Cisco buys into the game

December 15, 2006 by Dave Haynes

Networking giant Cisco has acquired a small San Francisco-area video over IP company and bought its way into the digital signage business, aiming at the major enterpris-level accounts we all covet.

The announcement today says “a definitive agreement to acquire the privately held company, Tivella, Inc. of Half Moon Bay, California. Tivella is a leading provider of digital signage software and systems.”

Digital signage is an emerging technology that has the potential to transform the customer experience and to promote richer communications. Digital signage is quickly gaining traction as companies face a variety of challenges. These include revenue and growth, building and maintaining brand identity and customer loyalty, and effectively reaching target audiences with advertising and marketing. Companies conducting deployments of digital signage solutions have clearly demonstrated higher brand awareness and sales uplift by targeting relevant information to an audience near the point of purchase.

Tivella has 10 employees and I expect most people had never heard of them, but will certainly take note now. Their attraction appears to what look like very clever little set-top boxes that draw power over ethernet cables.

Cisco has been looking at this space for more than a year, as they have IP-based video streaming and content caching and distribution systems. These systems cost a bunch of dollars, so I would expect only the largest retailers and financial institutions – that already have a big Cisco footprint – will take a look at this new, broadened signage solution.

  1. Adrian Cotterill says:

    In the UK Cisco have been looking at partnering with a number of digital signage vendors when their (Cisco) account managers have come across a signage opportunity in an account – for example, this has been John Ryan and Digital View in banking, Kaleidovision in retail and others or course.

    It will be interesting to see how those relationshipss work / continue once Cisco figures out how iits sales people can sell the Tivella solution.

    IVT (see have been the typical Cisco partner in what they call Business Video Solutions (mainly corporate, in-house, ego-TV type solutions) but IVT have offered since Oct 2005 a signage module. Will be interesting to see how that relationship pans out also.

  2. Adrian Cotterill says:

    See for an early Cisco signage solution put together for one of the large banks in Portugal

    The platform back then was the Dutch Matruska offering – I3 Moodbox’s together with the Matruska CMS system – see

    Brightspace Media (Kaleidovision’s sister company in the UK) did the creative and channel strands

  3. Adrian Cotterill says:

    BIt more research – This forms part of Cisco’s DMS solution set that will deliver digital signage as one of the business video solutions.

    DMS = Digital Media System and includes;

    Video asset management, encoders, portals and now digital signage.

  4. […] announcement comes quickly on the heels of Cisco’s acquisition of a tiny West Coast firm last […]

  5. […] Tivella box is impressive – small, light, supposedly capable of 1080P HD, and set up with HDMI out. […]

  6. […] SearchNetworking about how Cisco has been putting all the pieces together, including the Tivella acquisition, to dominate the enterprise video distribution […]

  7. Jack says:

    Beyond video technologies – which are probably to be incorporated into Webex in some way, what other markets are they investing in?

  8. ehternet cables are still the ones that i use for my home networking applications ~“

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