9. Expanding the system…make sure there’s room to grow
We have seen during the past 7 years of installing digital signage solutions that many people have either grown their signage systems or wanted to but have not been able to due to the technical limitations of their current equipment or indeed limitations of a budgetary type.
During our pre-sale consultation with our clients we get them thinking about the long term requirements for their digital signage system. This usually involves two areas. Content and Management.
Content requirements for the initial roll out of a digital signage system may be as simple as showing a few still images which change every 3 months. Not really much of a challenge for any digital signage system.
Think about however how your business may want to the signage to grow with it. Will you want to play a wider variety of media files types such as Flash or Web pages? Will you perhaps want the content to be more dynamic, updating news, weather or social media content automatically without intervention? Simple solid state media player may be good for simple solutions and if this is all you will ever need, great. If not think about how you may need more advanced capabilities further down the track.
The second area we discuss is the overall management of the system. This is somewhat discussed previously in my Blog “networked or non-networked” But we have some clients who chose to install a sneaker net system and have, a few years later, realised that a networked solution may have been a better solution. Or at least a solution which allowed them to upgrade to a networked solution now they are ready to.
Even if you don’t want to manage or shell out for a fully networked digital signage system but you think you may want to go down this path in the future you owe it to yourself to look into the options.
The correct choice of software is also imperative when thinking about growth. Most software now will manage and operate for a small quantity of screens they start to show limitations when you grow your system. “Free software” is usually so for a reason. We have seen this many times. Make sure the software you choose is well established and has the proven capability to run a system large enough for your requirements.