Hitachi is already one of Scala’s larger customers, having deployed more than 5,000 Scala driven displays throughout Japan. Scala’s software powers Hitachi’s Mediaspace digital signage ASP services, which are used by customers such as barber shops, general retail and convenience stores, shopping malls, train and subway stations, real estate chains, etc.
According to Hitachi’s Takeshi Enokibori, Manager of the Mediaspace division of Hitachi, Ltd., “When we first saw Scala’s new SignChannel software and service, we quickly realized that it would easily satisfy the needs of a new class of customers who do not require all the powerful features of the traditional Scala systems that we continue to widely deploy in Japan.”
Guillaume Proux, General Manager of Scala Japan, added, “It was a natural fit for Hitachi who (using Scala) already has acquired over 50 percent market share of large-scale digital signage deployments in Japan.”
According to Scala CEO, Gerard Bucas: “The success of Hitachi with Scala in Japan and their new investment in the SignChannel business is validating Scala's strategy of expanding to cover more markets and price points to provide the most versatile solution spectrum for our customers around the world.”
SignChannel (signchannel.com) is an online SaaS service that combines the simplicity of a Web 2.0 application with the power of Scala’s traditional template-based composition system. It integrates all of the modern features of a digital signage system, including creation and editing of playlists, scheduling, composition of messages from templates and more. SignChannel also includes a wealth of ready-to-display licensed content such as general news, sports news, weather information and health advice, which allows anyone to set up a digital signage display without ever having to worry about where to get useful and interesting content to keep their audience engaged.
SignChannel’s most interesting feature is its ability to use very low-cost media players (basically an appliance) and the resultant lower “total cost of ownership”, ease of installation and ongoing operation. Anyone who can connect an appliance to a WiFi network can install and use SignChannel – nothing else to install! With a web browser, users then simply drag and drop content into a playlist, schedule it and “voila!” the content plays back on all associated playback devices.
Hitachi plans to launch its fully localized SignChannel services with content sourced from local Japanese content providers. Hitachi will also promote the service through its extensive sales network across Japan.
The companies have also agreed that they will jointly develop various user interface customizations to enhance the commercial potential of the service in Japan. Hitachi plans to deploy SignChannel on its own cloud server technology and will work closely with a number of Japanese manufacturers to enable them to offer SignChannel-compatible hardware devices for sale in Japan and in the rest of the world.
About Hitachi, Ltd
Hitachi, Ltd (hitachi.com), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2009 (ended March 31, 2010) consolidated revenues totaled 8,968 billion yen (US$96.4 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them.
Driving more than 500,000 screens worldwide, Scala (scala.com) is a leading global provider of digital signage and advertising management solutions. Scala is the world’s first connected signage company, offering the leading platform for content creation, management and distribution in digital signage networks and the first unified platform for advertising management of both traditional and digital signage networks. The company's digital signage customers include Rabobank, IKEA, Burger King, T-Mobile, Virgin MegaStore, Warner Brothers, The Life Channel, Rikstoto, Repsol, NorgesGruppen, Audi, ECE Flatmedia, Kaufhof (Metro Group) and thousands more. Advertising management customers include CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and Magic Media, among others. Scala is headquartered near Philadelphia, USA, and has subsidiaries in Canada, The Netherlands, France, Norway, Germany and Japan, as well as more than 450 partners in more than 65 countries.