fell off our top ten list (makes way for two new entrants of course – one of whom we have already identified as Omnivex) but what about those who were ‘close but no cigar’**
The following were all seriously considered for inclusion. Sometimes the lack of traction (yet) overseas, a new entrant with new staff, poor initial marketing efforts all got in their way in various guises and we will go into this subset of our #DSTop10 in the weeks after Las Vegas…
Highly commended (and very, very close) were: –
- YCD Multimedia
Close also were…
- Harris Broadcasting
- NCR NetKey
Remember that being global is one of our major criteria so seriously good products that never see outside North America like NEOCAST from Real Digital Media, Nanonation and Four Winds Interactive are not even considered for inclusion in our Top Ten.
#DSTop10 posts are kindly sponsored by Magenta Research
*Paddy McAloon, Prefab Sprout, August 1990
**close but no cigar – now for the real music aficionado there is a link between this and Prefab Sprout