Oops @DelphiDisplay Marries Corpse Bride

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Delphi Display Systems Signs announced Thursday, we quote “(a) Long Term Exclusive License with Wireless Ronin Technologies” but we cannot help thinking that they (Delphi) don’t choose their partners particularly well.

corpse-bride-limited-edition-statue-825-pThis is only as ‘long term’ as Ronin manages to stay in business and although we have announced Ronin’s death prematurely many times before they are hardly a ‘partner’ of substance that you would want to be in a long term relationship with.

As the deal is ostensibly QSR related it brings us to the subject (broached before by us as part of our #DSTop10 research) of what vendors you would choose in each vertical.

Seriously Delphi, if you were to look at what vendors are doing QSR well (and who will still be in business by the end of the year), it would have to be; Real Digital Media, Scala, Signagelive, STRATACACHE etc. – I cannot think of any scenario where Ronin would be best in breed (Ronin losing Dairy Queen to STRATACACHE says more than enough surely).

Anyway, under the terms of the agreement, Delphi will integrate Ronin’s latest RoninCast® 4.0 software engine with its Insight™ drive thru platform for exclusive application in the QSR industry.

It continues “By integrating WRT’s core technology with its Insight Engage™ platform, Delphi will be able to offer a full range of products and services to help the QSR operator interactively engage their drive-thru and walk-in customers, accelerating top line sales while reducing operational expenses”

Delphi’s Insight platform consists of a suite of hardware and software products that provides the QSR operator with a fully-integrated solution for interior and exterior digital menu boards, drive-thru order confirmation, wireless communication systems and timing systems along with the software to remotely manage each of these functions and deliver key metrics in one package.

The deal is billed as exclusive so unless we are reading it wrong, it means that Ronin have ceded control of the QSR vertical market completely – how that affects previous agreements with Keyser Retail Solutions for example, we quote from a November 2011 announcement, “the joint marketing agreement allows the companies to leverage their proprietary processes and technologies to create custom in-store and drive-thru digital signage solutions for QSR marketers, from strategy through execution” or what recent ‘partner’ Samsung think of it is anyone’s guess.

Ken Neeld, President and CEO of Delphi Display Systems said “This agreement marks a major strategic shift for Delphi as we transition from an outdoor digital signage hardware provider to a world-class enterprise solutions company focused on delivering high-value and tightly-integrated hardware and software solutions to the QSR market”.

He continued “We evaluated many software technologies and selected WRT and its RoninCast software because of their robust capabilities, well-architected HTML5-powered platform, and their shared vision for providing a true omni-channel, customer-engagement experience for our end-customers”.

Seriously? Who advises these people? The technical due diligence here is far from world class – we can think of at least half a dozen providers with a better solution AND at a fraction of the cost.

4 Responses to “Oops @DelphiDisplay Marries Corpse Bride”

  1. Phil McCracken Says:

    Experience would indicate that they will start a pilot in 2Q that will last for four years, or as you properly suggest… until external factors intervene. This announcement is probably coming out of a pilot deal they have already closed together. Probably a 6-store taco chain in Wyoming. Wait for it.

  2. Hugh G. Overpayment Says:

    Not only did they contract with a company that is surely scrapping the bottom, but they also over-payed for their licensing fees. There should be doubt that this is the first steps of acquisition – no other explanation.

    “In consideration of such license, Delphi has agreed to pay us a one-time license fee of $750,000 within two business days of entry into the License Agreement for the first 7,500 installed nodes, which represents approximately 1,500 locations based on an assumption of five installed nodes per location. We also agreed to certain node license fees for additional nodes. Delphi has agreed to pay us monthly hosting and support service fees on installed nodes, including hosting and support service fees that increase each year over a five-year period and aggregate to a minimum of $1,282,500 over such period.”

  3. Anita Valium Says:

    Hugh: Why would they want to do a two step acquisition? Why would they target Ronin in the first place? Just unexplainable. One has to give Ronin execs credit. They can’t borrow another dime, can’t float another secondary, won’t make necessary cuts, and can’t close a significant deal. So they found the greater fool and sold the rights to a vertical market for enough guaranteed cash to pay their bloated salaries. Polite golf applause is in order. Cant imagine this ending well with Ronin ceding the sole vertical in which they had any traction to the king of hi-brite outdoor displays. Wondering if Ronin’s new partners at Samsung are happy with this? Doubtful, but that was all about the misleading press release and nothing more. Both parties got what they wanted in that deal. Just hard to imagine what Delphi wanted in this one.

  4. Hugh G. Overpayment Says:

    Anita: A remarkable feat by the execs indeed. One can only think this is the final shock to the heart before the inevitable flat line. 3 months? 6? Place your bets ladies and gentlemen.

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