My friend, Mike White, has installed a lot of systems that we would call digital signage in his career as president of Multi-Media Solutions in Knoxville, Tenn. He’s installed many other business communication systems, too, from telephone to video conferencing to every type of corporate Internet and intranet you can imagine.
But digital signage is set apart. White recently told me that digital signage is “one of the toughest A/V installs in the world.”
Why is it so tough? Because for systems that frequently have no moving parts, there are an awful lot of variables and things that can go wrong — move out of place, if you will. There are countless stakeholders, each with their own sets of expectations; there are different departments with different views of how technology and marketing assets are best used; there are IT considerations, some of them mission-critical and highly sensitive; and there are the costs, and the sometimes tricky business of getting those costs to reconcile on paper with something that looks like a solid ROI.
People have questions about digital signage — we get them all the time — and naturally so. So it was only natural that we should endeavor to put together a document that would answer as many of them as possible — in Internet parlance, a “DS FAQ.”
We surveyed the readers of Digital Signage Today and asked them to tell us the questions that were lingering in their minds about the technology, the application and the business case. We also spoke with people in the industry and asked them to share with us the questions that they hear most often.
We distilled that information into the 40 most frequently asked questions. Then we took those questions to the marketplace and sifted through the results to find and assemble what we hope will be a document of great value to you.
What I find particularly interesting are not just the areas where opinions are shared, but where they differ — look at the question on operating systems, for instance, for an example of starkly contrasting views. There are best practices and established rules of thumb, to be sure, but there still is a lot of room for opinion and experimentation.
Of course, it doesn’t stop at 40. New questions will arise all the time — and that’s where DigitalSignageToday.com comes in. Visit us often, and when a new question comes up for you, pose it to us. And we’ll find out what the hive mind has to say.
James Bickers, contributing editor, Digital Signage Today