Mizuho and Mitsubishi financial groups bailed Sharp out of a hole last October with a $3.6 billion loan in return for taking control of key office and factory assets. Now they are lending Sharp $1.5 billion more to help cover redemption of a $2 billion bond due in four months. For this, the banks have obtained two board seats and some influence on executive changes. The former President becomes a non-voting chairman and the former chairman becomes a retiree. Apparently, the pair are taking the blame for over-investing in Sakai (both for LCD and solar).
There is much more that can be said about restructuring charges, takeover defenses and new business targets, but those may be interesting subjects only to strategy wonks like me. For most readers, the key points are changes in the status of Sakai, renewed emphasis on external panel sales and more concrete plans for IGZO technology.
Looking at consolidated LCD business results since 2002, we can see how profit margins collapsed after 2008. There are two related reasons for that. Sharp became too reliant on demand from affiliated business lines and Sharp’s internal demand declined after the national subsidy for TV sets lapsed (the Eco-Point Program). Sales in the company’s AV sector declined 31 percent from FY2012 and 54 percent from FY2008.
If we look at the difference between consolidated LCD sales and gross LCD sales before eliminating internal transfers, we see that only 50 percent to 60 percent of sales were external transactions in 2008–2012. The portion of external sales increased in FY2013 but the LCD assets in Sakai were removed from consolidation as part of Sharp’s effort to lighten its balance sheet in September of 2012. That means sales from Sakai’s Gen-10 lines no longer contribute to operating results. The problem with that is Sharp’s own capacity becomes only 3 percent of the industry and that share is declining. Sharp is already smaller than China Star (CSOT) on a consolidated business basis.
Thus, Sharp has few alternatives to becoming more of a merchant supplier to other brands, like Samsung. The good news is that Sharp still has unique technical capabilities that other companies may value. It announced three new notebook panels are going into production next month at Kameyama plant 2.
- 11.6 inches, 2560 x 1440 pixels at 253 ppi
- 14.0 inches, 3200 x 1800 pixels at 262 ppi
- 15.6 inches, 3200 x 1800 pixels at 235 ppi
Connecting with Employees
Unlike emails, intranet sites, posters and pamphlets, which have saturated the business environment, digital signage proposes a new broadcast medium by engaging employees via visual-centric communications.
Furthermore, with the reliability of today's network infrastructures, digital signage can distribute real-time information using rich, high-quality graphics and video to a variety of screens. As a result, communication professionals can focus on creating exciting digital campaigns that truly connect with their employees.
"The requirements for being successful with digital signage remain anchored in providing integrated, flexible, feature-rich content targeted to the right person, at the right time, on the right screen." — David Wilkins is president and CEO of X2O Media
There are many digital signage applications for internal communications. These can include bolstering a company's corporate culture via branding initiatives, conducting remote employee training, diffusing employee newsletters, displaying event programs and schedules, and communicating emergency messaging to staff. However, technologies have evolved, allowing new innovative ways to use digital signage.
Requirements for Success
- In order to be effective, solutions should now integrate seamlessly with existing systems, provide flexible publishing capabilities to reach the right users and offer functionalities that make the system both cost-effective and simple to use. What follows are four considerations essential for ensuring that your corporate communications digital signage is a success:
- A company's primary requirement should be to ensure that a digital signage platform can successfully integrate with other internal systems. For instance, companies using Microsoft SharePoint for enterprise-wide content management could use the same content posted in SharePoint throughout their digital signage network without the need to duplicate content creation and management. Consequently, by using tight interoperability and integration, information such as KPI (Key Performance Indicator) dashboards, team calendars and company announcements could be automatically displayed without duplicating data entry, which adds to the cost of managing content.
- Second, a successful digital signage deployment should be flexible. In other words, messaging should be able to target specific divisions of an organization, particular staff members or the enterprise as a whole. By allowing local staff to customize messaging to specific screens and locations, network managers are able to better target their viewers, which increases the content's impact, raises the probability of action from members and makes communication over the network more efficient. This can include real-time messages delivered directly to employees' computer screens via pop-up alerts or information sent to mobile devices to reach staff members working remotely or who may be temporarily away from their desks.
- Another important consideration for digital signage platforms is the ability to leverage the HTML 5 standard, which allows content producers to create media-rich content channels that can be published easily to both onsite screens and mobile devices. This includes the capacity to distribute HD video, 3D animations, graphs and links to live data sources, which recreate TV-like experiences for viewers on any screen.
- Content creation solutions should also support the inclusion of business rules into signage workflows. This allows administrators to schedule broadcasts to coincide with optimal viewing times and better plan programming to ensure that only the most effective messaging makes it onto screens. The result is a more automated and cost-effective signage solution.
David Wilkins is president and CEO of X2O Media, a provider of software for real-time visual communication applications that significantly improve enterprise-wide communications and drive business. At DSE 2013, David Wilkins delivered "Enterprise-wide Digital Signage Fundamentals," an interactive session to help participants understand the requirements for deploying successful digital signage networks for employee communications, employee training, real-time data visualization and more.
This column was reprinted with permission from the Digital Signage Connection and originally appeared here. Add a comment
More than 80 designs were submitted to the online photo contest hosted on the company’s Facebook page. The judging committee, comprised of marketing, communications and design specialists, have given three Judges’ Awards to organizations who excelled in technical design, creativity and communications effectiveness. Online voters chose the People’s Choice winner.
- Judges’ Award: Anadarko, Bring Your Kids to Work Day
- Judges’ Award: Anadarko, Anadarko Encourages Employees to Vote
- Judges’ Award: First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, Service Times
- People’s Choice: Mountain Empire Community College, Happy Holidays
The Expression Awards are part of Visix’s ongoing strategy to bring AxisTV software users together, to spotlight creative abilities and system management skills, and to recognize Visix customers for their contributions in the field of visual communications.
All of the entries and winning content can be viewed at http://www.facebook.com/visixinc in the Photo Contest section. Add a comment
New for 2014, DSE has added a Professional & Personal Services category to differentiate services provided by banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, brokerages and salons from the general retail category. The definition of the “Interactive Self-Service” category has also been broadened to include submissions from the burgeoning automated retail sector
To qualify, nominees must have a new or current digital signage or interactive technology program installed between Nov. 1, 2012, and Nov. 1, 2013. Submissions deadline is Fri., Oct. 4, 2013, and forms are available at: http://www.digitalsignageexpo.net/dse-apex-awards.
Nominations will be evaluated by a panel of independent judges on the basis of:
- Challenge – The size, scope or unique requirements of the deployment and what problems had to be solved or overcome to ensure successful implementation.
- Solution – The degree to which the solution was “cutting edge” (new, unique, or innovative).
- Result – The quantitative extent to which the digital signage or interactive technology deployment benefitted the viewer and achieved the installation’s goals.
Nominees remain the venue where the installation was deployed. The nominating companies can be the venues themselves, the technology providers that provided the installation hardware and software, the architects and design firms who conceived the project, as well as thesystem integrators who did the installation.
The 5th Annual Apex & Content Awards Dinner will beheld on Wed., Feb. 12th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Again, submissions deadline is Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, and all the forms you need to enter your own company or installation are available at: http://www.digitalsignageexpo.net/dse-apex-awards
The 2013 winners are:
Industry Deployer of the Year
Six Flags Entertainment Corp.
Network Operator of the Year
Screenmedia Integration Award
Project: SportChek Retail Lab
Client: FGL Sports Ltd.
Best Digital Out-of-Home Campaign Deployment - Digital Signage
Project: Times Square Takeover Campaign
Client: Beats By Dre
Best Entertainment/Gaming Deployment - Digital Signage
Project: Digital Content Delivery for Match Days
Client: Fulham Football Club
Best Financial Services Deployment - Digital Signage
Project: Digital Branch
Client: BBVA Bancomer
Best Government Deployment - Digital Signage
Project: Digital Signage System
Client: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Best Restaurant Deployment - Digital Signage
Client: The Holland, Inc.
Best Retail Deployment - Digital Signage
Project: "Store of the Future"
Client: Build-A-Bear Workshop
Best Travel Deployment - Digital Signage
Project: Terminal 3 Digital Signage
Client: McCarran International Airport
Best Corporate Communications Deployment - Self-Service / Interactive Kiosks
Project: The Aramco Experience
Client: Aramco Services Company
Also contributing: FLOAT4 Interactive
Best Digital Out-of-Home Campaign Deployment - Self-Service / Interactive Kiosks
Project: Choose Your Subaru Adventure
Client: Subaru of America
Best Entertainment/Gaming Deployment - Self-Service / Interactive Kiosks
Project: Teeosk Gaming System
Client: JustOne Golf
Best Financial Services Deployment - Self-Service / Interactive Kiosks
Project: NOVO Experience
Client: Bank Audi
Best Government/Education/Non-Profit Deployment - Self-Service / Interactive Kiosks
Project: EZtouch Window
Client: Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School
Also contributing: DXM Marketing Group
Best Restaurant/Food Service Deployment - Self-Service / Interactive Kiosks
Project: Costa Express Vending Machine
Client: Costa Express
Best Retail Deployment - Self-Service / Interactive Kiosks
Project: Showroom Digital Media
Client: John Deere
Best Travel Deployment - Self-Service / Interactive Kiosks
Project: Hertz gives self-service a human touch
Client: The Hertz Corporation
Digital Signage Award Judges
Lyle Bunn, Principal / Strategy Architect, BUNN Co.
Brad Gleeson, President & CEO, TargetPath LLC
Christopher Hall, Editor, DigitalSignageToday.com
Eric Himes, Director, Digital Media and Video Production, Marshall University
Gary Kayye, Founder, rAVe Publications
Keith Kelsen, CEO, 5thScreen Digital Services
Thomas Kunka, Coordinator, Network Systems & Operations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Erik Larson, Assistant Professor - Broadcast Design, CUNY College of Technology
Barnaby Page, editor, Screenmediamag.com
Lucas Peltonen, Digital Out-Of-Home Director, PITCH
Sean Scott, President, SignIndustry.com
Lou Thurmon, CMO, Two West, Inc.
Michael Tutton, Manager, Digital Signage, Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation
Self-Service Kiosk Award Judges
Ted Blanchard, Principal, tedblanchard.ca
Natalie Gagliordi, Editor, KioskMarketplace.com
Eric Hoell, SVP, Operations & Product Development, SoloHealth
Dan LaFayette, Lowes.com Product Owner, Lowe's Companies, Inc.
Faith MacPherson, Senior Director, Global Payroll Services, Avery Dennison
Michael Mascioni, freelance writer and market consultant
Jared Padgett, Manager of Web Development & Digital Media, Pepperdine University
Frank Roscoe, Director of SSM Division, Qpay, Inc.
Janet Webster, President, Creative Solutions Consulting
Sean Whiffen, Co-Founder, AutoNetTV Add a comment
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- Christie Digital Systems Canada Wows Customers and Employees Alike With 70-Megapixel Digital Canvas
- Philips Redesigns the EL Series Digital Signage Displays
- China Drives Global Digital Out-of-Home Media Growth in 2012; Pacing to Surpass U.S. as World's Largest DOOH Market in 2013
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