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Pixel Inspiration adds Scala to roster of digital signage software

EXTON, Pa. — Scala, a provider of end-to-end connected signage software, today announced that Pixel Inspiration (Pixel), a U.K.-based digital signage agency, has added Scala to its technical roster to enhance Pixel’s end-to-end content management offering across enterprise and software as a service (SaaS) platforms.

Four years ago, content management systems were almost entirely enterprise-based and required dedicated computers and software to run services in each site. This meant that while operations centers had access to the network and, therefore, control over each venue’s broadcast, site owners had no local control. To change a price, to flag an out of stock or to enhance a promotion, requests had to be routed through the operations center where content was updated and then republished, a laborious and comparatively costly process that could take more than a full day. 

Pixel identified opportunities to provide individual site owners, managers and staff with the capability to access, manage, create, control and showcase content at individual site level and publish this onto a digital signage network simply, quickly and directly.

Pixel’s solution was, at the time, groundbreaking. They were able to offer customers the ability to modify content using a simple, secure, customizable Web page that acted as the front end for a service that then communicated with the enterprise systems already in place. This provided local control over a centrally managed enterprise solution and was arguably one of the first iterations of what we know today as SaaS.

Between 2004 and 2008, Pixel applied this rationale and developed its SaaS services for brands including Knight Frank (estate agents) and Adecco (recruitment services), and more recently in offering customized solutions to Thomas Cook (travel & leisure) and BB’s Coffee & Muffins (quick-service restaurants). Pixel also supplied corporate clients with dynamic signage networks for internal communications.

“We always knew that as the digital signage market matured, the majority of clients would prefer to outsource the hosting and management of their enterprise digital signage systems. The SaaS model may be the latest trend in the digital signage universe, but it’s been the de facto method of implementing many other network-driven solutions for many years now,” said Frank Emerson, managing director for Pixel Inspiration.

By the end of 2008, Pixel wanted to further enhance its customer proposition and innovate by offering a single supplier solution to clients that spanned both SaaS and enterprise platforms so that regardless of the client’s size, type or requirement, Pixel could offer a fully joined-up and future-proofed solution.

After evaluating technical quality, usability and functionality criteria, Pixel selected the Scala and Scala as a Service solutions from Scala. Both of Scala’s core products allowed Pixel to continue offering a joined-up solution to customers across multiple platforms, while at the same time providing a clear migration path between SaaS and enterprise. This guaranteed that networks would be able to continuously grow with customers without incurring significant redesign and development costs.

Nikk Smith, technical director for Pixel Inspiration said, “We tend to focus on digital signage for communication rather than simply out-of-home media and our philosophy has always been to empower the end user of digital signage systems with the ability to simply and quickly update their screens. When Scala released their latest version, which included native support for dynamic data, it aligned with our philosophy and therefore working closely together made a lot of sense.”

In the first of many collaborations, Pixel selected Scala to manage and broadcast content across the high-resolution displays installed at the international conference and exhibition center Manchester Central (GMEX) in November 2008.

“Pixel Inspiration is clearly a pathfinder in developing customizable solutions that offer clients real value. Consequently, their selecting Scala as a primary content management partner for both enterprise and our SaaS platform is very welcomed and validates our continuing commitment to the digital signage marketplace to innovate both in terms of technical competence and user accessibility,” said Oscar Elizaga, vice president, EMEA, Scala.

digital signage software