Mike Kilian is the Director of Business Development for Mvix, a market leader in technology and products for high-definition digital signage systems, video-wall appliances, interactive digital kiosk systems, IP-video broadcasting and content management systems. We spoke with him about considerations for video walls and more info on what Mvix does.
TD: What kind of services are out there for companies to manage content within digital signage?
MK: Digital signage content management systems encompass a variety of delivery and control mechanisms. Initially, there was more of a LAN-based approach to digital signage content management. However, those types of systems have a variety of limitations. With these shortcomings in mind, companies like ours have been migrating toward a web-based approach to content management systems (CMS). Web-based mechanisms give you a variety of control features, reporting features, and remote access features that simply aren’t present with a LAN-based solution.
Many of these systems, including our XhibitSignage platform, go to market in a software as a service (SaaS) model. The goal of web-based content management systems is to enable remote control of your digital signage implementations, in a way that’s easily accessed and has central management but allows delegation of workflows and responsibilities if needed. This is especially important from an IT perspective. While many stakeholders want IT support for their deployment, IT resources are often scarce or allocated elsewhere. Delegation abilities allow for background support, with minimal ongoing involvement from IT.
TD: Who in a company should manage digital signage?
MK: Based on our experience across different sized projects – and we’ve worked with Fortune 100 companies all the way down to single-location, mom-and-pop operations – we find that the stakeholders who are in the best position to manage a digital signage project are the ones that are the driving force behind it (“the project champion”) from the get-go. They can contribute better to the success of the project than any other stakeholder group can, simply because they’ve stipulated and are aware of the factors that ultimately define the success of the project. In a corporate environment, this would be the communications/marketing team, or someone in a recruiting or HR team. Whoever has defined the elements of success of a project is typically the group that’s going to want to manage it.
That being said, it is usually best practice to have some sort of IT involvement in the project. From time to time technical concerns will arise, whether it’s the procedures and protocols of the company itself or a networking issue. With an ample understanding of the CMS and the project, the IT team can respond to issues without devoting continuous resources.
TD: What are some capabilities that content management software should provide for companies?
MK: The largest focus of a content management software, in our opinion, is to enable or empower the group of stakeholders using it to communicate effectively and efficiently. You can have all sorts of features, functions, remote management capabilities – at the end of the day if the client isn’t capable of using it then you probably haven’t leveraged that system to the most potential that it has to offer.
Along those lines, what separates professional content management systems is the dynamic content that they can bring to the table. What’s considered basic digital signage nowadays used to be the standard when digital signage was conceptualized. However, today’s more complex projects and evolving dynamic content in both mainstream media and internally within a company, drive a need for content, widgets, and applications that meet that level of communication requirement.
A great example of this concept is managing events on a digital display. Here, think of corporate events such as a conference/seminar, retreat, trade show, shareholder meeting, team building event etc. Anyone can create a PowerPoint slide with a list of these events. It is time consuming, but doable. What a content management system can do, that a localized business software cannot, is maintain integration with a calendar or a widget that will dynamically showcase the events for you. This kind of efficiency is what a content management system should be designed to promote.