Sony Has Grown Software Partner Ecosystem From Two To 34 In Last 18 months
June 14, 2022 by Dave Haynes
There was a time not very long ago, at all, when I would walk into a Sony booth at a trade show and try to sort out what the company was even doing in digital signage, besides selling very nice LCD and microLED displays. That has changed, rather dramatically.
The Japanese manufacturer, particularly in the U.S. market, has been doing the work in the last couple of years of building up a partner ecosystem that sees software companies developing to its own version of smart commercial displays. The result is impressive – going from all of two CMS software options in January 2021 for its Android-based smart displays to 34 now – among them Appspace, Navori, Skykit, Korbyt, and Spectrio.
The varied software applications all run natively on Sony’s displays, which are slightly different in that they run Android TV and not the mobile Android used widely for digital signage applications.
When I would ask a few years ago, at big shows like ISE, it was difficult to even find anyone in the Sony stand who could talk to me about what it was doing in signage. Now the U.S. B2B effort for digital signage has a champion in Rich Ventura, the deeply experienced industry vet who went to Sony from NEC, and Jay Leedy, another industry veteran who left Diversified and has been charged with growing the partner ecosystem.
The most trade in displays continues to be with the two Korean giants, but just as PPDS (Philips) is on the rise, so is Sony. It made a big investment at Infocomm in a booth and hospitality, and had a presentation theater right in the booth – doing unscripted thought leadership discussions that were, admirably, not all about Sony product.
The company also, last week, launched a newly re-designed Collaborative Alliance Partner website, designed to be a resource for Sony resellers and integrators, listing all the compatible solutions and partner relationships.
The partner list also includes companies like Cisco, Pexip and Crestron that are into other things like Workspace Management, IPTV, AV Control Systems and Device Management, but the majority of the partners are digital signage firms. There are a few options you’d like to also see in that list, but momentum is a good thing. When a bunch of companies get involved, that tends to compel fence-sitting competitors to also, at least, look into it.