EK3 changes gears with entry level offer

May 23, 2008 by Dave Haynes

London, Canada-based EK3 Technologies has been around the marketplace for many, many years, and its calling card has long been the deal it won to get screens in the menu boards of some 3,000 Tim Horton’s coffee and donut shops in Canada.

The company (note: competitors of mine) have long positioned themselves as an enterprise-level offer, going after the big corporate retail accounts that deploy in the thousands.

Well as anyone walking around in this space with Business Development on their cards knows, that’s a sales cycle measured seemingly in centuries.

So EK3 has switched it up and come out with a separate, differently branded offer called Digipost, which is aimed at the entry level market. The company has been introducing the product at a couple of Ingram Micro events in Canada over the last couple of weeks, and will be at another one next Thursday in Montreal.

It’s a nice, tight little Web-based package that allows small to medium businesses to set up small digital signage networks with minimal training, and limited costs. The back-end is hosted and there is a subscription fee of some sort — didn’t catch the price — and the player is a little pre-loaded Linux appliance. Based on its size and weight, it has to be more a set-top box than x86-based PC, and the support for just MPEG2 and no Flash kinda backs that up. But in this market that may be enough.

The content is by and large templates and clip libraries, and users get the ability to upload images as well, and then order them into simple playlists. Users can also do dayparting.

The pitch to the Ingram crowd is to get its massive base of resellers to peddle the units to its customers, adding on margin on the service rates, as well as providing support services.

The digital signage in a box thing is not new, nor is the templated content production, but the EK3 guys have, on the surface, come up with a tidy little package that services a market the mother ship products are never going to get at.

You can see a bit more here at www.digipost.ca

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