Enterprise digital signage solutions are usually associated with larger companies, university campuses, hospitals and so on, where the purpose of the digital signage is to affect human behavior, not just to push out announcements.
But no matter the size of the organization, the benefits of an enterprise digital signage CMS have value. There are a number of advantages to these platforms that some of the “free” digital signage solutions you find on the web just can’t offer.
A major advantage is that enterprise-level digital signage scales in two ways – the size of the deployment and the feature set. When thinking about size, an enterprise system makes it a simple matter to add more locations (either locally or globally) by just adding more displays and media players, and possibly licenses.
There’s really no limit to the number of screens you can drive. And this scalability also means that your system might integrate with a wide array of endpoints, like touchscreens, video walls, desktops and even mobiles.
When thinking about feature scalability, an enterprise CMS gives you a lot of flexibility and customizability that you just can’t find in a system that’s locked into a templated toolkit. When you’re not inhibited by restrictive templates, layouts can be custom branded and change as frequently as you like, so there’s a lot more flexibility in the style of content you can make available to your audience.
Enterprise systems also allow for more granular centralized control – a person or team higher up the organizational ladder can manage user privileges and approve messages before they get published. This lets more people contribute content, which is all part of localizing your communications and spreading out the workload.
Everyone wants realtime data on their screens, and enterprise digital signage platforms integrate with more data sources, from a wider array of systems and content providers, for more variety on screens – all with less work.
Since content creation is the number one burden on digital signage managers, an enterprise system is the surest way to keep your screens fresh with up-to-the-minute accuracy.
Some examples of data integration include event management systems like Exchange, Google and EMS; Excel, JSON and XML; Microsoft Power BI and other dashboards; and things as simple as weather and social media feeds. Since the information auto-populates, this frees up your managers to focus on other tasks.
What we mean here is subsets of features that can be added to the system over time. They are developed outside the core platform. The core CMS remains as it is, but new apps and capabilities can be added whenever you want with no interruption in regular service.
So, you might decide you want to have a social media widget, and when one is developed that’s compatible, you basically just drop it into the system, and it integrates seamlessly.
Or, if the same vendor develops an app that works with Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) for emergency notices, you can integrate that into your platform, and the app and CMS will work together without issue.
When we’re talking about security and digital signage, we’re very often talking about browser security versus desktop security, and how it impacts a secure network.
If your digital signage system is on site, and the hardware uses something like Windows 10 IoT, that’s pretty secure because it’s an embedded technology.
Whereas many organizations aren’t comfortable porting data back and forth to the cloud (interoperability) because that opens up their network to security breaches from outside sources.
Good reporting tools are essential for any digital signage system, especially when it comes to things like content creators (who, how many, who’s using it the most), which playlists are the most commonly used, where content gets delivered most often (which displays, which times of day) and how effective that content is (based on whatever measurements you define).
The real point is to get a deep look at what’s the most effective content, and how and why it’s so effective. This lets you adjust your other content to make it more effective and relevant to your audience.
You need to be constantly checking, evaluating and adjusting your deployment.
These considerations aren’t just important to digital signage managers.
It’s all over the communications conversation these days. In fact, in the January 27 issue of EDUCAUSE Review where they list the 2020 Top 10 IT Issues, #1 is information security strategy (which means being able to respond to and prevent security threats and challenges), and #4 is digital integration (making sure the whole system has scalability, extensibility and interoperability).
Digital signage is dynamic at every level, including the behind the scenes stuff. Using an enterprise-level CMS lets you scale up as you need to, and to connect to the data sources that make your business run on a daily basis.
These systems are inherently more secure and can offer a whole host of reporting tools to help you optimize and fine-tune your messaging over time. That’s why an enterprise CMS is the way to go for any serious medium- or large-sized organization. You may spend a bit more up front, but you will actually save time and money in the long run.