Today's ABC

August 12, 2009 by Dave Haynes

A – I like to post notes after the Toronto industry mixers to say who was there and how many, and who if anyone remains in jail. However, I have some sort of plague and opted out of going and thereby infecting others. Lyle Bunn reports there as a small crowd of diehards. This is the peak of summer holiday season, so not surprising. Next one is the 2nd Tuesday of September, usual place, probably with a sponsor.

B – The whole SaaS vs packaged, on-premise software debate got re-opened (if it was ever closed) with a piece in the summer issue of Digital Signage magazine. Real Digital Media CEO Ken Goldberg, in his blog, politely tears Jeff Collard, president of Omnivex, a new one for what Goldberg suggests is crossing the line between reasoned argument into fear. The Omnivex article is here. Ryan Cahoy, managing director of Rise Vision, makes the SaaS argument.

The two magazine articles are in that cool but irritating digital reader format thing, so you may want to print off those pages instead of zooming up and down. I read both pieces and do think Jeff laid it on a little thick, while Ryan plays it pretty straight. Being gloriously agnostic these days, I see arguments for both approaches but it really comes down to looking at the requirements of the job and what the end-user wants to take on. There’s a healthy constituency out there, for example, that wants nothing to do with watering and feeding servers, and there are others who insist that’s all done in-house. As Ken notes, the core capabilities of platforms don’t vary much whether the client hosts the platform, or the provider.

Interestingly, both Omnivex and Rise are Toronto companies and both have their roots in driving financial LED ticker boards, but in recent years have gone in very different directions of terms of their platforms. Omnivex has a very sophisticated, data-driven platform while Rise is going hard after the reseller market with a lean, easily-grasped product. 

C – Is it just me, or are there a lot of former senior PRN people doing other things. In the last two weeks, we have seen PR for Bill Lynch (EVP Sales at PRN) going to IBN, Peter Cullen (EVP and GM at PRN) joining something called Power Station, and Dylan Jones (former VP Content Strategy at PRN) setting up his own gig, Jones Digital Media. There’s also Michael Quinn and Sean Moran, both pretty much PRN lifers, who have left one way or another recently. 

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