Yes, my assignment at Scala is done. Those who want to contact me after September 24, my email is email@example.com
I will be returning to consulting at this time (Scala was originally a consulting client before they asked me to come and help them implement some of my initial recommendations)
While times remain tough in the industry, I believe some good things have happened at Scala. The company has a much more balanced product portfolio now than it had three years ago, when it primarily relied on its relatively expensive highly featured product. Its core product platform has been strengthened with web services and several other key enhancements. But even more importantly it now also has scaled down offerings across a range of lower cost platforms, from self-service signage in SignChannel, to the streamlined interface and SaaS offering of QuickStart, to scaled down versions for differently powered appliances. So a range of appropriately featured and priced offerings for different needs across what I call the value-for-money corridor.
It also has a stronger management team in place than a few years back (as you reported, but I could add a few names) and an approved 5-year growth strategy, so less of a need for me to hang around now.
That said, the recession was not good news for digital signage or any vendor in this space, as the medium still is not a routine buy or marketing tool for many, and still requires a capital intensive purchase. All of this conspires to put up a threshold for many to get involved who technically could benefit a great deal from its ultimate promise: the ability to communicate a targeted message to a captive audience. The industry remains small, not just by looking at the numbers Frost & Sullivan estimated (and that was before the recession) but a simple metric of the readership of DailyDooh. If what I consider the most widely known and read blog in this space has about 5,000 subscribers – then there is a lot more room for growth, considering this industry’s longer term potential. The big break-out into the larger user community has yet to happen – and becoming mainstream will require us to continue making this technology significantly easier to buy and own and operate and access than how this is all done today.
In the meantime, good luck with the blog, and keep up the good work reporting the news!