Netkey, a global provider of solutions for self-service kiosks and digital signage, has successfully completed validation of its Netkey Software Platform for the Ready for IBM (NYSE: IBM – News) Retail Integration Framework program.

The IBM Retail Integration Framework leverages open standards including Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS), Open Application Group Integration (OAGIS), and Global Standards (GS1) to unlock communications between services, information sources, and business processes, making the store and the retail enterprise seamless.

The IBM Retail Integration Framework initiative brings together platform-independent software vendors that deliver proven solutions designed and built for the retail industry. Through this initiative, IBM works with select IBM Business Partners to validate solutions that meet a rigorous assessment of next-generation, open-standards-based store environments.

The Netkey Software Platform is a highly-scalable suite of applications and management software modules designed to help retailers quickly develop and operate media-rich kiosk and digital signage systems. A long-standing IBM Business Partner and independent software vendor (ISV), Netkey solutions have also been validated by IBM for use with the IBM Anyplace Kiosk.

“In today’s challenging economy, retailers are increasingly turning to self-service kiosks and digital signage as valuable tools to enhance the customer experience, improve employee performance, and generate sustainable returns,” says V. Miller Newton, CEO of Netkey. “Achieving Ready for IBM Retail Integration Framework status reflects the power of the Netkey Platform as the software foundation for highly-scalable digital media systems that create brand differentiation and deliver real business value.”

To achieve validation, Netkey developed tight integration with IBM WebSphere and IBM Tivoli middleware. Retailers now have the option of using IBM WebSphere middleware as the application server for their Netkey-powered kiosk or digital signage network, and the Netkey Platform will pass kiosk or digital signage media player alerts to the IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console for simplified monitoring and management of store devices.