Bruno Pupo joins @STRATACACHE

August 26th, 2016

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

There are a couple of clever people at Vertigo Displays and it would seem that STRATACACHE has just nabbed one of them, as we note it has named Bruno Pupo, as Vice President of Display Solutions, to the STRATACACHE team.

Bruno Pupo brings more than 25 years of experience in sales, marketing and engineering—working for industry leading companies such as NEC, LG Electronics and most recently, Vertigo Digital Displays. At STRATACACHE, Pupo will focus exclusively on business development within the Outdoor Menu Board sector which is a strategic focus for the company.

Chris Riegel, CEO of STRATACACHE told us “Bruno is seen as a subject matter expert in the area of display technology and has a strong record of delivering results working with leading companies and technologies specifically in the outdoor space,” said “By leveraging his extensive industry knowledge and his foundational engineering and sales experience, we are confident Bruno will identify and connect with customers to lead the rapid growth of the outdoor menu board segment.”

Bruno Pupo began his career leading a team of engineers on the first video and audio digital encryption platform initially used for satellite communications. Drawing on his vast R&D experience, Pupo realized his technical knowledge resonated well with clients in need of solving key business problems. In the early 90’s, he strengthened his business development skills and altered his career toward sales and marketing. He has since held several senior and executive level positions within the area of display technology, digital signage and other media distribution networks.

Eric Penot joins SiliconCore Technology

August 26th, 2016

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Former JCDecaux executive Eric Penot has joined SiliconCore Technology as Chief Operating Officer (COO).

In his role as COO, we are told that he will lead the sales, marketing and operations functions for SiliconCore worldwide, working closely with the research, development and manufacturing teams to create and bring to market the next generation of LED Displays.

Eric Li, CEO of SiliconCore told us “Eric Penot has an innate strategic understanding of SiliconCore’s key markets and products, and this will be a great asset in his role as COO. After leading the digital transformation of the JCDecaux group for 6 years, his move to join our innovative company reinforces our position as a leader in the direct-view LED industry.”

Eric Penot was Group Vice President Digital Media for JCDecaux from 2009 to 2015 and before that Chief Information Officer (CIO) of JCDecaux North America, Inc. for 11 years.

Kay Sargent To Speak at #2016CCE

August 25th, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

CorpComm Expo (CCE) announced this week that Kay Sargent, Senior Principal of Strategic Accounts and Workplace at HOK, a global design and engineering firm will present a seminar focused on environmental design at 10 a.m. on the first day of the Nov. 15-16, 2016 event at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

The presentation by Sargent, entitled, ‘Ideating the Modern Workplace and Campus Environment‘ will discuss a user-centric approach to designing huddle spaces, classroom/training rooms, meeting rooms, common spaces and auditoriums that focuses on the goal of each space and the technology necessary to help facilitate and support successful outcomes.

Attendees will also:

  • Understand architectural design considerations and trends.
  • Learn key factors driving space planning today.
  • Understand the role of furniture, technology and connectivity.

Kay Sargent said “Design should be used to enrich people’s lives and help organizations succeed,” Sargent said, “Exceptional design ideas and solutions are best achieved through the creative blending of human need, environmental stewardship, value creation and art, stemming from a collaborative process that encourages multidisciplinary professional teams to research alternatives, share knowledge and imagine new ways to solve the challenges of the built environment.”

For more information about CorpComm Expo 2016 or to register to attend this or any other educational session at the event click here.

CorpComm Expo 2016 (CCE), is co-located with EduComm Expo 2016 (ECE) and is scheduled for Nov. 15-16, 2016 with access to the Exhibit Hall both days at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Digital Signage as a University Class

August 25th, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

The Digital Signage Federation (DSF), the only independent not-for-profit trade organization serving the digital signage industry invites DSF members and non-members alike, to attend its Wednesday, September 21 ‘Hangout’ panel discussion at 2pm EDT, which will discuss ‘Digital Signage as a University Class‘.

Hangouts are 45-minute panel discussions using Google’s Hangout platform with a moderator.

Panelists for this hangout will include La Verne University Business School Class Advisors Stephen Monteros, VP Sales Operations, SIGMAnet and Garrett Curran, Team Associate – Public Sector, SIGMAnet along with a variery of La Verne students who participated in the class.

A diverse group of students with different majors were able to apply various strengths and disciplines to create a company called ‘LeoVision Digital Signage’ as part of a class project at La Verne University. The company continues to change and adapt to the needs of the university and externally. Through trial and error the class will continue to alter methods based upon what they believe is best for not just for LeoVision but the Business Consulting Program as a whole. 

Student participant and panelist Breanna Gallegos said “The Business Consulting program has provided a strong foundation for students to fully understand how a company functions. By working as a company we have taken one person’s idea and made it a reality. We are constantly learning, adapting and evolving with the industry. With assurance the most beneficial actions are taken for LeoVision Digital Signage. This program has opened many doors while introducing us to many wonderful experts who are willing to assist in our higher level of learning.”
Among other things, the panel will also discuss:

  • The evolution of the project and further development
  • The transitions in technology have occurred during the project lifecycle
  • The primary objectives of the LeoVision project
  • How the current class is building a foundation for future students to grow

More information on the September 21 Hangout event or other DSF events can be found on the DSF website here.

Both DSF members and non-members may join these, or any of the DSF’s scheduled Hangout conversations for free – but registration is required.

New @ScalaInc Board Announced, Incl.s’ Gerard Bucas

August 24th, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

It didn’t take STRATACACHE CEO Chris Riegel very long to announce a new Scala Inc. board after its acquisition last week and there is at least one familiar face on it.

Peter Cherna, Chief Product Officer of Scala Inc., a STRATACACHE company told us “We are excited about what the STRATACACHE acquisition and the new Board of Directors means for Scala. With the resources that STRATACACHE brings, and the business and industry experience of our new Board, Scala now has renewed energy to pursue and grow our market-defining product strategy, leading global brand, and broad partner channel. I’m personally looking forward to doing great things together.”

The board consists of: –

  • Gerard Bucas has served on Scala’s Board of Directors since 2001 and was the CEO of Scala from 2002 to 2011. Before joining Scala, Gerard was a technology lead at Commodore and Olivetti (Italy and California). Gerard’s entrepreneurial skills have made him adept at starting or turning around hardware and software technology companies and building them into successful global businesses with worldwide distribution channels. Gerard is a graduate of the University of South Africa with a B.A. in Economics, Business Administration, and Computer Science.
  • Cameron Waldie is the General Manager and President of Carmanah Signs, a division of STRATACACHE. Prior to joining Carmanah in 2005, Cameron held senior positions in operations management and business development in the chemical, engineering and environmental industries – and also co-founded a business-consulting firm. Cameron is a registered Professional Engineer and holds an M.B.A. from the Ivey School of Business.
  • Kevin Carbone is currently leading PRN, a STRATACACHE company, as CEO. In prior executive roles, he built strategic relationships with Visa, Sun, Gateway, AMD, General Dynamics, Apple and Cisco. Most recently, Kevin was Founder and CEO of 6Connex, a virtual collaboration software company. Kevin holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Kevin McGree is the CFO at STRATACACHE. Over the past four years, Kevin has helped steer multiple acquisitions that positioned STRATACACHE for exponential growth. Prior to his tenure at STRATACACHE, Kevin held chief accounting officer positions at several large manufacturers in the Dayton, OH, area. Kevin graduated with a B.A. in accounting from the University of Dayton, and is a designated CPA, CMA and CIA.

Chris Riegel, CEO of STRATACACHE, not surprisingly will serve as Chairman of the Board.

My Burberry, @StormDOOH Piccadilly Takeover

August 23rd, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

Earlier this week Burberry launched My Burberry Black – the new parfum for women, inspired by the black Heritage Trench Coat – with the brand’s first Snapchat Lens and a campaign starring British actress Lily James and saw her take over Piccadilly circus with ownership of Storm’s One Piccadilly and Coventry House screens

My Burberry black OP

The campaign was shot by photographer Mario Testino under the creative direction of Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Bailey, and features Lily James in her first global advertising campaign.

‘I Put a Spell on You’ performed by British singer-songwriter Duffy, is the soundtrack to the campaign.

As a first for the brand, customers could watch the campaign unfold as Lily James takes over Burberry’s Snapchat channel – the takeover culminated with the reveal of the TV campaign across multiple platforms globally including Clear Channel’s One Piccadilly and Coventry House screens in Piccadilly, London.

A number of innovations around this, included:

  • Snapchat – marking Burberry’s first branded Lens on Snapchat, a My Burberry Black Lens created to immerse users into the aesthetic of the campaign will run for 24 hours from 23 August. The Lens opens with an interactive scene of the Snapchatter under a Burberry umbrella, sheltered from a rainstorm. The Snapchatter is then prompted to ‘blow a kiss’, triggering a filter which adds a beautifying golden light to the images. The Lens is available in the US, UK, France, Italy and Germany.
  • In-store digital experience – in selected retailers, a multisensory experience triggered by interacting with a My Burberry bottle allows customers to discover the My Burberry scents and immerses them in the universe of My Burberry Eau de Parfum, My Burberry Eau de Toilette and My Burberry Black. Customers will also be able to create their own virtual monogrammed bottle.

The Fragrance was created by Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Bailey, working in collaboration with perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, My Burberry Black bottles the sensual elements of a black Burberry trench coat against bare skin.

The fragrance fuses the scent of sun-drenched jasmine flower and peach nectar with a touch of rose. The signature rose note at the heart of My Burberry is given a sweet and inviting candied twist, while rich amber patchouli rounds off the scent for a deep and captivating finish.

My Burberry Black is housed in a rich, amber-coloured glass bottle, whose overall design reflects the details of the black Burberry Heritage Trench Coat. A dark horn-finish cap echoes its distinctive buttons and the hand-tied black English-woven gabardine knot – made in Castleford, Yorkshire – honours the weatherproof fabric invented by Thomas Burberry over 100 years ago.

Customers are able to physically personalise their My Burberry Black bottle with up to three initials through a monogramming service available online and in selected Burberry and wholesale stores.

JWF Group Chooses @BroadSign

August 23rd, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

BroadSign International, LLC has been selected by Paraguay’s largest local digital out-of-home network, JWF Group, to power its network of displays.

Conversion to the BroadSign Core CMS will begin with nine digital billboards and will extend to indoor LED screens located in retail, restaurants, malls, airports and bus stations. The ad-based network runs campaigns for customers such as Coca-Cola, Samsung, Huawei, Land Rover and Volvo.

Enrique Aquino, IT Manager at JWF Group told us “JWF Group selected BroadSign’s digital signage platform upon a competitive comparison of providers. Of the platforms I tested, almost all did not fulfill my expectations due to lack of understanding of the advertising industry.

“Unlike other platforms, with BroadSign we can “say ‘no’ to playlists”, which helps reduce errors through automated management of complex content scheduling. Our customers are eager to play dynamic content based on triggers and conditions, and BroadSign has the ability and flexibility to enable this, along with category separation and detailed proof of performance reports.”

Skip Beloff, Senior Vice President at BroadSign said “JWF Group was the first ad-based digital signage network in Paraguay and BroadSign enjoys nothing more than collaborating with forward-thinking media owners across the world. We will work closely with them to help advance our medium in the country”.

About JWF Group

JWF Group is an advertising and communication business with the commitment to achieve total customer satisfaction by offering a competitive service based on unique needs. We understand advertising and communication as marketing tools and use them to help customers meet their sales goals and strengthen their brand image.

Bell and Howell Joins @DPAAorg

August 23rd, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

The Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA) announced last week that Bell and Howell, LLC, a company that delivers innovative service and technology solutions for customer communications and commerce fulfillment, has joined the rapidly growing association.

Barry Frey, president & CEO, DPAA told us “Bell and Howell is a trusted partner to thousands of organizations including some of the world’s largest finance, industry and public sector enterprises. With their new intelligent parcel terminals, Bell and Howell is entering the digital place-based media sector for the first time. They are a great addition to our industry, as well as to the membership ranks of DPAA.”

Bell and Howell recently introduced the PackRobot intelligent parcel terminals, which are publicly located smart, automated locker systems, with large, digital screens that can be leveraged as promotional vehicles. The intelligent parcel terminals will be deployed by retailers, ecommerce companies and universities as package delivery and pickup locations.

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Creative Realities Q2 Results

August 23rd, 2016

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Creative Realities, Inc. (OTCQB: CREX), a provider of digital signage and shopper marketing solutions announced its financial results for the three months ended June 30, 2016.

Revenues increased to $3.03 million or 12% for the three-month period ended June 30, 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. This represents an increase of 24% compared to the three-month period ended March 31, 2016.

Gross profit increased to $1.7 million or 157% for the three-month period ended June 30, 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. This represents an increase of 50% compared to the three-month period ended March 31, 2016.

Gross margin improved to 57% of revenue.

General and administrative expenses decreased to $1.47 million or 19% year-on-year, and decreased 14% sequentially.

Non-operating gains resulted in a cumulative gain of $1.16 million.

Approaching operating break-even and cumulative non-operating gains resulted in net income attributable to shareholders of $.42 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016.

Rick Mills, Chief Executive Officer, told us “We continue to make tremendous strides in expanding relationships with existing clients, acquiring new clients, operating efficiencies, and strengthening our balance sheet. This business transformation is ongoing and producing meaningful results. We also continue to engage in ongoing discussions with potential acquisition candidates that we believe can be effectively consolidated onto our public company platform, and contribute to our top and bottom lines. Our industry remains highly fragmented. We are uniquely positioned to be a consolidator to achieve greater scale, diversification and profitability.”

On August 17, 2016, Creative Realities entered into a $3.0 million term loan with Slipstream Communications LLC, their largest institutional shareholder and an affiliate of Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P.

The loan has an initial maturity of one year, carries an 8.0% interest rate and is secured by Creative Realities’ assets. The lender may make additional advances of up to an another $1.0 million, based on future operating performance. In consideration for entering into the loan agreement, Creative Realities also issued 5,882,352 warrants to purchase shares of common stock. Proceeds from the loan will be used to: satisfy obligations under their current financing agreement, improve working capital, and targeted growth initiatives as they continue to expand the business.

ZetaDisplay Acquires ProntoTV AS

August 22nd, 2016

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

ZetaDisplay has acquired ProntoTV AS in Norway for NOK 75 million, ProntoTV is claimed to be the largest supplier of Digital Signage in Norway.

The purchase price of NOK 75 million was made on a “debt-free basis” plus an earnings-based supplemental purchase price in a maximum amount of NOK 25 million which will be paid out at the beginning of 2018.

In 2015, ProntoTV had sales of approximately NOK 50.7 million with a positive EBITDA of NOK 11.6 million and operating earnings of NOK 8.6 million.

The acquisition is being financed through a private placement of units in the amount of SEK 50 million together with debt financing amounting to SEK 30 million, totalling approximately SEK 80 million – we note that ZetaDisplay is entitled to make payment of SEK 8 million of the purchase price in the form of ordinary shares in ZetaDisplay.

Leif Liljebrunn, CEO of ZetaDisplay told us “The acquisition of ProntoTV is in line with ZetaDisplay’s plan for growth which calls for strong growth with profitability. With ProntoTV’s strong position in digital communications in public spaces and the transportation sector, we are also broadening our range of products with new verticals which we will offer to customers on several markets in Europe. Through the acquisition, ZetaDisplay is creating a corporate group which continues its journey towards growth with the aim of becoming a profitable and leading supplier in Europe of Digital Signage”.

ZetaDisplay will also carry out a rights issue of units in the amount of SEK 10 million on the same terms and conditions as those applicable to the private placement.

Ola Sæverås, a partner at ProntoTV told us “For over 15 years, ProntoTV has been building up a strong position on the Norwegian market with a strong range of products offered to a broad customer base. It is in the best interests of both ProntoTV and our customers to consolidate two strong companies with a unique range of products in order to develop into an even stronger full-service supplier with an international presence. Together with ZetaDisplay, this will become reality and we will be able to offer complete solutions at the cutting edge of technology to our existing and new customers”.

ProntoTV is claimed to be Norway’s largest and leading supplier of Digital Signage with over 15 years of experience in the industry and some 20 employees. The company enjoys a strong position in retail trade and a leading position in digital communications in public spaces where the company has made extensive installations for Flytoget in Norway, among others. ProntoTV has a stable business with skilled staff and their technical solution is developed with a strong focus on stability and scalability.

Fredersen Advokatbyrå is the legal advisor to ZetaDisplay in conjunction with the acquisition.

Alpha Corporate Finance and Aabo-Evensen & Co Law Firm have assisted Pronto Holding AS.