Wallboard Acquires Keywest Technology And Unified Brand

July 8, 2024 by Dave Haynes

The CMS software and solutions firm Wallboard, which has offices in both Dallas and outside Budapest Hungary, has announced a pair of acquisitions aimed at growing its deployed base, but also bolstering staff and skillsets.

Wallboard has acquired the Kansas City-area company Keywest Technology and Unified Brand, which operates out of Phoenix.

“These acquisitions represent a major step towards becoming a market leader. By integrating Keywest Technology and Unified Brand, we’re not only expanding our resources but also partnering with professionals dedicated to innovation and customer satisfaction,” says Rod Roberson, CEO of Wallboard.

The acquisitions, says PR, introduce additional development resources from Keywest Technology, including a team skilled in digital signage technologies. This team will undergo cross-training to contribute to Wallboard’s platform, bolstering the company’s innovation efforts.

Joining Wallboard is an exciting development,” says Wes Dixon, Keywest’s head of sales and a company owner. “We chose Wallboard because we believe this new chapter will deliver even greater value and success to our clients.”

Keywest has been around since the late 1990s and has focused on several markets, such as workplace, higher ed, QSR and healthcare.

Unified Brand has primarily focused though its years on auto dealers. Ex-Cisco director Guy Tonti started Unified Brand in 2009 and will stay on as General Manager for Wallboard’s new Managed Content Services division.

The Unified side of the deal has some deja vu aspects for Tonti, whose firm was sold in 2020 to Vancouver-based 10net, but something or other didn’t quite work as planned, and Tonti put the Unified Brand band back together, so to speak. I got some explanation on that way back, but that happened a million conversations ago.

Wallboard CRO Danny Hagen was at 10net at the time and he would have been in the middle of the first deal and this second and different go-round. “Our customers can expect an improvement in service quality as we integrate these new teams and technologies,” says Hagen.

The deal announcement hints Wallboard is looking at other possible acquisitions.

Wallboard has been building up its presence both in Europe and the US. I interviewed Roberson for a podcast about four years ago, and he provided this back story …

So the company was actually started in 2012 by my partner, Robert Simon. He’s based near Budapest, Hungary. He started the company back then, spent about three or four years building up the platform, building the development team, and took it to market in Europe, basically in 2016.

And then we met in 2017. I, at the time, was running the AV division of a family owned company and we were looking to build out a digital signage as a service product offering. And we were really struggling to find the right software partner for that. So I met Robert, a lot of the boxes checked and we actually just started as a reseller. Then one thing led to another … he was looking for an investment partner and he hooked up with a few venture capital firms in Europe, but I was able to convince him that we would be a better investment partner for him because we were strategic. We were talking to end-users on a day-to-day basis.

So we formalized that partnership, in 2018 and then that led to him saying, “Hey, I really need a day to day business partner to help me with sales and marketing,” so I joined him full time in 2019, and so sales and marketing really run out of the Dallas office. And then, he’s running the tech team outside of Budapest. 

Good people. Wes has been a very active commentator on Sixteen:Nine, and on the heels of the M&A news this morning, he posted that he is now retired and the artwork on his Linkedin profile has an image of a thatched hut on a dock that is definitely not in Lenexa, KS.  Congratulations and happy retirement after 42 years in AV.

Guy has also been at this a long time, and is a long-running industry friend going back to the days when Cisco was trying to be directly active in signage. He’s also a Jeopardy champion, going many-many  years back.

  1. Noel says:

    This is great news Wallboard team! I look forward to seeing their expansion across Europe.

    1. Zoltan Bikadi says:

      Thanks Noel, we are also committed in Europe, just take a look at the latest Invidis Yearbook and let’s talk…

  2. Wes Dixon says:

    Thanks for the shout-out Dave! And don’t think I’ll stop commenting just because I am “retired.”

  3. Wes Dixon says:

    And yes, Wallboard will take very good care of the Keywest legacy, people and clients!

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