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.