Assured Systems, MediaVue Partner On ABEL: A Single SKU Hardware/Software Digital Signage Bundle

January 23, 2024 by Dave Haynes

A pair of companies most known for industrial computing solutions have taken the interesting step of teaming up to develop and co-market a single SKU digital signage bundle – called ABEL – that includes hardware, software and support.

The ABEL digital signage platform reflects some 30 years of combined experience in the digital signage and industrial computing industries between MediaVue, based in New England, and Assured Systems, based north of Birmingham in the UK. The platform has six unique components that the companies say “collectively eliminate many of the issues that commonly arise in signage networks.”

Those components include software, but they are focused on the operating system, device management and remote management. There is no ABEL CMS and the technical partners remain CMS agnostic and can support third-party CMS software platforms.

“This industry is over 20 years old. It’s mind-blowing to think that so many networks are still coping with time-consuming installations, clunky or even non-existent management tools, massive security vulnerabilities, unstable operating systems and under-performing hardware that hides behind confusing jargon,” says Erik DeGiorgi, CEO of MediaVue. “This industry is mature. End-users and integrators should be demanding an equally mature solution.”

“This partnership encapsulates over 30 years of joint industry experience into a single platform at a cost that we are very excited about” adds James Priest, CEO of Assured Systems. “Erik and I have both been at this for a long time. We have seen what works and what doesn’t, and at the end of the day what customers really want is a simple solution that doesn’t compromise on security, performance, and reliability. The problem has always been how to accomplish that at a reasonable cost. ABEL is just that, and we are eager to introduce it at ISE.”

ABEL will be showcased next week at ISE in Barcelona, at Booth 6K300, aka somewhere in Hall 6.

More from the PR:

ABEL is a platform designed to simplify the procurement, deployment, management, and support of digital signage networks in a wide array of markets. ABEL is a simplified, single SKU solution that includes proprietary hardware and software, support, warranty, and a host of other features that can be purchased through a single, up-front payment or on an annual subscription basis.

ABEL takes the guesswork out of deploying digital signage networks while offering the flexibility and adaptability needed to service a multitude of markets. End-users can easily customize the functionality of the system, select from industry-leading content management software options, and have the peace of mind that their network is stable, secure, and connecting with their audience in the way they intended.

The idea of a bundle that marries hardware with management and monitoring software, and support, is not new. There are numerous CMS software companies that have standardized on specific media player hardware, and also media player companies that have management software and even purpose-developed operating systems. But I am not sure I have seen industrial-grade, mission-critical hardware bundled up like this, particularly between a pair of companies.

I asked Erik, via email, to fill in some gaps in understanding for me. His response …

The whole objective was to take a step back, he writes, start from a clean slate, and see how we could put our heads together to deliver a genuinely simple solution that still has all the necessary requirements of an enterprise platform.

Use a typical deployment as an example: I need to roll out a few 1,000 media players, maybe 2-3 different CMS, a handful of SIs and their subcontractors handling the installation and maintenance over a 3-5 year contract.

  1. Procurement can be done as “CapEx” with an up-front payment or as an annual “OpEx” subscription;
  2. Every device has the same parts in it for well over 5 years – you get the same exact hardware every time;
  3. It actually does what it says it can do. Single screen 4k/60Hz for us means you can smoothly play a 4k/60Hz video. This is a common misconception. All “4k” is not equal;
  4. The operating system, CMS and any other specific network settings are preset globally (or several configurations set for different segments of the network-doesn’t matter);
  5. The installer simply plugs the box in, it connects to our servers and pulls down all the OS/software/configs/settings (takes under 5 min). The installer touches almost nothing but the power button;
  6. Behind the scenes the entire system is maintained with quarterly updates that ensure network security;
  7. If something in the OS, CMS or other software breaks, our proprietary software that lives outside the primary OS lets you reinstall that OS remotely. For the record roughly 80% of our RMAs (returns for service) over the years are related to software/OS/user error. This eliminates the majority of field service;
  8. That same tools can completely swap the OS and CMS. No longer are customers required to “box swap” just the change their CMS or other software when the hardware is fine.

No formal pricing released but from what I have seen informally, it looks quite workable.

  1. Katie Valle says:

    @MediaVue is thrilled to announce this exciting partnership and the culmination of our joint experience in ABEL. We’re looking forward to helping end users and integrators alike to alleviate common pain points we have seen across these types of networks for far too many years through this mature solution.

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