Six Questions for Bill Colson – Part 2

Date: 
01/19/2012

Bill Colson - Director, Retail Services Segment, Personal Solutions Division, Intel Corp

Q: At the end of the first part of the interview, we talked about how the lack of audience measurement tools was holding back the digital signage industry.  Is this an area where you think Intel can make a difference?

A: Yes.  We believe that with the digital signage industry being so young, and somewhat fragmented, that affordable and accurate measurement technology will ensure growth in the digital signage industry. Intel® AIM Suite fills that gap.

Beyond that, what we learned from our work in digital signage, from both a software and hardware, may enable us, later in our life, to purpose-build CPUs, chipsets, baseboards or whatever for other measurement needs, for example – kiosks in the middle of agricultural areas for weather charting.

Who knows? But we’re confident that what we learn in the digital signage space will apply to many other areas that would benefits from measurement and analysis.

Q: In which industry sectors do you see digital signage gaining the most traction?

A: The most traction is clearly in the retail sector. Retail represents about 50% of the current market. It's closely followed by a combination of transportation, hospitality (restaurants, bars, quick-serve, hotels resorts, casinos), and, somewhat surprisingly, banks.

Those are the biggest sectors, worldwide. The U.S. and Western Europe do seem to lead in the amount of advertising dollars as well as the number of digital signs, but we see a huge growth opportunity in both Asia-Pacific and Latin America. 

Q: What do you see as the advantages of Intel® AIM Suite over the competition?

A: The two main ones are accuracy and affordability.  Those are key. While AIM Suite runs best on Intel architecture, it will run on nearly any CPU, without the need for additional, expensive proprietary hardware.

We're also able to provide data services that others cannot. For example, we’re building a database for major industry sectors that will establish baselines for campaign planning and for measuring success. The data is aggregated across an industry without identifying particular clients. AIM Suite clients will be able to compare the performance of a particular marketing or advertising campaign to industry-wide performance, based on a wide variety of criteria like product type, location, customer demographics, etc.   

Q: Why did Intel decide to license AIM Suite rather than sell it? 

A: I'd like to think that we’re giving the software application a way for free and the customer is really buying a service.  So, clients are not buying an application; they're actually buying business intelligence or the analytics services enabled by AIM Suite.

The licensing model is very new to Intel, but it's not very new to the industry.  You have companies like Amazon or Salesforce.com or even Google that have been doing it for umpteen years, and they've done pretty well at it.

Q: Currently, how many content management systems (CMS) and media players have been integrated with Intel® AIM Suite?

A: In one sense, all of them. To date, we’ve been able to integrate with every CMS and media player tested by our service providers. In many cases, integration has taken one day or less.

So far, we had over 25 successful integrations, without a single failure. While there are over 300 different systems out there, our 25 easily command 80 percent of the worldwide market.

Q: What has the response been to Intel® AIM Suite, so far?

A: Very positive.  People are surprised that it comes from Intel, but they like that. The Intel name stands for high quality and high performance products. Customers have confidence in Intel. They know that we’ll be here tomorrow. And they know that we’ll continuously improve our products and services, and work closely with them to enable their success.

Questions? AIM Suite Knowledge Base