The Advantage of Centrally Managed Digital Signage Systems


Digital signage (DS) is an effective, real time communication tool that is particularly beneficial in scenarios where large numbers of people are spread out across a large area.

DS fits the bill for getting the appropriate message(s) to the masses when it’s most relevant.

The incremental value of this tool comes when all signs are connected and centrally managed.  This becomes a challenge within many large organizations. As the medium has evolved, we’ve seen individual departments take the lead and deploy their own systems. The common result has been several disparate systems that don’t communicate with each other.

If your organization is facing this dilemma, the replacement costs can be mitigated. The existing hardware (screens and PCs), existing network infrastructure and electrical work can likely be repurposed.  Many DS vendors will offer trade in credits on existing platforms to lessen the blow.

There are several advantages to having a centrally managed system.

Emergency Notifications – this is probably the most “mission critical” application of DS. With a properly configured system, viewers can get up-to-the-instant instructions on how to deal with an emergency. This messaging can also be localized with specifics to a particular building or area of campus.

Cost Savings – managing the entire campus from one system means only having to buy one system for the entire organization vs. one system per faculty. There is less infrastructure to buy and better pricing to be realized when purchasing centrally.

Brand Continuity – having a centrally managed system allows for continuity and consistency of messaging across campus. As a viewer, I can go anywhere on campus and know that the screen I am watching is part of an overall system.

Pooling of Content – in many cases, content becomes a challenge. Keeping messages current isn’t always possible, especially when the DS is someone’s “part-time job”. Having all systems interconnected means being able to pool content so that individual users have more items to choose from. This also provides opportunities for cross promotion within departments. For example, an athletic event can be promoted in the business school.

Operational Efficiencies – having a centrally managed system means that internal resources have one platform to support. It is more likely that internal stakeholders (IT, facilities, AV) will embrace maintaining a single system over having to learn and manage multiple ones.

Many use the evolution of websites as a parallel. In the early days, websites were treated as a grass roots initiative. It was not uncommon for content to be outdated and websites crashed regularly.  Organizations soon realized the importance of this business tool and brought structure to the overall execution.

Local Contribution – one of the dynamics that comes into play with most large organizations is local users wanting control over the content on the screens in their area. This can be achieved with a centrally managed system.

Most of today’s management platforms provide the ability to assign different users with access to selected screens, even down to particular screen sections.  This process becomes seamless to the individual users. They post content to their screens without having to worry about how their screens fit into the overall communication strategy. Central users can also contribute content to individual screens or groups in conjunction with the local users. Emergency overrides can take control of the system and relinquish it back when the situation clears – all without any intervention from the local users.

An intelligent, well thought-out digital signage system can service all stakeholders, bring operational synergies to the organization and communicate timely and relevant information to viewers.

Contact MCC’s Audio Visual Solutions Division today to learn more! 

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