Uniguest was long-known for running the business centers built in to many chain hotels, but it has broadened its technology offer in hotels to include digital signage and in room TV through recent acquisitions of the UK software firms Onelan and TriplePlay.
Buying Tampa-based JANUS gives Uniguest another option that is, notably, stateside. The company does services, but has a substantial hardware background in things like interactive displays and wayfinding stations.
The PR on the deal says:
The JANUS Displays acquisition complements other recent key acquisitions by Uniguest, strengthening its position as a global leader for engagement technology including IPTV, digital signage, mobile apps, secure kiosks, and room booking solutions. Prior to the acquisition, Uniguest operated more than 18,000 managed accounts, over 100,000 managed assets, and 350,000+ licensed assets in more than 100 countries.
“We have followed the JANUS Displays business for many years and have been very impressed with their solution portfolio and excellent service reputation,” says Uniguest CEO Jeff Hiscox. “The JANUS Displays team will add immediate value to our hospitality division and we’re really excited to integrate them under the Uniguest umbrella. We believe this is a great outcome for our clients and employees and we are well positioned for exponential future growth.”
“The timing was right for our team to join with Uniguest,” says JANUS Displays CEO Sharon Morrow. “The ability to leverage one another’s technical skills and operational expertise will greatly benefit our clients and provide new opportunities for our team members.”
“This acquisition is a logical outcome for JANUS Displays and will bring significant advantages to our valued customers,” adds Morrow. “As the world and industry evolve, the opportunity to improve visual communications evolves, too. JANUS Displays will continue to make its customers’ priorities their own, focusing on innovative and high-quality solutions to move the business forward.”
The announcement does not provide any deal terms, or timing.
2020-21 will have been rough years for hotel operators and the services ecosystem that surrounds that business, with room occupancy rates way, way down. But all this will end and people will travel once again.
I like the general approach of Uniguest, and have visited their offices a couple of times (I don’t need much of an excuse to get to Nashville). In the crowded digital signage/engagement tech marketplace, doing the development and acquisition work to be a main player in a large vertical like hospitality makes a bunch of sense. I’m guessing Uniguest was competing with Janus on some hotel chain jobs.
Uniguest can do all the lobby digital signage, check-ins, meeting room displays, and food services displays. But it can also, via TriplePlay, do the IPTV in rooms and the custom on-screen messaging that says Welcome Back, Mr. Haynes and tells me about the hotel amenities I never use (other than the lobby bar).
Interestingly, Uniguest is also building up vertical market capability in retirement living communities. The crappy ones are old people jails, but the nice ones are very much like hotels.