At the beginning of February, Grassfish presented a new brand identity. But there is much more than just a new logo: a new market positioning, a new organization, new subsidiaries and a new partner ecosystem understanding. invidis met Roland Grassberger, Managing Director and Chief Innovation Officer of Grassfish for an exclusive interview.
Since May 2021, the Viennese digital signage software specialist Grassfish has been part of the Swedish Vertiseit Group. Even before the takeover, Grassfish no longer positioned itself solely as a CMS-only provider, but as an ISV+ – a digital signage platform provider with concept and project management expertise. The scope of the repositioning was not fully understood by the market. as planned by Grassfish. That’s why Roland Grassberger wants to clear up a market misunderstanding right at the beginning of the invidis interview: „We are not an integrator and do not claim to provide everything ourselves. We work with partners on every project.“ But roles in the digital signage value chain have changed.
„We are closing the gap between online and offline.“
„Retailers today expect more from their strategic digital partners. Technology alone is no longer enough; partners should be able to holistically shape the future of stores for retailers. There are not many companies that can do that.“ From the analysis, Grassfish came up with the task catalogue of also having to offer concept consulting and technical design as an ISV+. „With Thorsten Wien as head of the Grassfish Consulting Unit and his team, we are well positioned.“
But according to Roland Grassberger, the new Grassfish is now even more consistently aligned with market needs. The new platform – which has been available since the end of 2021 – offers far more than is known in the market. „With Grassfish IXM – the in-store experience management platform – we offer more than just digital signage. Grassfish IXM offers brands and retailers a comprehensive way to manage all digital in-store touchpoints on a global scale. We bridge the gap between online and offline.“
What exactly Grassfish means by this becomes clear in the course of the conversation: „Displays are much more than just digital billboards, but tools for the retailer that let salespeople advise and sell more successfully.“ Digital signage thus becomes business-critical – a vehicle handover becomes an event, or customers‘ mobile phones are included in the sales process. The relevance of the platform should also be reflected in the name: IXM sounds like CRM and is to become just as important in the future.
„We remain the specialist.“
A demarcation takes place both downwards – more than digital signage – but also still upwards: The IXM platform does not want to be a DXP – but the Digital Experience Platform for the physical space. „We remain the specialist; jack-of-all-trades like Adobe struggle with in-store experiences. The physical space it’s a complex field.“
The Grassfish IXM platform is also expected to be the nucleus for further growth. „From our point of view, in five years‘ time there will be more specialist platforms with dedicated features for individual vertical markets. Like the digital signage school platforms that already dominate in education with connections to specialist software or something similar in the workspace corporate sector. In the specialist world, we want to be the retail specialists.“
Organisationally, many things changed at Grassfish at the turn of the year. Grassfish was completely integrated into Vertiseit, which now operates under the new Grassfish logo. The operative Scandinavian subsidiaries – formerly Vertiseit – now operate on the market as Grassfish Nordics. The ISV+ strategy developed in Austria has also been adopted in Scandinavia.
The classic software-only business with integrators in Scandinavia and Great Britain continues to run under the DISE brand. Vertiseit remains as a brand for the listed holding company. The company is managed by CEO Johan Lind and CFO Jonas Lagerqvist. Roland Grassberger is now responsible for the entire group as Chief Innovation Officer, while Alexander Korte is in charge of the activities at the Vienna location.
ISV+ in the invidis yearbook
In the 2021/2022 yearbook, the invidis experts explain the core behind the ISV+ concept. Download the yearbook free of charge here to read this and many other analyses on the topics of digital signage, retail technologies, CMS software and DooH.