Industry News

KorbytGO: Mobile Hub for Enterprise Communications

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KORBYTGO

Today’s employee consumes information in so many different ways (text, video, voice, data) in so many different formats (mobile more than desktop) and on so many different devices (tablets, smartphones, desktops, Chromebox etc). 

In response, RMG Networks created KorbytGO, a mobile employee engagement app that takes a new approach to internal communications. 

Designed as a single hub through which all necessary employee communications can run (from news and updates to training, performance management, resourcing and social updates) and in video as much as text (to match current trends). 

Based upon RMG Networks own experience dealing with their Fortune 500 clients, KorbytGO is a one-stop solution to unify staff communications across all the various departments of an enterprise (any business of any size) through any preferred device.

KorbytGO can be customized by the client, giving integrators a great way to add value to internal communications.

KorbytGO is the mobile and desktop extension of Korbyt, RMG’s next-generation visual enterprise communications platform. So the mobile app is backed by Korbyt’s rich data and analytics capabilities  that let organisations track and visualise employee engagement and performance. In real-time, it can pull info from various data sources and present it in a visual format for easy understanding—and to highlight action items. 

“… Our goal is to deliver businesses with the means to truly engage with their employees from one powerful platform and create communications strategies that genuinely add value to an employee’s workplace experience. Whether that’s with tailored content that helps them meet a goal, a company acknowledgement of outstanding work or peer to peer social fun. KorbytGO is a valuable communications tool that is able to speak to an employee on an individual basis whilst also galvanise a workforce and create a sense of unity — we’re excited to see the impact it will have on our customers’ businesses,” comments Martyn Barnett, managing director of RMG in Eurasia.

Key features of KorbytGO:

  • Delivers segmented and personalised messaging 
  • Ability to customise and deliver company branded versions   
  • Ability to use any form of multi-media content 
  • Built-in measurability offering detailed engagement information 
  • User-friendly CMS delivering impressive results 
  • Highly transferable content sharing to multiple varied end points  
  • Contemporary and appealing news and content feeds 

Go KorbytGO

Acer & AOpen: Why Acer Buys into Digital Signage

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AOpen logo

Author Thomas Wolfe was wrong: you can go home again…

Who remembers when AOpen was the Open System Business Unit of Acer Computer?

AOpen was incorporated in December 1996 as a subsidiary of Acer Group with an initial public offering (IPO) at the Taiwan stock exchange in August 2002. 

It was also the first subsidiary spun out of Acer under the supervision of Stan Shih, Taiwan's famous PC entrepreneur and founder of the Acer Group (and perhaps the most important man in the history of Taiwan's desire to build its own consumer brands.)

In 1998, Acer re-organised into five groups: AOpen grew from one of those groups.

To dispel complaints from clients that Acer competed with its own products (branded sales vs. contract manufacturing or OEM businesses) in 2000, Acer spun off the contract business, under the name Wistron Corporation. AOpen went with Wistron as a subsidiary.

The restructuring resulted in two primary Acer units: brand name sales and contract manufacturing. Then in 2001 Acer got rid of its manufacturing units, BenQ and Wistron to focus resources on design and sales.

Yes, I just mentioned the history and origin of BenQ. Another part of Stan Shih’s big legacy.

Today, in this new deal of 2017, AOpen and Acer announce a private placement of shares. With this private placement, Acer became the largest corporate shareholder in AOpen followed by Wistron Corporation.

From history, you can see that Wistron was Acer's "brother" (the manufacturing arm of Acer before being spun off in 2001) and that makes Wistron's AOpen a nephew of Acer.

Now the nephew (AOpen, a subsidiary of Wistron Group) gets adopted by the Uncle (Acer, the new main shareholder). In Asian business, it's sometimes hard to tell relatives apart.


Today AOpen has two strategic divisions. As the PC Components business deteriorate (maybe, imploded is a better word), AOpen was smart enough to see that computers embedded in displays meant the PC business was going to be digital signage. Under AOpen CEO & President, Bernie Tsai (we once called him the Steve Jobs of AOpen) the company leveraged its historical relationship with Intel to pursue successfully digital signage. AOpen went for the full solution: media player, management, deployment, display, extension and software.

ACER BYOC

While AOpen moved away from the dwindling consumer business, they did stay in the IT business with their Small Form Factor Platform division. AOPEN develops SFF platform products such as HTPC and gaming PC in digital homes, and office PC in digital offices. In addition, AOPEN develops SFF business PC for business applications, such as kiosks and POS. AOPEN also supplies a wide variety of I/O components, including case, motherboard, keyboard and mouse.

The other smart move AOpen made—and their approach saved them from the Last Man Standing position that has trapped many of the PC component companies—was to embrace Google and Chrome.

Today AOpen remains the only commercial device provider developing technology across all operating systems, including Google Chrome OS. AOpen is beloved by Google for their efforts.

So AOpen has two Big Brothers now, Intel (from the PC business) and Google. Good move.

So why is Acer back? Acer recognizes it has gone as far in the PC business as it can and now its going wide. It has embraced many new product categories: while PC gaming is a natural, smartphones a must, and 360 degree camera a typical PC accessory, Acer stretched further with Leap Wear fitness gear, senior citizen tablets, and bicycle tech. They even have a joint venture in VR with StarVR who supplies IMAX.  Yet my favorite from Acer is Pawbo, their Pet Care division

Acer, like all the PC business is looking to B2B for profit these days…and Acer is following the IT industry road map mantra…Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, AI, AR…Close your eyes, and just keep repeating in reverent tones…For these are the future of IT.

And whether an IT company survives depends upon how one weaves together these important trends. Acer has launched, to big fanfare, its own Cloud service aBeing Cloud…its Build Your Own Cloud service. Cloud is one way to weave many of these IT trends together.

Acer Being Signage

And that brought Acer back to (among other areas)…digital signage (Acer Being Signage). Why should Acer go out and compete as a beginner when they can turn to a family solution?

Acer can supply services that AOpen needs and AOpen can lead them down the path digital signage is now headed…cloud services, proximity marketing, AR/VR, sensors and IoT, retail and education opportunities and more…

AOpen brings Google and Chromebox to the party. And Acer can help push their SFF division to its customers, as well as digital signage. It’s a natural match as the companies were once intertwined and there is an in-breeding of executives and shareholders. It’s like family.

You could say AOpen is home, again.

Go Read the Acer and AOpen Press Release and you’ll see why this article explains it all so much better


Ayuda Integrates with Hivestack

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Ayuda Platform

Ayuda Media Systems Inc., a leading ERP company whose technology is used globally to run out-of-home media companies announces integration with Hivestack, a company specializing in garnering new programmatic revenue streams for the DOOH industry.

Hivestack helps marketers target consumers based on where they are and places they’ve been. Hivestack consists of a platform and a demand facilitation strategy. Their "full ad tech stack" platform includes an SSP for DOOH media owners, an ad exchange with APIs to monetize unsold inventory, a geotemporal DOOH ad server, and a DSP used by digital agencies to buy DOOH programmatically.

Ayuda's Splash allows traditional outdoor vendors to transition into digital OOH vendors. With support for place-based digital networks, as well as integrated transit support, Splash is a comprehensive management system for digital OOH inventory.

Splash includes detailed asset management capabilities for sites, vehicles, fleets, screens, faces, and more. And day-part & day of week scheduling, dynamic loop templates, demographic targeting, peer-to-peer content distribution, network monitoring, and more. Splash ties in with the rest of the Ayuda Platform – including CRM, Avails & Proposals, Billing & Invoicing, Leasing, Mapping, Proof Of Performance, and Reporting.

Luc Filiatreault, President of Ayuda commented, “We are thrilled to have completed a deep integration with our programmatic partner, Hivestack. Our clients will benefit greatly from this work as our Splash CMS and Player now have first-class support for programmatic campaigns.”

As part of the integration, Splash uses the Hivestack Exchange APIs to make ad requests from all unsold spots in a loop of a digital unit. If Hivestack has demand for the unit, it responds in realtime with a VAST file that envelopes the creative.

In addition, Splash uses the Hivestack Exchange API to retrieve 24 hours of creative for every unit bought through Hivestack, and then the Splash Player pre-caches the creative locally. Finally, the Splash Player reports back POP by calling a VAST impression URL after creative is played so that Hivestack can keep track of plays.

A synchronization process keeps inventory, campaign and audience impression data synchronized between Splash and Hivestack.

Andreas Soupliotis, CEO of Hivestack commented: “Ayuda’s integration with Hivestack enables media owners who use Splash as a CMS / Player to monetize their unsold inventory. In addition, thanks to a realtime avails integration with Splash, Hivestack SSP can verify impression availability of packaged deals prior to publishing to DSPs. This deep integration between CMS/Player/SSP functionality truly readies digital OOH media owners for new revenue streams from programmatic demand.”

Go Ayuda Media Systems

Go Hivestack

RMG NETWORKS: Justin Peyton Heads up European Channel Strategy

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Justin Peyton

RMG Networks enlists Justin Peyton as its new European Channel Director to help expand its offering across Europe.

With two decades of experience from across the AV, consumer electronics and telecoms industries around the world, Peyton will help RMG tap into the channel potential for digital signage in Europe.

As Director of European Channel, Peyton will be responsible for extending relationships with partners across Europe and building out RMG’s portfolio of distributors, resellers and system integrators in line with growth goals. With immediate plans to extend RMG’s offering beyond Enterprise solutions, Peyton will help lead the movement into key sectors of the digital signage market, by introducing RMG’s new sophisticated cloud based content management system (CMS) platform into the market.

Peyton joins the team from ONELAN, where he was responsible for EMEA and LATAM sales and played a pivotal role in steering new partnerships in over 30 countries in those regions. 

“I’m really happy to be joining RMG and to get started on expanding and opening new European opportunities for our partners,” comments Peyton. “With our new product launches in the coming weeks, we will be actively signing up new partners to represent us and then continue to support them throughout what we anticipate to be an exciting period of growth for our partners and RMG in 2018.”

RMG is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with additional offices in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

Go RMG Networks Names Peyton to Lead Channel in Europe


The Second Act: norxe

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norxe P1m

Can they do it again?

The founder of projectiondesign, along with a number of his former colleagues, launches a new high-end projector company: norxe.

Pronounced “Norse,” norxe debuted the first of its P Series in America at I/ITSEC. The norxe P1 projector features 4000 ANSI lumens using solid-state LED illumination.

Located in Fredrikstad, Norway, where projectiondesign was started, norxe founder Jørn Eriksen says the new company will aim for high-end projection including simulation, VR (virtual reality), control rooms and medical applications — all above 4000 lumens.

Founded in 2001, projectiondesign grew to 17 international offices, about 200 people, and approximately 60 million euro in sales in 2012.

Norxe logo

In December of that year, Herkules Private Equity III (a private equity venture capital company) sold its shares, the majority of projectiondesign to Barco NV. The next year the remaining shares passed to Barco.

“We are very pleased to become part of the Barco family, and this agreement is a significant step forward for our company,” commented Jørn Eriksen at the time. He was CEO of projectiondesign and added, “We share a common philosophy and entrepreneurial culture, driven by a focus on innovation and customer satisfaction. Joining forces with Barco, a market leader in projection technology, enables us to expand our geographic footprint and allows us to tap into Barco’s global sales team and channel portfolio.”

“The acquisition of projectiondesign plays a key role in Barco’s strategy to offer high-class projection technology to both large and mid-sized venues,” said Eric Van Zele, President and CEO of Barco in 2013. “Barco and projectiondesign complement each other on the levels of technology, product portfolios and geographic coverage. Thanks to this acquisition, we can expand our portfolios for the Simulation, Virtual Reality and Corporate AV markets as we continue to leverage our global sales coverage and our channels to grow this business, particularly in Asia and Latin America.”

Norxe Staff at I/ITSEC

Now Barco Fredrikstad is part of the Belgian-headquartered Barco and is recognized as a Center of Excellence for single-chip DLP projection technology in the visualization industry. Barco Fredrikstad works on high-resolution and compact single-chip DLP projectors-- designed, developed, and manufactured in-house for a wide variety of applications such as training and simulation, visitor attractions, planetariums, and scientific visualization.

With any post-acquisition non-compete clauses now expired, norxe is located in the same town. And targeting similar high end applications. It hopes to re-create some of the attraction projectiondesign had as it grew— a flat management organization with a faster reaction to market and a company size that brings it closer to the size of many of the channel partners. The product designed by norxe seems to be made at nearby Norautron, a contract manufacturer.

In fact, norxe executives publicly claim they started the company in response to partners’ demand. The clear advantage of a team of experienced executives is that you can start off with a channel that already knows you.

Go norxe