Scala picks up media management software company and re-brands as Scala Canada

February 28, 2008 by Dave Haynes

Marketing Information Services Canada (MISC) is a small but long-established software play that specializes in charting (scheduling) software for the outdoor advertising industry. Its acquisition, by Scala, was announced yesterday at Digital Signage Expo.

The company, located in Toronto, will be re-branded as Scala Canada and will, presumably, put most of its focus going forward on the digital screen side of its business.

According to Digital Signage Today:

Scala will integrate Charting Pro software into its line of products. The software manages different forms of media and provides demographic and geographic characteristics for targeted campaigns and coordinated brand promotions. This acquired technology will allow Scala customers to manage digital signage advertising as well as other out-of-home advertising properties, from traditional static outdoor billboards to retail ad space and mobile advertising. Scala’s new offering will be targeted to those involved in inventory management, customer relations, operations, and content management and delivery.

“The synergies of Scala’s InfoChannel, and MISC’s Charting Pro suite of enterprise software and measurement technology, means a complete tool set for the management of all advertising platforms – from billboards, static, digital and mobile right through to retail light boxes in malls,” Bucas said.

Tom Harrison of Scala Canada said that the software gets all the way down to the financial management of digital signage. Going beyond content planning, Charting Pro can tie into a company’s accounting system to track and manage payments from advertisers as well as lease payments for ad space.

I was trying to remember where I had heard MISC’s name before in the context of this industry, so I dug around and saw that three or four small 3rd-party ad network operators have made announcements about using Charting Pro. But the client mentions  on the MISC website gets to really small companies once ClearChannel and Gallop and Gallop are mentioned.

I sell the software solution (BroadSign) that I think I can fairly say is considered the most advertising-centric offer out there, so my possibly skewed perspective on this is Scala is making a move to say it too can service the outdoor industry and large 3rd-party ad networks — which is where a lot of the money and action is right now.

I can’t fathom Scala’s mob of resellers – predominantly AV integrators – actively selling this capability, and would expect Scala will have to have direct sales guys, or media specialists, making a push on a rather complicated piece of the puzzle.

If Scala has any designs to go public, this certainly makes them look bigger and forward-thinking.

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