Specialty PC Maker Seneca Shutting Down As Owner Arrow “Exits The Sale” Of Product Line

February 27, 2024 by Dave Haynes

The specialty computing firm Seneca is being shut down, almost 10 years after it was acquired by the huge Denver-area distributor and VAR Arrow Electronics.

An Arrow VP sent around an email to customers Tuesday making them aware of the corporate decision to “exit the sale of Seneca-branded products.”

Product will be available to buy until the end of March, and open purchase orders will be honored. Gear already in the field, such as digital signage media players, will be supported for the duration of the warranty period.

Most staff are being let go and, from what I understand, the Syracuse, NY company will by and large shut its doors in a few weeks time. Some staffers will be absorbed into Arrow.

I am reliably told there were tons of emails and phone calls yesterday as end-users got word and needed to think through current and future equipment sourcing.

I have been a couple of times to the Seneca (also known as Seneca Data) facilities in upstate New York. The company had a fantastic reputation for quality builds and support, and their gear is/was widely used for digital signage projects – both media players and video wall servers. I remember when the digital billboard that ate Times Square (the one on the Marriott Marquis) was switched on, it was being driven by Seneca servers.

Beats me what went on and why this happened. Arrow did $33 billion in sales in its last fiscal year, off 11% from the previous year.

Arrow acquired Seneca Data Distributors Inc. for $172.6 million in August 2014. Over time, about half the jobs that were in Syracuse were shifted to an Arrow facility in Phoenix, and by the start of last year, all production had moved out of New York, though engineering and tech lab functions stayed in Syracuse.

Very few of the senior people who were at Seneca pre-acquisition stuck around until now, some leaving sooner than others. It can be very hard to bring acquired companies into the fold of giant ones, particularly a small company that started as a family business in 1979. And there are endless tales of staff from small companies finding it hard to rather abruptly be part of small business units in giant companies, with autonomy long gone and decisions subject to approvals.

No more Seneca leaves something of a supplier hole in the digital signage media market, and there are numerous network operators and solutions providers who used a lot of Seneca. But there are several US companies – MediaVue, Now Micro, OnLogic and now Velasea among them – with good people and product, not to mention  industry ties. There are also several Taiwan-based companies that manufacture and market small form factor PCs that are geared to use-cases like digital signage.

Some good Seneca people in sales, engineer and support are coming available.Watch Linkedin and that “Open To Work” icon for some newly available Seneca people.

I can’t find a formal announcement on the news or IR sites for Arrow, but here’s a grab of the email that was sent around (it matches up with the text version sent to me by an industry contact).

  1. Wes Dixon says:

    And China kills another US manufacturer… too bad, Seneca manufactured very good products in the USA!

  2. Carl Miller says:

    please add me to mailing list

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      hi … looks like you are already a subscriber … if not, there is a link to subscribe on the right hand sidebar of every page on the site

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