Friday, September 24, 2004

Digital Signage >> Services Opportunity

Gary Kayye of Kayye consulting recently syndicated an article that discusses the need for developing a services side of audio visual solutions and sales.

A segment of his article notes the following:

It all started less than half-dozen years ago with the words "street price" being placed on projector press releases -- repositioning the list price. Then, within 14 months, the average dealer margin for selling projectors dropped for most dealers from about 28% to less than 15%. And, now it's well less than 10%.

Webpavement concurrs with Gary's assessment of pro a/v product sales. With the commoditization of many of the displays on the market today - including plasma and lcd - margins are decreasing and businesses must review their businesses and re-engineer their business models to support this trend.

Digital Signage is a market segment that has tremendous services opportunity. See this chart that was used in a Sony presentation for the projected opportunity in the services side of the digital signage market. Note: Webpavement believes this chart lacks the business consulting associated with digital signage projects.

When selling Digital Signage solutions, your business must have or build capabilities in (1) Information Technology and Networking (2) Content Creation and Encoding and (3) Professional Audio Visual services. You will also need to be prepared to offer (4) business advice and consulting.

Your customer WILL ask questions in all of the above areas. This should translate into services opportunity from your stand-point.

Webpavement has been around the block and has competencies in all service areas related to digital signage. We invite you to partner with us for your digital signage projects and we'll assist you in addressing these in-evitable services requirements.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Webpavement @ Digital Retailing Expo

Just wanted to let our readers know that Webpavement will be present at the Digital Retailing Expo. We will be located in the Philips Business Displays booth showcasing and answering questions about our (1) digital signage products (2) your digital signage ideas and (3) your digital signage initiatives.

Contact Us to schedule a meeting at the Expo.

If you're not able to make the show, we will offer a post-show recap blog on

Friday, September 17, 2004

Webpavement sets the bar for enterprise grade digital signage solutions

We recently posted on Webpavement's scalable digital signage architecture. It is no coincidence that Webpavement is widely known for having the most robust and scalable digital signage platform. After all, we built Sign Server from the ground up with enterprise grade scalability in mind.

Webpavement's robust platform for digital signage is available to our customers as a hosted solution or it can easily be integrated into their existing datacenter. We recently received a call from one of our earliest clients that happens to be a Fortune 100 company. He was calling to let us know how pleased he is that the Webpavement Sign Server installed in his datacenter has been running successfully for nearly a year without ever being rebooted.

For rock solid enterprise grade digital signage solutions that meet the operating requirements of some of the largest companies in the world, look to Webpavement.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

New Paper Like displays from Magink, Gyricon, E Ink etc..

There are a number of well funded companies that are creating paper thin displays that can be remotely and instantaneously changed. They are primarily text based systems that are black and white only.

The providers offering these paper-like digital displays include (1) Magink by Mitsubishi (2) E Ink by Sony and Philips (3) Gyricon by Xerox and others including IBM and Siemens.

This new technology has great promise for the digital signage market.

Webpavement will stay on top of these developments to ensure our software is compatible with these new displays. The new paper like displays are a natural fit for Webpavement. We were founded in 1999 with the premise and best practice for 'display type independence'. Our solutions currently support CRT, LED, LCD, Plasma, Projectors, Holographic and other displays on the market today.

The new smart paper like displays are designed for numerous applications and devices including small electronic devices and large format billboards. They are much cheaper than large format LED displays.

LED manufacturers and LED integrators have not been too concerned about these new displays because they are only offered in black and white.


According to an article in Business Week. Magink's digital ink is the first to offer a full spectrum of colors.

Friday, September 10, 2004

What does Webpavement Mean?

We are frequently asked what the name Webpavement means? I'll start by saying: YES Webpavement is a digital signage company, not to be confused with a paving company.

One of our advertisements visually depicts our name and company vision the best - 'Paving the Roads of the World's Busiest, Most Profitable Intersections'.

History: in 1999 company naming trends were e-, web- and other naming conventions that were targeted towards network and business infrastructure. Companies such as V-Brick, BitPipe, Network Engines, Data Pipe, NetGear and others made company naming decisions to indicate infrastructure.

If you have a look at our logo, you'll notice that their is a W and a P on the yellow bars which turns out to be WP - short for Web Pavement.

The web portion of our name is easy to explain. From the beginning, we knew digital signage networks should be managed centrally through a web based system - hence the 'Web' portion of our name.

The 'pavement' is a play on rock solid and infrastructure. Our solutions are used by many as the underlying technology (i.e. plumbing) for distributed digital signage networks.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Cities starting to favor bright electronic advertisement billboards

Webpavement believes networked electronic advertising billboards (a.ka. spectaculars) in high traffic metropolitan areas is an under-developed market and will grow substantially over the coming years. Webpavement was specifically founded in 1999 to meet the needs of this market. Our mature 3rd generation software products to manage electronic billboard networks has been ahead of its time - until now.

An article by Sarah McBride of the Wall Street Journal recently validated our belief in a news story that proves the sign times are a changing.

It is a far cry from 40 years ago, when the landmark Highway Beautification Act made freeway billboards an endangered species. Since then, billboard companies have chipped away at the law, mostly citing their rights to commercial free speech. Many communities that outlawed billboards found their rules toppled in court as the companies stepped up their legal challenges.

Once the scourge of civic-minded urbanites, large-sign advertising is making a comeback -- and increasingly in electronic form. Developers are cutting deals with city governments that allow them to plaster their projects with razzle-dazzle advertising in exchange for investing in blighted or undeveloped areas, often close to sports arenas. Such projects helped boost spending on outdoor advertising to $5.5 billion in 2003, up 5.2 percent over 2002.

''We're going to see more and more cities identify areas ... that they want to promote as areas of entertainment,'' said Paul Meyer, president and chief executive officer of Clear Channel Communications' outdoor-advertising unit. ``One of the elements of creating that kind of area is spectacular signage.''

Developers and outdoor-advertising companies say they have become more aggressive about integrating ad space into projects at the planning stage, rather than slapping it on in a hodgepodge at the end. And many local governments are actually encouraging them.

Another reason city officials are warming up to these spectacular displays is because they are more attractive than the traditional vinyl billboards and often draw a better-caliber advertiser than the bail bondsmen and strip clubs that sometimes rely on billboards. The new genre of giant electronic advertising relies on digital-display boards, revolving screens and other high-tech gizmos, which planners say are more palatable today.

A Sampling of today's Electronic Billboard Projects:

1. In Los Angeles, AEG, a unit of Anschutz Group, is planning a four-million-square-foot entertainment, hotel, and office development around the Staples Center, complete with a giant wall of advertising.

2. Ellman Cos. plans for a residential and commercial complex near a new sports arena outside Phoenix, got the red-carpet treatment from city officials in Phoenix when they presented plans that showed giant Times Square-style ads snaking up towers higher than neighboring buildings and rows of electronic display screens that obscured the entire top floor of one structure. Phoenix city officials anticipated the tax dollars that would flow in from his 6.5 million square feet of offices, apartments, restaurants and shops. Community advocates focused their efforts on issues like traffic, not the development's appearance.

3. In Washington, D.C., developers of the once-rundown area next to the MCI Center lobbied the city for an exemption to the rules banning most large spectaculars and electronic billboards; it was given city council approval last month.

4. In Toronto's Dundas Square area, the latest strategy to swell pedestrian traffic involves a new steel advertising tower that is 232 feet high. The city hopes the tower will contribute to the renewal of the square, which is home to Toronto Eaton Centre, Canada's top retail center, and the 1.1 million sq. ft. Atrium on Bay retail and office complex, atop which the tower sits. The wow factor is accomplished not only through the tower's size, but also the structure's ability to dazzle viewers with 20,000 sq. ft. of multimedia signage in neon, LED, 3-D, and motion.

The point is clear that multitasking Americans now accept an electronic bombardment of advertising that might have seemed out of line 20 or 30 years ago.

Contact Webpavement to speak with our engineering and business experts to help you capitalize on the electronic billboard trend.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

MCSi News - If you really care..

For those of you that want to catch up on MCSi, here is a link to the messageboard where people STILL post their grievances.

The company headquarters in Atlanta is now occupied by Technical Innovation.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Firms' emphasis on visibility a sign of the times

Opportunities for outdoor LED advertising signage is a growth market waiting to happen. Outdoor electronic billboards are not just applicable for Times Square anymore.

Location, Location, Location in commercial real estate will soon include digital Signage, digital Signage, digital Signage.

Today, businesses negotiate leases on high rise buildings with a high emphasis on outdoor building signage. The branding opportunity for building signage is particularly attractive in areas with traffic problems, such as Atlanta's downtown connector. Commuters spend hours every day in bumper to bumper traffic with nothing to do except talk on the phone and look around at billboards.

The Atlanta Jounal Constitution had an article (9-6-2004-author Maria Saporta) about revenues generated from high rise building signage. It discussed a trend in Atlanta that we believe is present in all major cities in the United States and abroad.

Firms are paying large sums of money for company logo space on buildings for branding purposes. With many interstates converging in downtown Atlanta, building logo's can capture 500,000 eyeballs a day. Downtown logo signage contracts are being signed for $50,000+ annually according to the article.

The building signage deals in metro Atlanta have largely been static back lit signage. Our question is -- if the demand for signage is high-- doesn't this indicate the need for building's management companies to look into LED signage. More logo space is available with an electronic billboard.

As a matter of fact, LED's in today's environment can do more than display logo's - they can now display targeted full motion video advertisements. Now, let's think of the big picture. Advertising LED signs can be installed in vacant lots and other downtown areas specifically for advertising revenue. LED display prices from manufacturers such as Barco are not as far out of reach as one might think.

Webpavement believes LED advertising billboards will become more prevalent in metropolitan areas by forward thinking media companies, such as Clear Channel Outdoor. The opportunity has arrived and the business opportunity is real.

Contact a Webpavement representative to discuss opportunities and ideas for outdoor networked LED advertising screens in your area.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Limelight Media Group Mishap

Thought the Webpavement blog readers would enjoy this story. Webpavement enjoys keeping an eye on the few public digital signage companies that exist today. For those of you that would like to have our public digital signage company watch list, we will post it in a future blog.

Here is some interesting information from David Lott's (CEO) Limelight media group.

Limelight media group (otc: lmmg.ob) is a Nevada based company with operations in Memphis, Tennessee. Limelight is partnered with Impart Technologies of Seattle - a company that has managed services contracts with financial institutions. See the details of their partnership from a June 30, 2004 press release.

Limelight is in the digital signage industry and offers "in-theater," "in-lobby," and interactive promotional advertising mediums for the cinema advertising industry.

The mishap occurred on August 18th. Based on news reports from Investors Business Daily (IBD story) and CNET (CNET story), an un-named source (not sure if it's from LMMG or another 3rd party) reportedly paid $50,000 to purchase then tout the Limelight stock. Emails and faxes were blasted to potential investor lists. Have a look at the chart and pay attention to August 18th's traded shares volume.

The story ends with a retraction by Limelight and an internal investigation. As a result of a Limelight internal investigation, changes to Limelight's structure, policies, and procedures are in process and will be implemented and reported at the earliest possible point.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Scalable Digital Signage Networks

Many callers often ask if Webpavement software is scalable. Scalable digital signage from the customer perspective is typically stated as such - "if we start with 50 digital signs, will your system have the capacity to grow to 100, 500, 1000 etc." The answer is YES. Why? Because Webpavement engineers designed and implemented a system architecture for ultimate scalability.

Webpavement's system architecture is built for scalability. Our Sign Server product is a datacenter grade product designed to support unlimited number of distributed media players (a.k.a. hosts, clients, digital signs etc.).

Sign Server employs a web server, application server and back-end database. The 3 components are considered the brains of a digital signage network. Sign Server can be installed on a single server or physically separated on two servers for ultimate scalability. Rest assured that when you use Webpavement's hosting or managed service - the system architecture that is powering your network employs the 2 server approach.

To further enhance our viewpoint, it is a known fact that enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems used by Fortune 100 companies to run their businesses employ this system architecture. These systems include SAP, Oracle, Peoplesoft, Lawson, Siebel and many more. Webpavement is a digital signage company that uses the same enterprise system architectures as these proven software leaders.

This is the first of what we believe will amount to numerous blogs on scalable, reliable and secure digital signage.