Digbil Partners With Taiwan Neighbor Viewsonic To Chase Global Digital Signage Business

June 9, 2014 by Dave Haynes


I had time last Friday, with Paul Flanigan, to head over after to see digbil after our presentations at the Digital Signage Multimedia Alliance conference in Taipei.

I’d not heard of digbil, at all, until I made some noise that I was coming to Taiwan. They got in touch, and had us over for a demo, chat, pizza and beers.

You’ve not likely heard of these guys, but if you have any herd streak in you or paid attention to PCs as they booted up, you will heard of American Megatrends, the parent company of digbil. Four of five PCs on the planet have American Megatrends as the BIOS, or foundational basic input and output software that operating systems sit on top of.

Digbil is co-located in the company’s head office in Taipei.

They have a cloud-based CMS and most/many of the bells and whistles common to such web-based platforms. They showed me the user experience, which is indeed easy and intuitive, and a lot of stuff that made sense in terms of the go-to-market approach and the lack of legacy software baggage.

Interestingly, to me, the company is not developing to Android and expects Intel will have a cost-competitive x86 (PC) foil in its upcoming Cherry Trail processors. The digbil guys were fairly insistent that Android should stay as a mobile/tablet OS and is unsuitable to serious digital signage efforts.

They have also done a lot of Google Apps integration and will be dropping a version of their software in the Chrome store, to run on Chromeboxes.

The company has an SMB SaaS offer – a lighter version of the software – and an enterprise grade one that, despite the handle, is still SaaS based.

Digbil is starting in Taipei/Taiwan but has global aspirations, something it can do with deep parent company pockets and the calling card of said parent company. However, most end-users won’t have a clue what a BIOS is, so how far that gets someone is subject to reasonable debate.

The company intends to sell through partners, the first/biggest being Viewsonic, which is also based in Taiwan.

Last week the company announced:

ViewSonic and digbil, the digital signage brand under American Megatrends (AMI), announced their partnership to bring best in class digital signage solutions around the world.

“Customers have to purchase hardware from one vendor, software from another vendor and are still left without professional content creation or installation,” said Craig Scott, Director of Business Development at digbil. The result is confused, unsatisfied customers who end up paying a premium for a sub-optimal solution.

The companies have created a series of hardware and software solutions aimed at simplifying both deployment and management of digital signage networks. These innovations enable customers to expand their networks from one sign, to tens of thousands, quickly sans expensive hardware.

“ViewSonic’s 26 years of experience in display technology coupled with their knowledge of customer needs and global resources are critical components when building a global digital signage network that is reliable, secure and scalable.”

“We’ve been searching quite sometime for the right digital signage software to work with. We were looking for something that not only could trump traditional client-server models, but would fit to our vision and strategy” said Bonny Cheng, General Manager of ViewSonic’s Display Business Unit.

ViewSonic and digbil aim to launch their digital signage solution in BRIC nations, specifically catering to the hospitality and entertainment industries.“digbil’s scalable software is exactly what was needed to enable this market segment to more effectively enter the age of digital signage,” added Cheng.

ViewSonic’s complete product line of commercial displays, ranging in size from 10” to 84”, enable customers to find the perfect solution for their digital signage applications. On the software side, digbil’s Web browser based platform supports media uploaded in over 200 of the most common video and audio file formats.

The company definitely has some swagger about it, and I met some smart people. But selling through the channel – as anyone who’s tried that – is soooo much easier declared than achieved.

Nonetheless, I think we’ll be hearing more from digbil.

Leave a comment