Tag Archives: Digital Screens

Why Retrofitting Digital Signage Saves Big Money

We come across a fair number of customers who already have some kind of electronic LCD’s or Televisions installed in their business. Maybe they use them for information, maybe they use them for entertainment. Either way, at some point, they realized or decided that enhancing the screen into Digital Signage made better business sense than how they are currently being used.

banking

 Banks, Retailers, Hospitals, Schools and Plants are prime locations where TV’s can easily be converted. 

This article is designed to advise such customers who have already invested in some type of LCD or TV screen in the past, that the option to simply retrofit might be a huge savings winner and really help accelerate your company ROI  around Digital Signage.

But first, let’s set the context on why this makes sense.

Business Case:

Most Enterprise and reliable Digital Signage involves three (3) components:

1) Software

2) Hardware

3) Set-Up, Support and Updates

Step 3 is more of a formality and is often blended into the License cost of the software or some professional services fee. But looking at Step 1, we explore the Software; most often represented “as a service”. You purchase or acquire a license to the software which might include some kind of Support, Updates, Hosting and Program Access. In Digital Signage, this is a per unit cost (unit referring to a Media Player / small Pc). Costs can range from .50 cents a day per player up to $4.00.

Next up is Step 2, the Hardware. Once you find a software that you like, feel comfortable with and matches your business goals, it becomes time to look at the capital part of the project. Hardware for Digital Signage usually involves an LCD/LED Screen, a small PC (Media Player in the industry) and some kind of mounting structure (like wall or ceiling). The whole purpose of this article was to demonstrate an excellent way to cut costs in hardware while upgrading or implementing very functional software. Here’s how:

Most Digital Signage companies (at least the top 50 in the world) all have a certain media player they standardize on. It’s been tried and tested. Think of it like car manufacturers. Jaguar doesn’t use Toyota engines and Ford doesn’t use Volkswagen. But they all might have a V6, so the engines are similar. It’s the same for Media Players in the Digital Signage industry. It’s recommended to just stick with what your provider suggests (as long as it’s under $500 USD.. but that’s another Blog!).

That leaves your screen and your mount. In many cases, a customer might have installed a screen in the last 4-5 years. In many cases, the screens have not been overused. They might look a little dated, but otherwise turn on and off perfectly. And that brings us to the heart of the matter. When your company is looking to move forward with Digital Signage, do your best to try and save any existing screens you might have. Don’t be fooled. As long as the TV has an HDMI input and is 1080P,  it should handle any media player that you throw on the back or slide in. The screen itself is usually the highest single item cost, and if the company ego can squeeze a couple more years out of existing screens, you create a real ROI case for yourself.

If you’re not sure about your screen, you have two options: either get a chair and look behind (or take a pic of the model # and google it, or ask a service provider or vendor to make a recommendation.

Obviously any vendor would like to increase the sale with additional hardware and thousands in tv costs. But most software vendors focus on the software, and will (or should) be doing their best to make what you have work. And then, you have the option of replacing screens either as they die, or in small batch sections (either based on geography or department).

In the case of L Squared, we often ship the media players out, have our install team retrofit them to existing screens, connect to the network and are off and running in no time.

If you are not sure how to proceed, or if what advise you should be getting, please reach out to an L Squared rep and one of our Project Managers will always spare a few minutes to discuss anything on your mind.

Stay tuned for our next blog on: How long should I plan before making a decision!

Sales@lsquared.com or Bnacu@lsquared,com

 

Digital Signage Gives HR Powerful New Options

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HR and People Management is a vital function in most organizations. To make the HR department effective, the task of finding innovative ways of being able to connect, engage, influence and support staff is tougher than ever.

Large industries and their sub-sectors such as Manufacturing, Retail and Wholesale  have staff members who are paid on hourly basis, and it is essential that important details are circulated through effective communication.

This has historically been very difficult for HR professionals to achieve.

Although, sticking important printouts on notice boards and using wall posters have helped these professionals in a prominent way, the task of effective communication has become more challenging, especially in industries where new labor gets added on a regular basis/companies with a high ‘churn’.

That’s where L Squared Digital Signage’s solutons for HR comes in. Check out our services for HR, read our latest posts for HR pros and contact us to learn more.

 

What Every College CIO Should Know about Digital Signage Part # 2

When deciding on Digital Signage for your school, there are a few key points every CIO should know before making decisions. Whether you have an existing Digital Signage network or not, these points will ensure you’re fully informed and help avoid any pitfalls that previous CIO’s have shared with us. After Reading Tip #1, here is the must know Tip #2.

CIO Tip #2 

Make sure that Emergency Messaging OR Integration with your Mass Notification System is possible and not overly expensive. In the Education sector, Digital Signage is both a sustainable and valuable communication tool. However, behind the glamour of Student Union campaigns, Weekly Schedules  and Improved Culture on campus, there is a very real need for your Digital Signage to be part of your Mass Notification or Emergency Messaging Program . With solutions like Alertus, E2Campus or Informacast on the market (and many others) , make sure to ask your Digital Signage provider about integrations (API, Web, etc..) and the cost related to making sure your Digital Signage LCD screens can be incorporated.

Integration with Digital Signage shouldn’t break the bank, so be comfortable to ask your Sales Rep about the specific process. A workflow diagram should help you get an idea if your provider is up to the task.

Depending on the size of your School you may already have some kind of independent Emergency Messaging or Mass Notification software running.  The difference between the two is simply that Mass Notification Software is designed to hit multiple devices or platforms (SMS, Desktops, Speakers, VoIP phones, etc..) while Emergency Messaging Software is designed to provide an override function and Emergency interruption with pre-scheduled messages. The differences in both are closer than ever, with the merging of technologies and cross-marketing to the same customer groups.

From a Digital Signage perspective, consider if you already have a Mass Notification Software and can it integrate into a potential Digital Screen Network. If you don’t have any Mass or Emergency Notification Software yet, maybe there is a reason. A lack of funding, resources or just the right timing. In that case, some Digital Signage software have built in Emergency Messaging as a feature that can save your College thou$ands a year and be an immediate short term solution. Many schools in 2015 are in the middle of upgrading or switching form outdated software they have been using since 2011 or earlier. Be sure to to speak with an L Squared Rep about what other schools in North America are doing and what solution will be best for you.

 

Stay Tuned for Part #3, Security Logs and Workflow Permissions – The secret to Digital Signage delegation!

Thanks,

Brent Nacu

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