NEC announced Tuesday this week, that it was making its VUKUNET digital
signage software management platform available, free of charge, to any
network operator (including those not using NEC hardware). The move has
set off discussion about SaaS software models and SaaS market share wars
that issue is not what this news is really about.
The real question, is whether NEC– or anyone– will be able to create
a truly aggregated national “network buy” platform for DOOH.
NEC’s Ashley Flaska wrote in the pages of the Digital Signage Best
Practices Guide earlier this year, “ advertisers… won’t jump into
digital signage aggressively if they have to catch each network on a
hook instead of being able to cast a wide net across many networks at
once. In other words, in order for advertisers to invest more of their
budgets on digital
, the networks should combine more screens and
they should interact with ad agencies in the same way as traditional
You can read the Digital Signage Best Practices Guid at: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newbay/ds_bestpractices/
to date, large advertisers just have not had the time or resources to
contract with so many individual networks with various locations in
hotels, universities, convention centers, airports, retail stores and
other public spaces.
But what does this have to do with Vukunet? Isn’t Vukunet a SaaS
digital signage content management software platform? What does that
have to do with Advertisers?
Vukunet can not be separated, in
terms of NEC’s strategy, from Advuku–NEC’s platform for allowing Ad
agencies to do a national or regional, multi-network Ad buy.
Vukunet is coming along pretty well, in terms of getting small and
medium size networks to sign up. This was the plan: get them first.
why should larger networks sign up? Don’t the large national networks,
who have spent years building their proprietary networks, be reluctant
to share their clients and locations with all? The answer is same answer
you’d get when analyzing any media: it’s all about inventory. Even the
big networks already in place today, have lots of unused inventory. And
eventually, they are going to want to broker that.
If Vukunet takes off in a big way, next step: taking Advuku to the
next level, so that agencies can start placing the buys…..
is the News release from NEC on Tuesday
:NEC Display Solutions
has taken a step to
accelerate the growth and success of the digital signage industry by
making its full VUKUNET digital
signage software management
platform available, free of charge,
to any network operator.
The VUKUNET Content
is a robust Software as a Service (SaaS)
solution that is fully hosted, managed, and supported by NEC. Developed
by NEC, the VUKUNET CMS meets or exceeds the capabilities of dozens of
commercial SaaS digital signage solutions, but has none of the start-up
or substantial monthly subscription fees that keep many networks from
”NEC is making it easier for companies to run digital signage
networks by empowering them with tools that take out costs and help grow
their businesses,” said Pierre Richer, president and COO of NEC
Display. “We are trying to simplify the complexities of the signage
market and drive this industry forward with a free CMS solution. The
fragmentation of this industry is the biggest obstacle to growth, and
those days are finally over.”
Launched in November 2009, the CMS solution is part of a suite of
software products that comprise the VUKUNET platform. VUKUNET also
includes a universal ad-serving solution with modules that enable
network operators to make money through advertising, with no sales
effort and minimal technical effort. The VUKUNET solution creates a
sophisticated advertising marketplace that bridges ad buyers with
networks, and largely automates the ad scheduling, playback and report
process across hundreds or thousands of screens and networks.
When VUKUNET was first launched, the CMS solution was made available
to networks that registered for ad-serving and to clients buying NEC
Display products. Those restrictions have now been removed and any
network, regardless of what display panels they use or whether or not
they will make programming time available for VUKUNET-served ads, can
take advantage of the free CMS.
“We strongly believe VUKUNET helps networks and the industry as a
whole to succeed by offering a reliable, free solution that lets
networks put their operating expenses instead into critical areas
content development,” explained Richer. “And then we offer a very simple
way to generate new ad revenues, with NEC doing all the selling,
execution and admin work for them.”
Along with the free CMS solution, NEC is also offering content
management, network management and content creation services as part of
the overall VUKUNET platform and portfolio of services.