How to choose the right cloud based software for your digital signage
With more and more CMS platforms moving into the cloud, there’s no shortage of options out there to new entrants in the digital signage market – so how do you know what’s the right one for you?
To assist with your research in choosing the right Content Management System (CMS) for you and your business, we speak to Integrate partner, Fusion Signage to understand the key questions you should consider asking when deciding on CMS platforms to maximise your digital signage investment.
“Over our years in the industry, too many times we’ve seen clients sold an expensive, overpowered digital signage software system that required a degree to operate. This leaves businesses thinking digital signage is difficult and time-consuming, when in fact it shouldn’t be that at all,” says James Ingram, Co-Owner of Fusion Signage.
In fact, the simpler the solution the often the more effective it can be as it will allow clients to spend more time on their business and not need hours of training to understand the interface and updating options.
“It should be a stress-free experience that you and your staff can easily handle,” adds James.
So what should you really be looking for, here are some of the top questions the team at Fusion think you should be asking yourself.
1. How complex do we need our digital signage to be?
Is it as simple as displaying images, videos, and websites on your screens? Or do you need integrations into back-end systems and custom add-ons. Ultimately client should only be paying for the functionality they actually use, but as new innovations, trends and capabilities come into the market you should also make sure your software has the ability to grow as your needs change
2. How easy is it to get content to a screen?
There are many systems that require detailed training or extensive manuals to send even a simple image to a screen. While these systems are very powerful and with a trained or dedicated team can achieve amazing results, most customers just want something simple. Check the process for uploading and sending an image to your screen to see how many clicks it takes and whether you can figure it out for yourself!
3. Can you make changes from anywhere?
Is the solution cloud-based, and accessible from any computer or browser? Or do you need specific software installed and to access the devices on the local network? Being able to make quick changes is crucial and offers versatility.
4. Who is going to be managing your digital signage network?
Most often IT teams will choose the platform, then hand it off to Marketing, or the Receptionist to handle ongoing. Understanding who will be using the platform, as well as your actual needs, will help ensure you pick the right solution for ongoing success. If it is too complex or too difficult to do for the person actually using it, it won’t get done.
5. How many screens would you need to manage?
If you are starting small there are systems out there that may seem simple, but as soon as you scale up and add more screens, they become cumbersome to manage. Make sure you know the system will suit your needs at all levels of your journey.
6. How much do you want to spend upfront and ongoing?
Knowing how big your network can get will help determine your ongoing costs. Too many times customers buy into a system that they realise too late is costing a fortune each year, especially when they aren’t even using all of the functionality! Make sure you know your needs so you only pay for functionality you are going to use.
7. Which screens/hardware are you going to use?
There are many different brands and models out there, so understanding the compatibility of your hardware with your CMS can save you lots of money and hassle. Commercial grade screens with built-in media players save you from needing an additional media player, plus simplify the installation and setup as well as ongoing costs.
8. Does the CMS require specific hardware?
A lot of systems will require their own proprietary hardware that will lock you to their solution. Having the freedom to change systems if it doesn’t end up working out is really important. Make sure the CMS is agnostic to the hardware you choose, as it will reduce costs and limit headaches in the future.
9. Where are you getting your content from?
Having a screen and a CMS is useless if you don’t have anything to display. Content creation is the most important piece as it is what your customers will see and care about. If you don’t have your own content creation capabilities, make sure the system can help you build content or provide templates to get you up and running quickly. Remember, without good content the solution will fail.
Fusion Signage are an official partner of Integrate and will be exhibiting at the 2021 event in July. You can find more information on their products and services here.