Saturday, February 17, 2007

3M, Retravision and Telstra shoot for digital signage down under

A few months ago there was some pretty big news out of 3M and Australian phone company Telstra where Telstra had agreed to license 3M's digital signage software for... something. Truth is, nobody (except for the involved parties, I'm sure) was quite certain what the news meant for the burgeoning digital signage industry down under.

Today things are a bit clearer, thanks to this article at Computer World outlining the companies' plans, including a partnership with major electrical goods retailer Retravision for the first major deployment:

After an initial pilot involving four stores in separate states, Retravision will have 115 stores and 6000 screens fitted out with the solution by December with plans for a complete 400-plus store rollout across Australia and New Zealand next year.
While the project is billed as having major in-store advertising potential, it's clear that the digital signage is going to be used extensively for remote training and corporate messaging. The article also goes on to mention that the software is hosted in one of Telstra's datacenters, and the service is provided over their IP pipes (they've also been preparing for a wave of IPTV services, so it's likely they have the capacity, at least to the more populated areas).

So in the end we're essentially left with the major incumbent phone/data/mobile carrier offering turn-key digital signage service over its existing high-speed data lines. I have to hand it to 3M: they did a good job putting that deal together, as it gives them a pretty tight grip on the Australian market. Granted, they only have about as many people on the entire continent as there are in the city of Los Angeles, but even so, it's a pretty impressive play with some potentially large upsides for all involved parties.

Tags: 3M, Telstra, Retravision, digital signage

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