Tag Archives: Operations

How Digital Signage makes a HUGE difference in Business

As a global Digital Signage company, we have a number of large, commercial B2B clients across the globe. For years, they have spent time and energy looking to improve results in almost any area of the business.  In recent years, the focus has been particularly around employee behaviours and communications.

It was too easy to see that Digital Screens made a tremendous impact on customers in public settings. But stakeholders needed to break new ground through internal optimization as well, no matter what industry they happended to be in. Whether it was healthcare, education or just good ole manufacturing, the questions were the same:

 How do you engage non-salaried or low-salaried staff to love their job, believe in the company vision and bring their best on a consistent basis. Tall order?

Well, modern business practices don’t think so.

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TOP 5 Reasons Digital Signage makes a Difference: 

The consistency in the conversation is not limited to any one industry sector. It exists as much in retail and education as it does in corporate and manufacturing. Here is a list of top 5 differences Digital Signage can make and comments from leading Senior Executives:

1) Control Content from any desk or computer

That means you no longer need to overstress on creating, printing and distributing company news to multiple locations on multiple occasions. HR, Operations or Marketing can manage screens from their office or from home. Not to mention it free’s up valuable walk time (up to 80 hrs. / year per person in some companies). Especially with reporting documentation.

2) Employees have moved past the Paper World

Whether we like it or not, technology is the dominating source of most of our information. Using smartphones, computers and social media has shifted how we consume information for ever. You were thinking of printing the latest production reports or benefits changes? Think Again… Digital Signage makes the access and enablement of information a Digital Experience that can traverse social, mobile, email and on-site communications.

3) Get everyone in on the Action

Digital Signage isn’t restricted to HR or just Marketing. The software can be learned and controlled by multiple departments and almost any employee. In fact, we have 100 million dollar customers where the Front Reception is the content / schedule manager. We also have customers where the Operations, HR, and Safety staff use the same program to run different screens with different messages. What you see in the Hospital Employee lounge might be be very different from the Shop Floor or the School Corridor.

4) Real Time Updates 

No matter how trendy or over-used the word “real-time” is, it doesn’t change the fact that in business, real-time information is very important. The ability to display reports from any department, process or 3rd party software (in most cases) is invaluable. Whether it’s local weather or an ERP production, error or waste report, Digital Signage is a live, connected and reliable method for the basis of all future employee communications.

5) Dynamic Content makes a difference 

No matter how you slice it, the human eye is attracted to movement and creativity. Instead of simply printing or using a USB with 40 pages of power points, let Digital Signage break up a Screen into multiple sections (frames) with content for everyone. Some staff love the news, while others are more process oriented. Sometimes, a benefit change or HR BBQ can make the world of difference. Also, it never hurts to throw in live videos, humour and internal content from your own teams.

In the end, Digital Signage is the internal corporate reflection of how you operate as a business. It’s a powerful extension of your processes and culture. Use it to be machine that drives ambition, motivates the team, and engages the challenging.

For more info on Digital Signage, see this easy to understand video below:

How Digital Signage Works

 Contact our Sales team for any demo’s, RFP’s or Proposals or suggestions on how to create a great program without breaking the bank.

Sales@Lsquared.com

Operations and Digital Networks – Cutting the Costs and Increasing Efficiencies

Understanding some of the larger groupings of operational costs can provide a framework for building more powerful and cost-effective Digital Signage networks.

Here we’ll consider some of the major logistical and strategic measures to take to create more cost-effective digital network operations.

 

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The total cost of operations begins after any necessary capital investments are made to acquire the goods and services needed to launch or expand a network.

It is important to mention that the cost of operations should not be confused with the commonly used metric, total cost of ownership (TCO), even though it is an important part of the TCO calculation. It should also not be confused with the other key element of TCO, cost of acquisition, even though many people, especially those in sales, often make that connection.

Systems integrators can deliver the most value to their customers by going beyond typical launch tasks: procurement, integration and deployment. Actively engaging with the customer to help them understand the dynamics of acquisition cost and cost of operations as drivers of TCO makes the systems integrator a partner, rather than a vendor. This difference makes you valuable and will keep your business relationship with customers stronger for much longer.

The advantages of a partner relationship can be big! The team at L Squared offers affiliate programs and we’re always looking for new installation and reselling channel partners. Interested? Why not get in contact?!

We pride ourselves on the power of Brent Nacu and our Business Development team to truly understand our customers’ network objectives, strategies and capabilities allows the integrator to guide the customer to optimal decisions on acquisition of equipment, software and services.

Understanding some of the larger areas of operational spend is useful and can also help provide the framework for making the right capital investments.

Here are a few of the important post-deployment cost drivers:

Content Management

All of the tasks associated with development and acquisition of content, programming, management of content assets, scheduling and monitoring the network drive operational costs. In short, content management is people and process oriented, and greatly impacted by tools and services that support both.

An integrator who develops a shared understanding of the customer’s content and network strategy can help develop the processes and identify the tools that optimize employee utilization and workflow. Automated procedures, streamlined interfaces and powerful tools associated with projected tasks can reduce the headcount required for this critical set of responsibilities, with a dramatic impact of total cost of operations.

Software and Fees

The most common operational cost associated with software relates to subscription fees for software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms, the most common delivery method in the industry today. SaaS deployments can certainly reduce acquisition costs, as there are typically no purchase or deployment costs. However, understanding how vendors charge for their service can mitigate ongoing operational costs. For example, many modern media players can support two separate outputs.

Certain vendors charge by screen (output), while others charge by connection (player). If your customer can utilize dual output players smartly and pay SaaS fees by the player, the ongoing software costs can be as much as 50% lower than a deployment of all-in-one (system on chip, or SoC) displays or other architectures that by definition charge by the screen for SaaS. The operational savings can greatly outweigh any reduced capital expenditure in the calculation of TCO.

Customers with larger networks (greater than 1,000 end points) and sophisticated IT capabilities may realize significant operational cost savings by considering an enterprise software licensing arrangement.

In an enterprise license, blocks of seats are licensed for an upfront capital investment, and the ongoing operational cost is related to maintenance fees that are typically a fraction of SaaS fees, plus the IT costs of maintaining servers and a content distribution capability. It is wise to bring enterprise licensing into the discussion with large clients, and to understand options for that type of arrangement available in the marketplace.

Field Service

Because digital signage involves electronics, occasional failures in the field will be a fact of life. Cheap devices tend to skimp on parts that fail most often, such as power supplies, so beware!

While warranties will cover most equipment failures in the first one to three years, network downtime, truck rolls and depot stock can drive operational costs up. In situations where uptime is mission critical (for example, digital menu boards), redundancy and failover strategies are as essential as warranties.

It may be important to consider the use of multi-output players and to weigh the external media player against SoC options for mission critical applications. To keep truck rolls and tech time to a minimum, aim for high reliability, clever failover strategies and consider upgraded warranties in the acquisition process.

Upgrades

You can bet that two years into a new network, your customer will have developed new requirements that may demand more firepower than was designed into the initial equipment purchases. At a minimum, you should ensure that the software vendor could provide software upgrades and patches over the network. Hardware upgrades require more forethought.

Displays tend to have a longer useful life than media players, so once again, the lure of the SoC sales pitch comes at a cost: getting that extra firepower requires an entirely new unit, including the display. If your customer can foresee expanding requirements, it may be useful to have a separate media player or an OPS-based player-display set-up to ensure a simple upgrade path.

In a digital signage network, total cost of operation is separate from capital investments made to launch, yet is closely tied to those up-front decisions. Together they form the basis for total cost of ownership.

Want to learn more? Contact our team and we’d be happy to discuss the most cost effective, high-yield networking options available to your business.