CRI, Reflect Merger Now Official; Blended Firm Now CRI And Run By Mills
February 18, 2022 by Dave Haynes
News of a merger between Creative Realities and Reflect Systems tracks back to Nov. 2021, but it has taken until now for the deal to get through various hurdles and close. The blended companies will now operate as Creative Realities, or CRI for short.
Rick Mills is now CEO of the combined, Louisville-based organization, while Dallas-based Reflect’s former CEO Lee Summers is sticking around and “now working on various strategic initiatives, including media sales and AdTech initiatives at Creative Realities.”
“The opportunity we had to fuse with a company known for its culture, client-centricity, CMS-savvy and strong relationships with the OEM community was more than an example of business compatibility,” says Mills. “This merger was a deliberate, strategic vision to drive the next phase of digital signage innovation and deliver to the marketplace a united stack of services, offerings and expertise not seen before from a single entity in quite this way.”
“Our enhanced capacity and reach are now poised to bring all-encompassing solutions to a variety of business sectors previously untapped by these kinds of next-generation signage experiences,” adds Summers. “New and existing customers will benefit from our expanded portfolio, which incorporates every phase of a deployment, along with the latest innovations in interactive experiences, audience analytics and industry-leading software.”
The products and services of the blended entity now include:
- Experienced planning, technology design and content creation, including custom and HTML web-based apps;
- Robust, purpose-built CMS Software via ReflectView, Reflect Xperience and Clarity for digital menu boards — all offered as a SaaS model;
- Data-driven analytics and menu board methods to optimize design and drive ROI;
- Design engineering, project management, installation and technical support;
- Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) streaming platforms;
- In-house, 24/7 Network Operation Center for Day-2 support and service to support the lifetime of the deployment.
“With the expanded CMS options, added software development capabilities, and feet on the street, we’re primed to get clients to market faster, more efficiently, and with hyper localization and personalization of content,” says Mills. “We’re confident we have the most compelling and competitive products and service offerings available for the digital signage market. Together, we are fully positioned to fortify and future-proof digital signage solutions.”
The combined company will be headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.
Adding Reflect’s software platform is presumably quite a good thing for CRI. The company has grown in part through acquisition and through the years has had direct or indirect ties to software by Coolsign, Wireless Ronin and Allure Global. With Reflect, they get software that’s been steadily developed over a couple of decades (at least) and a spin-out platform called AdLogic that is all about monetization via endemic advertising in retail (which is a main vertical focus of CRI).
Whenever two companies that do similar things and chase similar customers get blended, there are redundant roles and people who move on. I haven’t heard of that shaking out yet, but assume it will. The good news is I hear regularly from companies who are looking for experienced, talented people.