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invidis Strategy Awards 2024: The Winners Are …

For the third time, invidis is presenting the Strategy Awards as part of the Digital Signage Summit. This year there are seven winners – among them: Deutsche Telekom with PPDS, the DooH software specialist Broadsign and Sphere Entertainment, the operators of the Las Vegas Sphere.

Innovative approaches and pioneering strategies – this is what unites all the winners of this year’s invidis Strategy Awards. Whether in the field of green signage, software or DooH – they all set standards for the future of the industry in their own way.

Yesterday, invidis announced the seven winners chosen from 21 shortlisted candidates. The awards ceremony took place at the Digital Signage Summit Europe in Munich.

DooH & Retail Media: PPDS/Deutsche Telekom

The emergence of ePaper displays has opened a big discussion in the industry: Are large format ePaper displays merely cannibalized screens? Or can they open new markets for digital signage? The latter has prevailed: ePaper has become top of the agenda and is driving thoughts on more sustainable displays.

Deutsche Telekom and PPDS are leading the way by introducing “green” ePaper DooH screens to roadside exchange cabinets. In the coming months, a large-scale proof of concept will test Philips Tableaux and various Eco Design display technologies. The invidis DooH & Retail Media Strategy Award recognizes Deutsche Telekom and PPDS for their technology thought leadership in DooH and Retail Media.

Green Signage: Broadsign

Green signage encompasses more than just energy consumption and the circularity of hardware components. Software now plays an increasingly important role, and digital signage and DooH are no exceptions. Greenhouse gas emissions from data centers are rising again due to the computing demands of cloud services and AI. Broadsign, the industry’s first real SaaS company, is leading the way by adopting the Green Software Foundation’s practices for greener software.

The potential impact is significant: building carbon- and energy-efficient applications, hosting in renewable-powered data centers, and reducing data travel. We recognize Broadsign’s effort and thought leadership in demonstrating that software developers can also take responsibility for tackling climate change.

Shared Spaces & Engaging Experiences: The Sphere

This year’s invidis Engaging Experiences and Shared Spaces Award has a clear winner: The Sphere in Las Vegas. This award recognizes not only the iconic 16k x 16k media facade, rentable for half a million USD per day, but also the fully immersive 14,900 m² transparent indoor LED display and 167,000 hidden speaker drivers.

The Las Vegas Sphere has revolutionized how society perceives and interacts with advertising, shifting from mere visibility to creating engaging experiences. It represents a logical evolution of iconic DooH sites like Times Square, Piccadilly Circus, or COEX in Seoul.

Software & Platforms: Visual Art

Developing and maintaining a digital signage platform is already a complex task, but nothing compares to rewriting your application from scratch. Most ISVs avoid this reset due to the associated investment, preferring to tinker with existing code. However, Visual Art took the bold step of a full reset. With an investment of over a million Euros and more than a year of development, Visual Art created a new CMS built on the latest service cloud tech stack.

Instead of acquiring new software, Visual Art incorporated 15 years of experience into developing the new application. The result is a future-proof CMS that meets the needs of global customers, integrates the latest retail media features, and is designed for remote deployment. The current installed base of 75,000 players will be upgraded to the new software platform fully remotely by the end of the year.

We are impressed by how well the Visual Art Signage Player CMS compares to its peers in the new invidis Software Compass. Hats off to Visual Art—you truly deserve the recognition of the invidis Strategy Award 2024.

Industry Leadership: Trison

Since its inception, the digital signage market has lacked true pan-European champions. Many pure-play integrators, mostly owned by private equity, aim to lead the market by surpassing the 100 million Euro revenue threshold. Trison has built a global footprint, becoming a trusted partner for digital signage by rolling out 2,500 projects annually. With operations in 12 countries, Trison not only deploys experience solutions but also designs, operates, and provides content for luxury, automotive, and other verticals.

Trison has become a blueprint for building an international digital signage player capable of competing with billion-Euro revenue IT integrators. CEO Alberto Caceres and his team have focused on building an international footprint, integrating acquired businesses, and developing a unified company culture. Their performance and potential convinced L-GAM to acquire the company in late 2023, marking one of the rare M&A deals of recent years.

Innovation: Samsung VXT

Taking digital signage out of its niche requires standards, simple business models, and a uniform user experience. With VXT, Samsung is now offering such a B2B mass product. VXT is set is set to become a leading global digital signage platform.

To expand the market, relying solely on specialized digital signage integrators is not enough. IT integrators without specific digital signage experience need to be equipped to offer a wide range of standardized digital signage products, including hardware, software, and services. A bold but necessary move to realize the full potential of the market.

While this disruptive approach introduces new competition in the long-tail business, large enterprise customers are unlikely to subscribe to software via an app store. They will continue to work with specialized integrators who can design and deliver tailor-made solutions connected to complex third-party platforms.

But to make digital signage a B2B mass market, the industry must leave its known tracks. Samsung is challenging established processes and roles in the value chain to unlock the full potential of digital signage.

Rising Star: Nexmosphere

Nexmosphere, this year’s rising star winner, has actually been in business for quite some time now. Founder and Managing Director Hubert von Doorne embraced the vision “A sensor on every screen” long before it was anywhere near to becoming reality.

Understanding the space, movements, and behavior around digital signage screens is crucial for delivering personalized and engaging experiences. This involves enabling interactions in physical spaces and with objects, as well as collecting and providing data in a standardized and manageable form, known in the IT and Consumer Electronics industry as IoT.

Nexmosphere is at the forefront of making digital signage smarter, more interactive and more dynamic. The company stands out as a pioneer in developing professional sensors, hubs, and an ecosystem in digital signage, earning it the title of invidis Rising Star 2024.

Special Award: Andy Bohli, Imaculix/Cingerine

Andy Bohli, CEO of Imaculix, is known for challenging conventional industry wisdom. He loves to shake things up by announcing the end of the playlist and the end of Android for digital signage.

Continuously pushing us to break away from familiar paths and think outside the box, and sometimes also pushing us to our limits, Andy plays a crucial role in helping us analysts and consultants recognize and categorize new trends.

Disruption runs in Andy’s DNA. With a small Linux box, he can control everything from digital signage screens to entire cinema centers. Even in retail media, he moves faster than regulations permit. Using sensors to identify the socio-demographics of approaching shoppers, his media player plays the right ad in milliseconds.

We urge Andy to stay true to himself—the digital signage industry thrives on lateral thinkers, pioneers, and doers who aren’t afraid to try something new. Therefore, the Special Award 2024 rightfully goes to Andy Bohli.