What’s Going to Happen to ScreenRed?

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

ScreenRed was number 6 in our “Our Top 10 Digital Signage Vendors” list.

Outside of retail banking though, has anyone heard of any other big installs? For sure, our friends over in Northern Ireland, On Screen Solutions have adopted it (alongside Panasonic NMstage) within their network and have, we understand, been incredibly happy with it and their is some form of distribution / partnership deal with VJive Networks in India – but we don’t believe that has led to any sales as yet.

We said glowingly at the time of writing our Top 10…

ScreenRed is the software offering, announced at ScreenExpo 2007, by John Ryan International. Previously only used by John Ryan (themselves) and only then it seems for retail banking, the launch of ScreenRed was their attempt to give their software (deservedly) a wider appeal.

ScreenRed was one of the first web only interface CMS offerings and is still probably one of the best out there but unfortunately the players run on Windows based PCs (which you know we don’t like). ScreenRed has failed though in its attempts to win any big business in its first year of operation. Their business development strategy has been flawed – especially in its attempts to get the right sort of channel partners on board. Their first year of operation if you like, could have been so much better. It’s a shame because even with Windows as a platform ScreenRed is one of the easiest to use and best performing signage solutions out there.

We understand now that John Ryan are trying to change the way that their ScreenRed product is priced and distributed. It seems that they will now be focusing their attention on a more “fully featured package” that larger systems integrators can bundle in with their own offers.

We never thought that their strategy to (also) pursue small and medium sized resellers was particularly a good idea. There has been some form of major distribution deal in the wings for almost 6 months now but still, nothing has been officially announced.

We would expect that deal to be with a large systems integrator – someone like an SCC perhaps.

We have been told that there is speculation on the part of current employees that John Ryan may be in the early stages of unwinding its presence in the European market completely – outside of a salesperson or two, and maybe the technology development team – a number of folks left them just before Christmas as reported previously.

We must stress that this has been strenuously denied by their VP Europe but if John Ryan didn’t intend to maintain much of a presence in Europe then it would explain a number of things – including a low key presence at Screen Expo for example.

Whatever happens with John Ryan / ScreenRed in Europe, they need to talk to the industry and explain what they are doing – not doing so, just fuels more speculation.

Finally we would say that ScreenRed the product is too good a product not to be used somewhere – maybe one of the options open to them is to spin that part of the business off or more likely to sell the product and the business that goes with it to someone – now there’s a thought!

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