- In which area or market do you think Advantech’s products can be the most competitive?
Bas: Our products can actually be competitive in every market. For example, in retail, we present the reliability of our products as an advantage. In open areas such as supermarkets and stores, the signage display needs to be available all the time. Therefore, reliability really stands out as a crucial factor for users; a broken system or one that performs poorly will not draw customers. Having a standardized model is also good for large quantity purchases. We strive to make our products indispensable to our customers.
Reliability is especially important in dangerous environments such as certain geographic locations, places with extremely high or low temperatures, and in smoke-filled areas like restaurants. Our products are competitive and fill a market niche not found in other’s products.
- Compared to some of the huge screens displayed in some department stores or in areas like Times Square, how do you think Advantech competes?
Bas: Those types of screens and video walls are produced for specific needs on a project by project basis. Since these business solutions are highly customized and costly, they are quite rare. For Advantech, we like to offer reliable and quantifiable products, designed so a majority of our partners can utilize our solutions in many possible fields. We can also design those large-scale projects by customizing equipment, but they are not pervasive enough for a mass market. Therefore, we prefer to focus more on what our customers need and provide then with the right solutions and best quality.
- What do you think we have done really well so far in Europe?
Bas: In terms of ecosystem, we have done really well in building constructive relationships. Digital signage alone does not satisfy customer demand. They need software, screens, and even peripherals designed to their specifications to give them the machine they expect. We need solid infrastructure to fulfill these system requirements. When involved in a project, we need to focus on the software and other devices a customer prefers and add them into the project’s design. Relationships are of key importance in helping us accomplish any project, even more important in terms of manufacture, design, and assembly.
- What’s next for the Digital Signage Sector in Europe?
We will continue to build relationships. And we are looking for more distributors and channel partners, trying to find more opportunities for collaboration. We hope these partnerships will help us expand the range of digital signage customers and help us understand their different fields and specific needs. Apart from this, we are working with companies such as Philips to build an OPS (open pluggable standard) system that suits both of us. We want to make sure the standard works on each Philips screen. That’s a quick overview of the most urgent things we’re working on at the moment.
Interview to be continued…