Regular readers will know that every so often we like to remind folks we are a ‘blog’ – often in the true sense of the word and what better way than to simply report some gossip and hearsay and even do a who’s hot and who’s not in terms of digital signage software in Europe at the moment?
July saw us meet up with a couple of west coast US hardware folks who were over, testing the waters in the UK and together with them here’s what we heard and saw-with-our-own-eyes talking to a wide variety of VARs, system integrators and key influencers…
- There’s little love out there for Scala. We have talked privately to clients about the ‘Scala VAR revolt’ before but seriously no VAR we spoke to (other than making mention of what a great guy Damon Crowhurst was) had anything nice or good to say about them. This will surely come to a head soon unless something is done about it and we are quite sure that other software vendors will be ‘making hay while the sun shines’ and knocking on doors.
- ONELAN were one of two vendors that unprompted came up smelling somewhat of roses. ONELAN having retreated from the retail space at the same time as the very first Bob Clarke / Hughes Tesco stitch up are back and with a vengeance. We have to say that Hugh Coghill-Smith seems to have made a BIG difference since he came on board – something like 40% of ONELAN’s business is now overseas and people are talking about them outside their traditional educational sector. Cynics would say that with the recently announced UK government cutbacks they have no choice but to diversify out of education if owner David Dalzell wants to carry on buying a new Aston Martin every year but Hugh seems to have been well ahead of the game on this one.
- It’s probably no surprise that signagelive were the other vendor that was talked about positively. We often tout owner Jason Cremins as someone who knows how to punch above his weight. Rumour is that signagelive have several major upcoming announcements for wins in Retail, Corporate Communications and Hospitality due to be announced shortly and like ONELAN announced back in 2008, will also have a full localised version of their product ready by the end of 2010 with full multi-lingual support including of course foreign character sets. Add in Jason’s love for iPhone, Android, dynamic Media RSS etc. and seemingly you have something that resellers drool over.
- Perhaps the big surprise for us was CoolSign. We hear that JB&A (who signed a master reseller agreement with CoolSign back in May) are doing such a great job in the US that it’s allowing their management team to focus more on Europe. We heard from more than one VAR that CoolSign have got “a very refreshing approach to the market” – that will undoubtedly be the work of that ‘crazy’ man Lou then! CoolSign of course already have people on the ground covering Europe in the Netherlands and are signage solution of choice to our favourite digital signage agency Pixel Inspiration in the UK but it seems that they are making many people in Europe sit up and listen.
The UK, like all geographical markets, is over-crowded with digital signage software solutions. These are of course just a few but it’s interesting to us that just in general chit-chat these cropped up.
Either way it’s all useful data for #DSTop10 that we will start working on again in September.