Skykit Pivoting From Marketing CMS Software To Device Management Solutions Available To Competitors

May 4, 2023 by Dave Haynes

Minneapolis software firm Skykit is in the middle of a business pivot from a focus on chasing digital signage CMS software business in a crowded competitive field to offering a device management platform for signage that its competitors are welcome to integrate and use.

The company has zeroed in on the Android operating system and special-purpose playback devices running on Android as an alternative to proprietary OS smart displays, small form factor PCs and Brightsign boxes. A Skykit exec tells me it will happily run the product underneath a competing CMS and drop-ship white-label, preconfigured Android playback devices to other services and solutions providers.

Called Control, the cloud-based Android device management platform is positioned as a tool to increase a device network’s productivity and reduce the amount of time a network operator spends managing applications and displays.

“The digital landscape is rapidly evolving, and we recognize the increasing complexities that come with managing expansive digital networks,” says Irfan Khan, CEO and co-founder of Skykit in PR. “Our customers require powerful tools to manage their applications and display networks effectively, helping them maximize profits and streamline communication.”

“Control streamlines our device network management,” adds Paul Lundberg, Skykit’s CTO, “and with it now available as a standalone solution, businesses can scale and manage web apps, native apps, or CMS products on scaled networks of Android SOC and media players, providing flexibility and customization for maximizing their digital display network’s potential.”

The PR adds:

Control empowers organizations to quickly deploy applications and updates to Android devices, eliminating downtime, service disruptions, and lost time and revenue.

With its zero-touch deployment capabilities, effortless large-scale deployment, and device-agnostic software, Control is the ideal solution for bringing third-party hardware into your project.

The latest version of Control has been thoroughly tested and validated by current clients, who are managing thousands of devices with ease.

It’s available as an add-on for Skykit Beam (the company’s digital signage CMS), or as a standalone product that can support Android APKs and devices, giving you complete flexibility to choose the best option for your needs.

The capability is sold as a monthly SaaS license, at $5 a month per device.

It’s an interesting shift. Skykit like some other companies has been positioning itself as a workplace-focused solution, but there are numerous companies now doing that, as well as other kinds of technology firms (like video meetings) adding basic digital signage functionality. So it is crowded, and crowded means racing to the bottom on price unless you have something unique.

There are other Android device management solutions out there, like Esper, but they tend to have started as management solutions for mobile and portable devices, with digital signage as a logical add-on.

The premise that third-party software and solutions firms that are using Android, or want to use that OS and devices, will use Skykit for white-labeled device management will require some trust. While the company says it is shifting to being a hardware + remote device management company, it still markets its Beam CMS.

Some display manufacturers – Samsung being the most notable – encouraged CMS software companies to develop to its “smart” embedded displays, and then gradually got into direct competition with its software partners by marketing its own cloud platform, MagicINFO. It is now starting to market a newer solution called VXT.

There is already a company specifically in the digital signage business offering a remote device management solution, but the distinction with SignageOS is that along with Android, it supports three dozen other platforms, including proprietary ones like Samsung’s Tizen and LG’s webOS. Its pricing model is similar, but ranges from $1.50 a month up to $6 for a full meal deal that includes 24/7 monitoring from a Network Operations Center.

Skykit is a spin-out of an IT consulting firm – Agosto – that was and is a big Google Cloud products developer. Though Google has stepped up marketing ChromeOS devices for signage applications, Skykit marketing focuses heavily on Android, the other Google made and supported operating system.

  1. Mark Sandford says:

    We use Radix Viso for our Android device management

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