Stay on target: Corporate communications and digital signage

The most visible digital signage deployments are outward or customer facing, but inward- or employee-facing signage is another niche for the industry to fill.

A corporate communications digital signage deployment allows companies to tailor information for different audiences, such as safety, culture and company news messages to employees, as well as company values, culture and information to job applicants, trainees or visitors to the company. Instead of relying primarily on paper, intranet and email to communicate messages, some companies are turning to digital signage to extend their communication reach and speed up their time-to-message.

An internal digital signage network allows companies to issue timely warnings in cases such as inclement weather, fire or safety concerns, and connect with employees who either don't have computer access or tend to be "meeting warriors" – those who go from meeting to meeting and have limited desk time to read emails. Corporate communications digital signage solutions also can help standardize training for new hires, and ensure uniformity of the corporate message.

And digital signage firms have been working together to address that market, with partnerships like a recent deployment in which solutions provider OpenService worked with hardware provider AOpen America Inc. and used Intel Corp. remote management technology and Sprint wireless connectivity to deploy a coporate communications channel across a multiiple-building corporate campus.

In that deployment, OpenService sends the content wirelessly over the Sprint network to displays located throughout the company's multiple facilities. The wireless connectivity allows the company to place the systems where they would be most effective, without installing hard-wired network connections. Additionally, OpenService securely manages the digital signage using Intel's active management technology, which enables remote diagnosis and repair, regardless of the system's hardware or software state. The Intel AMT also enables the company to automatically power-off systems after business hours.

Just like other forms of digital signage installations, for successful digital signage network deployments within a corporate environment, digital signage screens must meet scalability, flexibility and security constraints while providing highly interactive capabilities, said Raj Maini, marketing director for digital signage worldwide at Intel Corp. Digital signage platforms based on the right technologies "can provide secure, interactive, scalable and manageable solutions that provide high ROI to such implementations," he said.

"Such deployments enable the delivering of corporate messaging, providing an interactive and engaging medium for training," he said. "Managing these networks through IT infrastructure and firewalls wirelessly becomes an important part of deployment planning by IT managers."

AOpen Marketing Manager Angela Tang said that her company uses a setup similar to the aforementioned in its own offices. At AOpen, when a customer or visitor comes into the office, they can register digitally at the front desk, if the receptionist is away. They can enter their information and for whom they're looking, and the internal signage system will display a message alerting that person that they have a visitor.

The interactive system also is set up to show visitors office and company information, and to display different messaging for different department throughout the facility. For instance, the marketing department might get information on recent trends and new product information, while the sales department might get statistics on sales goals or products to highlight, Tang said.

The key benefits of such a system can vary from department to department, Tang said, but she pointed to how the communications signage helps in sales. The digital screens can let employees know which salespeople are currently on sales calls, or it can display sales goals and how much is needed to meet them, without the need for employees to go check to see if someone is available or to pull up the data on their computers.

"So it's a constant reminder for salespersons, telling them how much they need to do," she said. "It's easier, and it's automatic."

Read more about digital signage in corporate communications.

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