Creating a Digital Signage Network (4. Do it Yourself?)

                                       Do-It-Ourselves  vs.  Outsourcing?

                                                                                                                                                    Cost(s) involved

Time to market (How long will it take to be up and running?)

Expertise  (Do we have these skill sets available to maintain it?)

Content creation  (Who is going to design our layouts?)

Power drops  (Who installs them?)

IP Network drops  (Who installs them?)

Installation  (Hanging the mount and digital sign to the mounting bracket)

Service & Maintenance  (Who will perform this service?)

Can we re-task certain existing content to aid in our messaging mission?

Databases that already exist, possibly from our websites?

Calendars that already exist, from our internal databases?

RSS Feeds  (internal and external) (news feeds)

XML Feeds

Your digital signage will spread the good news of YOUR organization to the world!  There is no sense in re-inventing the wheel.  Often large organizations already have websites up and running.  They produce printed materials such as brochures and magazines, some even have produced videos extolling their virtues.  You can take advantage of cross-platform branding by displaying a consistent message and your institutional or corporate brand.  This is basically Marketing 101 stuff!  We utilize a design team from our web services, photography, creative services and video productions departments that focus periodically on our consistent and themed messaging throughout our printed materials, web sites, video productions and digital signage in an effort to take advantage of those economies of scale.  They know our market audience well and design the content accordingly.

Will there be economies of scale in coordinating institutional brand messaging?

Who is your intended target market(s)?

What are the baseline demographic numbers of the audience you want to reach?

Site survey for each individual digital signage deployment(s)?

Identify areas of long dwell times for pedestrian traffic at that specific site.

Have you developed a reasonable budget for the project phase?

Who will be tasked to manage the various projects during that phase?

What are reasonable personnel requirements to create an ongoing network?

Full-Time

Part-Time

Shared-Time  (Shared personnel resources with other departments.)

What are the key pedestrian traffic choke-points in the areas you want to cover?

How large or small of a digital sign can you use in each deployment?

Wall mounted, kiosk, video wall, indoor, outdoor digital signage deployment?

Can you obtain the appropriate permissions for deployment for the area?

Are there ADA Compliance constraints or building code issues to consider?

Can you get electrical power and network drops to the place you want to mount?

Do we have the requisite people in place to accomplish this project?

Will it be a 24/7/365 system or a business-hours-only system?

Do you need an Emergency Messaging feature?  (24/7/365)

Are we committed to the long-term for this form of media and technology?

Do we have a solid and reliable existing IP network infrastructure?

Can that IP network infrastructure handle the additional load of our new data?

Horizontal aspect ratio for displayed content?  (Think standard television!)

Vertical aspect ratio for displayed content?  (Think movie posters and bulletin                        boards!)

Where will we locate our Master Control Room or Area for the network?

List of ALL contact information for project contacts by location.

One back-up system on the shelf, ready to go in the event of a player failure.

What is realistic equipment lifetime?  (Computer/player and digital monitors)

Who are in our own peer group that are experts in digital signage?

What white papers are available for what project type we are considering?

What design, content and research materials are available to us?

Having your new and flashy digital signs hanging on the walls and playing your attractive and eye pleasing content is one thing… establishing a sound policy for broadcasting that content to the viewing public is quite another!  Our digital signage network was designed to have our clients “take some ownership” in their own messaging.  With ownership, goes responsibility.  Our clients are individual colleges within our university, in addition to various departments and organizations.  So we created guidelines for them and some good practices to follow as they display their content to their audiences on their digital signage.  (See The West Virginia University Information Stations Policy Statement at the end of this material for an example.)

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About swgraham2

Mountain Mists is an opportunity to develop some thought processes individually as I journey through this wonderful world; as someone who values highly effective management techniques and the art of leading teams; and through my association with West Virginia University as a professional technologist and network manager specializing in digital signage.
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