Sony Building Up Digital Signage CMS Partners In Android/SoC-Focused Collaborative Alliance

July 30, 2021 by Dave Haynes

Sony wasn’t an overly active or noticed player in digital signage for a bunch of years, but the company has been steadily trying to boost both its profile and its partnership programs in the last 18 months or so.

The company recently announced something called the Collaborative Alliances program, which sounded a bit like a bazillion other partner programs out there, but has some distinct characteristics.

The electronics giant is building up a list of CMS software partners, getting beyond a long spell in which its only digital signage software option seemed to be a platform from India that had almost zero top-of-mind awareness in the industry.

“We have focused on compatibility first and foremost, with joint testing of the partner’s software on a ProBRAVIA display, which we provide to their team for ongoing testing,” says industry vet Jay Leedy, who has been building up partnerships since joining the company. “The partners also provide our team sample content, and access to their platforms, so we can jointly assess performance”

Sony runs on Android TV, which is a bit different from the more widely used, mobile-first Android OS used by several other display manufacturers for their smart displays.

Leedy says software partners get long-term assurance that Bravia screens will support three major Android version updates – which addresses ongoing concerns about all the development needed to stay on top of Google’s steady evolution of the OS.

“Because Sony’s ProBRAVIA displays are Android based SoC’s, digital signage partners in particular are able to leverage existing development resources already supporting their Android product roadmaps, rather than needing to invest in new talent or ramp up on a new programming language,” says Leedy. “This is especially appealing since most digital signage companies already have existing Android apps … so porting to our SoC requires relatively little investment.”

Android has made huge strides as a digital signage option for large, enterprise-level projects because of equally huge improvements in security. IT people used to just flat say No when Android was floated as an option, but device management platforms have now made Android a favored option for securing and managing all kinds of networked connected displays, including commercial displays.

The same benefits our digital signage software partners can realize in common development resources apply with device management providers,” says Leedy. “This, in combination with affording system level access and the ability to deliver extensive device telemetry from our devices, means systems integration and managed service operators can automate device provisioning, and scale enrollment for their networks using existing tools core to their practices.”

The software partners who’ve opted in on the program, so far, include Capital Networks, Wallboard, PingHD, Revel Digital, Novisign and Easescreen.

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