STRATACACHE appears to be timing partnership announcements this week to coincide with its presence at the NRF retail trade show in NYC.
On the heels of a partnership announcement Monday regarding the Japanese market, CEO Chris Riegel has announced what is a more significant and momentous deal with a huge Chinese LCD panel manufacturer.
The company buys a lot of displays as a turnkey digital signage solutions provider, and now the main provider will be BOE, the Beijing company that last year became the largest by volume LCD TV manufacturer on the planet.
Dayton, OH-based STRATACACHE announced today “a partnership with BOE Technology Group, global leader in the semiconductor display industry, as well as an IoT company, to bring a full line of branded LCD display technology to market. Through this partnership, STRATACACHE will broaden its full marketing technology offering, which includes hardware, software and services, with displays delivered under two leading brands in the STRATACACHE family of marketing technology companies.”
“Further, the partnership will bring BOE immediate distribution growth, leveraging the STRATACACHE client base of 15,000 customers worldwide in more than 100 countries while helping STRATACACHE provide highest quality display technology and new functionality to its customer base.”
Under an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement, the displays will be available globally from Scala and Optika Display, two companies in the STRATACACHE family of marketing technology companies, and will unlock new functionality and capabilities including advanced power management, intelligent retail sensor support and extended lifecycle products for commercial 24×7 always-on use.
This is a full range of displays – indoor and outdoor – from 32-inches all the way up to 110-inches. The displays can be plain black, or Riegel says the panels have a little replaceable faceplate that can carry a customer brand.
Riegel has been very vocal with his concerns regarding the security and data integrity of tech coming from Asia. The BOE deal includes full control over the build and the firmware for the displays, which would not eliminate but certainly minimize risks.
Riegel has also been very vocal with his thoughts about so-called “smart” system on chip displays that have embedded CPUs in them. The BOE panels – across the line – will just be “dumb” displays.
The deal was three years in the making and reflects a lot of time Riegel has spent ion business trips to Asia. STRATACACHE has been testing the BOE panels with customers in the U.S for the past year to validate quality, and Riegel says he’s ready to activate global use.
The rationale behind this is pretty simple. While Chinese labor costs are not what they were 10 years ago, they’re still lower than Korea or Japan, and many Chinese manufacturers are also subsidized/backstopped by the Beijing government. Riegel says BOE offers a 20% price advantage or more to pricing coming out of Korea and certainly Japan.
“There is a clear ascendency of the Chinese display companies in the global display industry,” says Riegel. “BOE, as an IoT company providing intelligent interface products and services for information interaction and human health, is highly competitive in display innovation, quality, capability and pricing on a global scale. Bringing this technology into the STRATACACHE delivery model allows us to fully extend our solution offering of hardware, software and services to our clients, with excellent cost performance and a proven, established global support system.”
“STRATACACHE has the infrastructure in place globally to market, distribute, service and support our advanced display technology,” says Jikai Yao, Director of B2B CSPO of BOE.
Not good news for Samsung, LG or NEC, as Riegel says he anticipates 200,000 or more displays supplied by BOE in 2020.
The panel-maker/CMS relationship is not unique to STRATACACHE. NYC-based ComQi is now owned by AUO, a huge Taiwan-based panel-maker, and ComQi bakes unbranded, lowered cost AUO panels into its deal proposals.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.