Here at Signagelive, we are only one part of a larger ecosystem that’s called Digital Signage. We’ve got a unique approach and business model, only focusing on running our software on a cloud-based infrastructure for digital signage networks. We strive to be the most transparent and engaging company in the market by publicly listing our pricing, providing free, unlimited online technical support, and even opening our team to new ideas and improvements suggested by our customers and partners.
Digital signage is a sub-segment of signage. Digital signs use technologies such as LCD, LED and Projection to display content such as digital images, video, streaming media, and information. They can be found in public spaces, transportation systems, museums, stadiums, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, and corporate buildings etc, to provide wayfinding, exhibitions, marketing and outdoor advertising.
So, in summary, digital signage consists of any size screen displaying any type of content for any reason. That’s an incredibly broad description and one of the main reasons that the average person looking to install a digital signage network can get easily confused. The other key reason for confusion, of course, is the huge number of vendors to choose from, which is why there’s a “Top 25 Digital Signage Software Vendors List” instead of just 3 or 4 obvious choices.
Identifying your needs
The first question we ask our customers – and the one that they often struggle to answer – is “what is the ideal result once you deploy your digital signage network?” This is the first step in identifying a potential customer’s goals and objectives, and we go a little deeper with a few more questions:
- How many digital displays are you looking to deploy?
- What’s the timeline for the project deployment?
- What’s your content strategy?
- Do you have a budget?
After conducting this exploration process we tend to either quickly move to a demonstration of our capabilities or the potential customer decides they have homework to do. Either scenario is a good one. If you’ve got a clear understanding of the intent and the resources required to make your network a successful one, it’s time to get some digital displays and get your feet wet. If you don’t, it’s far better to take a step back and think it through instead of falling into the trap that many people do: buying digital displays, hanging them up and spend months trying to figure out what to do with them.
Determining the selection criteria for technology
The good news is that the costs for procurement and installation of a network have come down considerably in recent years, so you’ll likely be able to quickly figure out the hard costs. The soft costs are much more difficult to determine because the services vary so widely in what’s offered and the business models that they represent. The easiest way to think about this is to look at the two largest ongoing costs of the network: content creation and network management.
Content creation costs vary widely based on the purpose of the network, the quality required and the frequency of change. Here a few categories of deployment, ranging from simple to complex:
- Single-screen, automated content – news, sports, weather, FIDS, etc.
- Menu boards
- Public facing boards in a corporation
- Wayfinding screens in a mall
- Videowall in a major retailer
Determining the application, the quality and frequency of change will give you a rough idea of your ongoing content creation costs.