Digital Signage (DS) doesn’t have to be complicated. People make it seem so to create a “barrier to entry” which seems ridiculous, but a lot of the technobabble and “geek speak” are used to “filter” out knowledgeable integrators and clients from the non (and it helps integrators and consultants up their fees if the work seems even more difficult for a client to put together). It’s much simpler than it looks and systems don’t have to take a degree in computer sciences to figure out (or at least, they shouldn’t). Here’s a quick “Roundup Review” means of looking at any DS system and making sure it suits your needs:
1. Is the system easy-to-use? Out of the box, can the client (or reseller) create some simple content and schedule the content within a 5 min window from start to scheduled?
2. Is the system scalable? Can it perform well for 1 system and is it easily scaled up to 100 or 1,000? What about user access? Are there settings to allow different users different privileges/access?
3. Is the system easily accessed remotely and does it allow for multi-site backups? Ideally the system should have anywhere/anytime secured access (through login). The same system should be capable of running should the network connection go down AND (again, ideally) have the content on both the system players and some off-site location (like a hosted server from the system provider).
4. Can the system be used for any Digital Signage system to run content (i.e. OLED, LCD, LED exterior/interior, or other display)? Check to see the system limitations. Many providers have a particular “niche” they do well in, but no so well when you go outside of that niche. Ask the reseller or provider directly what (if any) limitations does the system have and will it suit your particular needs?
5. Quality of the video – does the system allow for true high definition content?
6. How often is the system updated and what’s the roadmap for new features? Do updates have a cost? Will the new features come bundled or will they have a separate cost?
7. Monitoring – can you tell which systems are up and which ones are down? Does the schedule-at-a-glance tell you if content has expired or is currently playing (or if there’s nothing scheduled? Does the system send out an auto report (email, sms, other) when something goes wrong? There’s much more to look at with the systems, this is primarily just about the platform/player. A review is advised to ensure the hardware meets/exceeds customer requirements for the DS system. That’s a whole other bundle of questions and checks which we’ll get into another time. When reviewing the platform you’ll be using, make sure it’s as “future forward” as possible (meaning built-in options to integrate third-party applications, flexibility of customization/use, and a constant flow of new features sets and improved interface modifications from the company. With technology, you’re either moving forward or standing still… if the provider you choose isn’t going anywhere, than you can expect to be left behind with them…
Please comment here or send questions or requests for information to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re working on releasing more educational resources and material on the website www.spectacularmedia.com, please check it out when you have a moment. Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Spectacular Media’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically noted.