Barco, a global leader in professional visualization systems, purchased Montreal-based enterprise communication specialist X2O Media, the full-service provider of software, network management services and content services for professional digital signage and corporate communication applications, in March 2014 and in so doing, expanded its technology platform with advanced connectivity capabilities.

X2O Media has been available in South Africa since July 2013, when Moving Tactics, the leading South African digital signage solutions company, secured the rights to resell the internationally acclaimed real-time visual communications software for the South African and Africa markets.

The X2O software platform, built on the power of HTML5, introduced an advanced level of digital capability never before available in South Africa. Chris Day, Managing Director of Moving Tactics explains, “X2O was and still is a game changer in the industry. The X2O platform can be used as either a cloud-based solution or be built into an enterprise environment, allowing any type of business to configure the platform for a multitude of uses, from corporate communications to retail digital signage to digital menu boards. This enables users to communicate key messages in real-time to target consumers via a range of digital devices, whether they are digital screens, interactive kiosks, tablets or smartphones – all from one solution.

Moving Tactics has become the largest cloud-based customer and reseller of X2O Media worldwide and has the most cloud-based licences registered internationally, due to its versatile and innovative use of the software. The company focuses on providing in-store digital signage, music and radio solutions for clients in the Retail (FMCG and Beauty & Cosmetics), Corporate Communications, Financial, and Quick-Service Restaurant industries and has most recently employed an X2O Media software solution within Clicks stores countrywide.

Clicks, the largest retail health and beauty-focused chain in South Africa, partnered with Moving Tactics to install digital signage in their Top 25 stores nationally. The in-store digital screens reach an audience of 2 million people per month and its strategic focus is on building an innovative media platform that will inform and benefit the shopping experience for its customers whilst enhancing the look and feel of its stores. X2O Media is being utilised to provide coherent and integrated product and service information to customers, as well as track their shopping habits, throughout their customer journey within the store.

The customer journey, and the supporting in-store digital signage, begins at the entrance to each store and wends its way through various retail departments, such as cosmetics, fragrance, and FMCG until it ends at the till points. Via the X2O Media software cloud, different apps, solutions and functions are employed throughout this journey to provide a seamless and versatile solution for the retailer:

  • a content management solution supports Clicks’ promotions strategy to provide customers with the latest on-point seasonal service and product promotions and provide a wide variety of suppliers, large and small, with an equal media voice in-store at point-of-purchase
  • a queue management app has been created and integrated into the digital screen technology to facilitate effective queue management and at the same time gather data on customer service wait times and teller operator effectiveness
  • due to X2O’s HTML5 capability, a Retail Analytics solution has been bolted on to the software to track customer behaviour and gather relevant data
  • Social media links, such as a Facebook, Twitter and News24, are linked to the digital screens at the till points to engage with clients
  • in-store mobile capability is linked to the cloud
  • media sales and retail reports can be generated from the information and data gathered.

The high-end technical capabilities of X2O and its adaptability to specific local and regional application environments make the software platform an easy choice says Kevin Bierman, Head of Digital Signage Solutions at Moving Tactics. “It is all about capability and functionality. Our X2O digital signage system works completely independently from Clicks’ IT and technical system, and it has access to many channels from a single server.

“We have built and developed X2O to meet our clients’ requirements. For example, for retailers it is especially important to be able to collect data, analyze such data and develop ways to increase your return-on-investment, which X2O allows. Another advantage is that it’s an end-to-end HTML5-based platform that enables X2O channels to be created and managed from one interface, saving users significant amounts of effort and costs in cross-publishing. The HTML5 technology also enables broadcast-quality graphics, video and dynamic content that immediately grab viewers’ attention,” explains Bierman.

In addition to working with clients in South Africa, Moving Tactics has installed digital signage and audio solutions using the X2O software platform in neighbouring countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Angola and Tanzania, in mainly the Quick-Service Restaurant sector.

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