Tuesday, June 24, 2008

AT&T enters digital signage market

Granted they're doing it via a partnership, and not an acquisition, but still the telecom firm has decided that the time is right to jump into the digital media business. From the press release:
AT&T Inc. today announced a suite of content delivery and digital media solutions to help companies package, deliver and distribute video and rich multimedia Web content across their networks to the three screens that are core to AT&T's multimedia strategy -- the computer, the television and mobile computing devices such as the iPhone and the BlackBerry(R).
No mention of digital signs yet, since this is a multilateral offensive that AT&T is launching. But there's plenty more...
AT&T's Digital Media Solutions(SM) portfolio includes content distribution and management, broadcast video and digital signage services and solutions that are targeted to companies ranging from businesses with multiple small office locations to the most sophisticated multinational companies in industries that include media, financial, education, medical,
manufacturing and retail.
Ah, there it is. The kit is being provided by Stratacache, who is best known (and most widely deployed, I think) in places like employee-facing TV networks and the like, though they've certainly tried to find their way into more customer-facing applications in banks and retailers lately.

So we've seen Cisco be successful -- but by no means market-dominating -- with a very similar approach and product offering (and a pretty similar customer base too, probably). What should we expect from AT&T? On the one hand, they also have last-mile connectivity options and, when necessary, access to virtually unlimited bandwidth. On the other hand, AT&T (for the last 20 years at least) isn't exactly a company that you'd associate with innovation, efficiency or several other positive traits that Cisco usually scores points for.

Will it matter? Only time will tell. But if I had to guess, AT&T will be able to muscle their way into deals simply by virtue of the fact that they're the pipe that companies are already using to get their data services from. If they can offer a compelling and value-priced package that includes digital signs, we'll probably see thier stuff start popping up soon enough.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stratacache seems to have come out from behind the curtain over the past year or 2--a lot of their projects that are in fact customer-facing applications weren't really being publicized or their role wasn't mentioned. It will be interesting to see with this announcement if that starts to change.