Once you’ve decided to invest in a digital signage network, you’ll need to make a number of decisions about how you’ll run it. Although even a little bit of research can overwhelm someone who is new to content management technology, you’ll soon start to make sense of the project once you ask yourself these basic questions:
- What are the objectives, and how will we measure success?
- How many sites are there? Where are they?
- Which department will be responsible? Do they have resources available? Is this budgeted?
- What does the content look like, how much of it will be needed, and how will it be produced?
It’s about planning, collaboration and assigning responsibility. When everyone knows how they’ll be engaging with the digital signage network, the characteristics for the most appropriate content management system (CMS) will become evident.
A good CMS like Laqorr * is the glue that holds a digital signage network together. Some are sold on an enterprise basis — meant to be installed and managed by a larger customer’s IT team. However, the majority of CMS are cloud-based platforms, with multiple end users accessing a shared set of servers and databases.
So what does a good CMS need to do?
1). It needs to work at scale. Whether you’re updating content on 1 display or 100 displays, you need a CMS that makes that process easy. You don’t want to have to update each display separately, you need to be able to issue one command that sends every screen new content at once.
2). It needs to play still images and video. There’s nothing as captivating as the moving image to tell a story, sell your brand or inform customers. Yet there are times when a still image is more appropriate, or legally required. Therefore your CMS must be able to play both, and play them seamlessly.
3). Don’t stop there. While images and video are the bread and butter of digital signage, it’s just as important to be able to bring up html files, websites and run apps on your network. You need a CMS that can do all that while also being able to assign different elements to different areas of the screen.
4). It needs to be web-based technology. No one wants to have to visit the office at 10pm because a player in the network is not running the correct video. However, few of us mind logging in on a browser to load a file, or make a simple adjustment to a playlist. It takes seconds, not hours.
5). Most importantly, it needs to be secure. It is critical that your CMS does not compromise the data security of your company. You need complete confidence that no one can hack your CMS and burrow further into your organisation’s IT network, nor compromise your digital signage network itself.
Choosing the right platform can be perplexing, but there are a few main factors to help you get started.
Most cloud-based systems charge by the device, per month, similar to wireless phone plans. On-premise systems usually have front-loaded one-time costs, which can work better for some companies if the system is funded as a capital cost, as opposed to an ongoing operating expense.
Cloud-based systems leave the IT demands to the software as a service (SaaS) provider. Most end users now are opting for SaaS — outsourcing the system (and sometimes even operating tasks like scheduling and monitoring) to a service provider.
Ultimately, the biggest influencer on CMS selection is what will be on the screen. For example, a platform designed for finance services may not suit the needs for retail marketing. A CMS that is incredibly robust and powerful might be over-engineered for the task at hand (and that brings you back to budget).
Laqorr * does all this and more.
Download our cheat-sheet to see how easy it is to load content, build a playlist and run media content on a national (or international) network of displays.
If you’d like to learn more about how Laqorr is the perfect fit for a digital signage network, get in touch with one of our subject matter experts today.
*Many people ask. Laqorr is pronounced La-Core