The Australian music industry is going through a very challenging time in 2021. An industry statement declared that the impact of the pandemic on Australia’s world-leading music, theatre, comedy and live entertainment industries has been truly devastating. John F. Kennedy famously said in his inauguration speech: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. Well, now there is something that you can do for your country by supporting our local Australian music artists.

ARIA’s Our Soundtrack Our Stories is a local music initiative that serves as an excellent way to enhance customer and employee experience while supporting local music artists.

instore music datmedia

It’s a chance for Australian media and business to get behind homegrown music as it struggles under the pressure of waves of lockdowns and restrictions – all but eliminating prospects for live touring for the foreseeable future. The initiative calls for public commitment to increase the inclusion of diverse Australian artists in the commercial and mainstream landscape.

As such, here at datmedia, we have updated our background music service offering so that:

  1.   datmedia’s retail library of music now boasts over 1200 tracks by Australian artists from current stars such as Vance Joy and Troye Sivan through to classics from INXS and Yothu Yindi.
  2.   Our clients can now choose to play local artists on heavier rotation or play them 100% of the time.

You can sample some of our quality, ever-expanding Aussie playlist right here.

We are making this available to our music service clients at no extra cost to make it easy for our clients and all Australian businesses that play background music to get behind this intuitive and to discover, champion, share, and consume more local music.

Importantly, datmedia’s Aussie background music solution also ensures that your business is compliant with industry music license requirements.

Together we can promote our artists, promote the enormous economic and cultural contribution of local music, and ensure a bright, bold, diverse and exciting future for the next generation of musicians and music lovers alike.

Please get in touch so we can help your business to support our local artists and participate in this important initiative. If you’d like to help right now, I’d also like to encourage you to please ‘like’ and share this post with your networks and circles of influence while listening to this playlist. The Australian music industry thanks you. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Sometimes going forward means you need to go back to basics. Here’s a quick reminder about what digital signage can do for you, and how it can propel your business in the right direction (forwards).

Omnichannel is a catch-phrase that’s regaining traction. Successful businesses are those that can pull the online experience into the offline world of physical retail. 

As we look ahead to reopening our economy, retailers who can bring their online strategy into the store will be winners because they’ll be appealing directly to people who’ve spent two years at home, shopping online.

Now they can do it for real.

Planning goes a long way. So does having the confidence to use all the tools at your disposal. Those that have digital signage have an advantage because they already have a mechanism to boost the profile of their product or business. They have a mechanism to fortify the omnichannel experience for their customers.

It’s a wonderfully flexible tool. It can let you share information in real time – whether that’s a promotion for customers or information for staff. Digital signage is a powerful technology that, harnessed properly, can help business owners weather the most turbulent economic storms.

digital signage

The best thing digital signage can do for you is attract customers to your business. Humans are hard wired to notice visual information, and we notice it more quickly when it’s dynamic. 

It’s said that the brain processes an image 60,000 times faster than text. With video content on digital signage, you have a winning advantage over your competitor who is relying on static, printed communication. You can also draw a direct link to your online content and once you gain a customer’s attention the hard work has been done. They’ll be more responsive to your offer, and that leads to sales.

Whether you’re using a video wall or an LED display – you can use digital signage to shape how customers feel about your premises and add value to your brand. It lets you do whatever you want, whenever you want to – promote products, price points, concepts and values. Use it to help make people feel good about your business.

Digital signage is also cost effective. The same piece of artwork can run on any number of screens in any number of stores while eliminating expensive print runs, distribution costs and compliance issues. 

With a good content management system like Laqorr, you can control your marketing strategies or corporate communications from one location with ease, further reducing the financial burden on your business. It also reduces customer confusion which might arise through misaligned campaigns as well as any cost implications. That’s real power.

datmedia new world

If you want to do more than just survive in 2022, make sure that digital signage is one of the tools at your disposal. Used wisely, it will help your business stay ahead of the competition, weather the storm and add real value to your brand. 

In short, there’s no business on the planet that won’t benefit from aligning online and offline through digital signage and the suite of cloud-based technologies we can introduce you to.

Get in touch and let us help you with your strategy to cut costs, reduce waste and beat your targets. If you want to read more articles, please do.

*Source: shopify.com.au

The pandemic has changed the way that we do so many things. Some are temporary and others are evolving as we continue to learn and adapt. The New York Times recently started a series called ‘Our Changing Lives’ exploring the way we now live. To kick things off they explored the future of work, and how working remotely has become a new way of life for many.

They wrote: When the pandemic is in the rearview mirror — someday — many of us may look back on these years as the moment that our work lives changed forever. When millions of employees were told to work remotely, the boundary between our office lives and home lives began to blur, in ways that are still unfolding.

For those that can work remotely (and 2020 did a good job of helping us identify who they are), work may never be the same again. Hybrid and remote workplace solutions are being adopted and developed, so I asked datmedia’s veteran remote-worker, Colin Fraser, for some tips. Colin is our Content Services Manager and has been a telecommuter for over a decade. Much of the face-to-face work that he does is when I bring him along to meetings, to, well, show our clients how to work remotely, more effectively.

The beauty of our digital signage content management system (CMS), Laqorr, is that you can schedule content on any screen, anywhere in the world from wherever you are and on whichever device you are using. I have often observed Colin taking advantage of this from the back of a taxi or the passenger’s seat of my rental car.

laqorr from your phone

Our clients love how Laqorr simplifies otherwise complex content management tasks for them. As Colin is the system’s primary user at datmedia, I wanted to ask him about his top three productivity hacks to help you with your quest to become the most efficient remote or hybrid worker that you can be.

Here are his top three favourites:

#1 Auto scheduling

Because we’ve all got more pressing things to do, one of the best features of Laqorr is letting it manage scheduling for you. One of our clients makes constant use of this time-saving feature, and they love it. Once they’d set up the structure, they simply tag their files and Laqorr does the rest. You can be  as broad as you want (file plays across the entire network) or as granular as you need (only on the inward facing screen on the left hand side of the door at the Frankston site). Our client’s who are WFH love that they can achieve this after a Zoom meeting and before dinner using Laqorr’s cloud based interface on any device they have on hand.

#2 Groups

Groups are where players and playlists come together. Whether you’ve created a manual playlist or chosen to auto-schedule, all players in the same group will get the same content from the same playlist. This helps our clients conceptualise how their network will operate by grouping players to deliver the same messaging, usually in the same location; all external facing window displays, for instance. Another group might be all screens behind the counter. A group also lets you daypart with ease. Several clients use this feature to run targeted playlists depending on the time of day, or days of the week. Quick service restaurants, for instance, love this flexibility. Once again, clients can make adjustments to these groups anywhere they have an internet connection. Like at home.

#3 Forward scheduling

If your marketing calendar is up to date, there is no reason why your Christmas content can’t be scheduled now. Think of the time you’ll save later in the year. It can always be updated if necessary, meanwhile, you get to enjoy finessing your schedules with real-time marketing, personalisation and localisation. All things that Laqorr is well equipped to do.

wfh

We hope that by embracing Laqorr as one of your hybrid or remote work tools that you will see digital signage content management as a fun, efficient and effective way to engage your audience from wherever you are, and whenever it suits you.

We built Laqorr with cloud-native features to make Colin’s life easier and our business more efficient. Now it’s available to help streamline your marketing communications, increase your productivity and provide a seamless way to manage devices and content anywhere from anywhere. Just like Colin does.

If you have found this article or any of these tips helpful, I would like to encourage you to share this to help organisations adapt and succeed as we all evolve the way we work. If you would like to learn more about how Laqorr can help improve your hybrid or remote operations, please get in touch. We are genuinely here to help. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Though the world has changed and the way we conduct business is evolving rapidly, projects are still going ahead. Here are 10 timeless quotes that apply to your project to inspire everything from budgeting through to deployment.

1. A year from now you may wish you had started today ~ Karen Lamb

One thing that the changes in the world right now have taught us is that there are no crystal balls to see into the future. However, there is something to be said for being proactive when you know what the business and more importantly the customers need.

2. If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business ~ Scott Stratten

Trust is hard to gain and easy to lose. Face-to-face meetings aren’t always going to be possible and 2020 has done a good job of enabling us with the tools and resources to build relationships virtually.

3. Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning ~ Winston Churchill

Worrying is a poor use of imagination and energy. Better to convert that energy into innovative planning and problem-solving activity.

4. Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work ~ Peter Drucker

Projects don’t happen by themselves. Once all the decisions have been made, it’s business time! Business is simply a professional word for busyness.

5. One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency ~ Arnold Glasow

Now is the time to work on the important, not the urgent. If it’s urgent and important, then that’s a no brainer. However, ‘urgent only’ shouldn’t trump ‘genuinely important’!

datmedia chrome enterprise solutions

6. If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late ~ Reid Hoffman

Timing is everything in this day and age. Waiting for perfect conditions could mean missing the boat or missing even the necessary outcome of the whole project.

7. Quality means doing it right when no one is looking ~ Henry Ford

Warren Buffett said: Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. The cheapest price isn’t always the best deal. Often the reason something isn’t the cheapest option is because it has quality and value baked in that you can’t see at first glance.

8. Progress means not just changing, but changing for the better ~ C.S. Lewis

There’s no shortage of change at the moment. These changes need to make an impact and improve systems, operations, productivity and customer/ employee experience.

9. The path to success is to take massive, determined action ~ Anthony Robbins

Oftentimes, internal processes can stifle progress and disrupt desired outcomes. With supply chain constraints and obstacles like never before, a determined early commitment from key stakeholders can mean the difference between a project’s success or failure.

10. The time is always right to do what is right  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Compromising integrity, values and quality shouldn’t be necessary to get the project done right.

One more quote? If your project requires cloud-based customer-facing and frontline worker-facing technology tools, we can provide an actual quote to help with that. Please get in contact with our project team with your requirements and we will be in touch with an estimate and recommendations to ensure that your project is a success.

Thanks for reading and sharing ?

Karen Lamb once wrote: A year from now you may wish you had started today. You can apply that to so many things in life, and in a nutshell, it essentially means the same thing as an even better-known phrase: Sooner, rather than later.

On that note, if you have any projects that require any sort of electronic or computing equipment between now and Christmas 2021, the end of June 2021 was the best time to sign off on the project.

I say that with my tongue in my cheek, but seriously, due to the global shortage of semiconductors, the sooner you can put your finger on the necessary equipment, the better.

I am celebrating my 7-year work anniversary this week here at datmedia. I love working in the technology sector and helping organisations innovate and improve everything from operations to customer experience. However, it just occurred to me this week after speaking to several clients, that not everyone is aware of the current supply chain constraints and the impact on projects worldwide.

From the automotive industry to start-ups that make contactless ordering possible at your local cafe, every industry is being affected by this unprecedented global shortage. Semiconductors are an essential component of electronic devices. They are found in everything from cars and factory machinery to dishwashers and mobile phones. Essentially these tiny silicon microchips are used to control the electric current flowing into devices.

The global shortage is due to a perfect storm of supply and demand conditions. 2020’s COVID-19 lockdowns in China, along with a coinciding raw material shortage, triggered international supply disruptions. Simultaneously, the instant global demand for devices needed to work from home skyrocketed.

To make things worse, as it turns out, panic buying isn’t restricted to toilet paper shelves at the supermarket. Manufacturing companies that use semiconductors have started stockpiling whatever they can get their hands on. Unfortunately, this only further restricts supply and contributes to an increase in costs.

Last year many businesses had to pivot and change the way that they operate. The global microchip shortage is #GettinReal now and it is forcing companies to drastically extend the necessary lead time for required equipment supply.

Bottom line – It’s real! If the project is going ahead and equipment has been decided on, don’t wait. Order the devices as soon as possible to ensure that all necessary equipment is available within the project timelines. If there is any scale involved, add an extra tablespoon of urgency. We are genuinely recommending placing orders now for anything that needs to be installed by Christmas 2021.

As always, we are here to help. If you have questions that need to be answered to help with important decisions about a project, please don’t hesitate to get in contact. We have specialists that can help with procurement, software development, installation challenges, content & media and most importantly, project management.

Here are some articles about the global microchip shortage and what it means for business:

As Anthony Robbins says: The path to success is to take massive, determined action. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Contact tracing is arguably one of the best defences against the spread of COVID-19 to-date. A robust contact tracing system combined with extensive and comprehensive testing is proven to help control the spread of the Coronavirus and save lives. One of the challenges that contract tracers have is finding all of the locations that may be of risk to the community. Often this can be due to visitors being unable to check-in if they don’t have a mobile device.

Most businesses should now be registered with the relevant state government apps to display QR codes for visitors to scan and check-in/ register their visit. But what about those visitors that don’t have a mobile device with them? Their health and safety, along with their potentially infectious status and the time of their visit are just as important as everyone else. Especially to the contact tracers.

names

Many retailers, hospitality venues, places of worship and even medical practitioners have resorted to a notepad of paper with a selection of (pre-cleaned and re-cleaned?) pens at the entry or reception. However, in many environments, this simply isn’t practical. When the contact tracers need that information, they need it urgently and in the form of manageable data. Lives are at stake!

For an easy off-the-shelf quick fix, businesses can simply use a touch screen kiosk or touch screen Chromebook with a purpose-built Google Form to collect the necessary data with a cloud-hosted, manageable Google Sheet. This provides a quick and easy way for visitors to check-in/ register their visit. It also serves as a very simple method to enable businesses to retrieve, manage and share the necessary visitor data with contract tracers and authorities as required.

check in

The forms can be easily branded, customised and updated so that appropriate graphics, questions and data use disclaimers can be utilised. One form could service a single location, or could easily be edited so that it can be used for all sites. Then place a hand sanitising dispenser next to the Chrome device and you have a safe, quick and secure way to bridge the gaps for contact tracers and keep your visitors safe.

If you would like to know more about how to set this up for your visitors and data collection, please feel free to get in touch. We are here to help and we have lots of ideas to help create better customer experiences and ways to streamline workflows. If you have found this helpful, we would like to encourage you to please share this quick fix to help businesses to comply with contact tracing regulations, improve public safety and assist in the battle that we are all fighting against this relentless, contagious and deadly virus.

easy

IT professionals will validate the fact that most remote workers have limited (if any) IT skills. When deploying technology to a remote workforce, the less involvement required from the end user the better. The global pandemic has accelerated the urgent need for secure, easy-to-use, versatile and cloud-ready devices, and Chromebooks and Chromeboxes have emerged as an ideal solution to enable and connect remote workers. Now, the deployment of those devices has become easier than ever for IT teams thanks to zero-touch enrolment.

Zero-touch enrolment means that IT departments can drop ship Chrome OS devices that will automatically enrol into enterprise administration as soon as the end user connects to the internet. The process is so straightforward that the equipment is genuinely ready at #unboxing.

Once an end user receives the device, all they need to do is connect to the internet, login, and they’re ready to go.

This has eliminated the time needed for manual configuration. Zero-touch enrolment ensures that Chrome OS devices are registered to automatically enrol once in the hand of end users. This eradicates the need for manual device enrolment by IT departments or end users. It also means that all necessary policies and permissions are already applied, and the user can simply log in with their designated identity immediately.

Almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? It’s for real. If you think that this kind of thing could solve all sorts of problems and save hours and hours of time for an organisation, check out this video.

I know what you are thinking now. What about virtualised environments so that remote workers can access legacy apps? Easy ? Now IT Administrators can enable access on Chrome to run legacy, proprietary and full-featured software, like Microsoft Office with a solution called Parallels Desktop. It is a great option for organisations that intend to, but haven’t yet made the investment in broader virtualisation infrastructure, or don’t have plans to do so. Unlike typical remote virtualisation solutions, Parallels Desktop provides offline access to applications and does not require an internet connection to run.

Although this is really just skimming the surface of how deploying technology to your remote workforce has never been easier, I hope that you have found this article helpful and insightful. Because effective digital transformation is revolutionising entire industries and rapidly changing customer expectations, it has never been more important for organisations to invest in technology that can lighten the workload for IT departments, alleviate risk, increase productivity and tighten security.

tom fishburne

2021 is the time to take action to facilitate better ways to do business in the future. You can start by trying a free demo of a Chrome device on your desk. It could be a real game-changer. Harvard Business Review reckons playing it safe is riskier than you think.

Thanks for reading about the ease of zero-touch enrolment. I’d like to encourage you to share this with an IT Administrator who would prefer fewer headaches and more hours each day. I’m certain they’ll thank you for it.

#StaySafe and productive.

——————-

Image credits: Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist, Adobe Stock
Video credit: Google Chrome Enterprise

When it comes to wow factor, LED digital signage has got what you’re looking for. Whether it’s something as super-cool as this wave machine in Korea, or a more humble display that simply wraps around a pillar in your store, LED panels give you the versatility to do pretty much what you want.

The thing to remember is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You need some imagination, a handful of LED panels and a content management system (CMS) to drive them. We recommend Laqorr (see below) although other systems in the market are also capable of delivering results.

led digital signage

Take this eye-catching cube effect outside a Uniqlo store in Tokyo. Ingredients:

  • 6xLED panels
  • Content Management System
  • Imagination
  • Milk crate (optional)

It may look complicated in terms of hardware, but it’s not. To create a video cube, all you need are six LED panels and a CMS that delivers dynamic video content. You can use a milk crate to prop up the panels while creating the cube, and afterwards to sit on while admiring your handiwork.

Creating the eye-catching content will require some concentration – this is true for any digital signage deployment – but once that’s in place you can let the software do the work.

By taking digital signage into a more creative space, your store becomes a talking point that drives traffic, and increased traffic drives sales. This is why you have a digital signage network in the first place.

datmedia led digital signage

And as you can see, whether you create a cube or any other form-factor, the setup and installation process is effectively the same, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. The only limitation is your imagination.

If you’re interested in exploring new ways of reaching customers without reinventing the wheel, talk to us about the power (and wow-factor) of LED digital signage

The days of making a menu in power point and pinning it the wall of your cafe have long gone. Technology has made it easy to put your menu on digital signage, and update it on demand. But like other upgrades, most restaurant owners wonder how fast they can achieve a return on investment. Apart from easy scheduling, digital signage offers many benefits like improving visual appeal and enabling remote management, all of which has proven effective in increasing sales.

Convenience

The most powerful thing about digital menu boards is how convenient they are for you and your customers. A paper menu is only as good as the last time you printed it. As soon as something changes (the price goes up, you run out of stock), it’s out of date. Because a digital menu board can be updated on demand, it’s always current. You can also run several types of menus – in addition to your rump menu you can show specials, lunch, brunch, dinner, desserts, drinks – and you can choose what time of day you want any or all of them to appear. A traditional printed menu simply isn’t that convenient.

Appearance

With digital signage, a world of design opportunity opens up. Visually appealing menu boards make all the difference to customers, their retention and their repeat business. Animated graphics are suddenly possible (try that with a printed menu). The better impression you make, and the clearer your information is presented, it’s more likely people will remember your menu. And that makes a difference to your return on investment. 

indoor digital signage

Hardware

Choosing the right hardware is critical. Most screens simply can’t handle the rigours of a restaurant – whether that’s kitchen heat, cooking grime or accidents caused by careless patrons. Significantly, a lot of hardware won’t have a warranty that covers use in this kind of environment. You also need to consider how customers view the screen – will they be bright enough, can they be used in portrait mode (surprisingly, many can not) – and you need to consider how you’ll update your menus. Which is where your content management system (CMS) comes in.

Software

It’s clear that you’ll want to update your menu at some point. How often you do that, on what screens and – for those who have a network of stores – in what location will determine the kind of CMS you should get. There are many in the market, some will be over-engineered for your needs, some will be difficult to use, others will be totally inadequate. It pays to window-shop and find one that works for your team, and for your customers. We recommend Laqorr, and are more than happy to show you under the hood. Ask us about it when doing your research.

When running a cafe or any kind of quick service restaurant, you cannot ignore the importance of digital menu boards. They help when your customers are making their decisions, they help boost sales, customer retention and help improve your bottom line.

When I sat down at my desk and turned on my computer (a Chromebox) this morning, there was a little alert advising that an update was available and to restart to apply the update. Now in a Windows or Mac world that could potentially render your device useless for an hour or so while the updates are downloaded, installed and applied. However, on a Chromebox (or any Chrome device including Chromebooks) a reboot never takes longer than 10 seconds until the machine is fully operational. I’m serious. 10 seconds. So I rebooted and got to work.Then I thought to myself, remember back when you had to worry about antivirus software and the relentless job of keeping it up-to-date. That’s all obsolete now. The Chrome Operating System has such sophisticated security features built-in, that even worrying about devices becoming compromised is now a thing of the past.

Often when I am speaking to prospective new clients that have a need and use for digital signage, touch screens and devices for frontline workers and customers, a common concern arises. Security. One of the fears that would-be digital signage users have is that someone will hijack the content on their screens and display competitors content (or worse).

One horror story about this type of activity was in 2019 when hackers uploaded a pornographic video that then screened on high profile central Auckland promotional screens to shocked shoppers and pedestrians. The video ran for approximately two hours from 8 am. While some people were shocked, others reportedly just stopped and watched. With all of the hard work that Marketing and Branding teams do to build trust, loyalty and brand advocacy, this is not the type of content any business would like playing on their screens.

chromebook

Another concern organisations often have is that a network of digital signage devices will add to the IT Team’s workload. Setting up and maintaining a fleet of new devices would usually just add risk, vulnerability and extra work for the IT Team. By using Chrome Enterprise one IT Team reduced device setup time from three hours to 25 minutes. They said: “Chrome Enterprise adds extra security features that protect employees and our platform while offering easy support tools for our IT team”.

Many people are wondering what the #NewNormal will be like. If you think about it, using devices that increase security, reduce workloads and mitigate risk should really be part of the new normal for organisations. Here are five security features that you might not (but should) know about Chrome devices and the Chrome operating system:

Sandboxing

Chrome OS keeps different software on Chrome devices separate with sandboxing. So even if one part somehow gets infected, the rest is designed to stay safe.

Verified boot

Every time a Chrome device starts up, it goes through Verified Boot — a rigorous and seamless security check-up in the background that prevents malware.

Security chip

Protect your data. Every Chromebox and Chromebook includes a built-in security chip to encrypt the most sensitive data and keep it away from prying eyes.

Built-in virus protection

Built-in virus protection defends Chrome devices from malware automatically. You can focus on what you need to do, instead of installing third-party security software.

Powerwash

In the rare event that something does go wrong, a fresh start is just a click away. With the power-washing feature on Chrome devices, they can easily be reset (even remotely) to restore factory settings and get rid of malware in the process.

it security

So in a year when cybersecurity has never been more important, It’s nice to know that there are simple technology choices that can help alleviate risk, increase productivity and tighten security. If you or someone you know are considering digital signage, but have security and IT concerns, you should try a Chrome device demo. I can hook it up for free and it could end up saving your organisation hundreds of IT hours and unnecessary security headaches.

If you have found this article insightful, or helpful, please consider sharing it to help others to find out how to gain critical control in managing threats and mitigating the harmful impacts of attacks. Thanks for reading and sharing.