The choice of digital signage solutions can be mind-blowing, from; free unsupported software from hardware manufacturers through to very expensive legacy solutions.
One of the first decisions that a prospective digital signage customer needs to make is ‘Do I choose a digital signage solution that is managed from my own on-premise network or do I choose a Cloud (Internet hosted) based solution?’.
Historically, customers did not have a choice, the only option was to purchase expensive servers, install software and employ the skills necessary to configure and manage an on-premise digital signage network. But with the advent of the Internet and Cloud Computing, customers can now purchase a range of Internet enabled digital signage devices that are preloaded with the necessary software to play back full screen and multi-zone digital signage. Alternatively, many Cloud based digital signage solutions, such as Signagelive also offer a software only option, so that you can install the software on any PC with the operating system of your choice.
Internet connected digital signage players, do not require any local computers or servers to operate, nor do they require the technical expertise required when installing on-premise alternatives. All you need is a standard fixed-line or mobile Internet connection and your ready to go, in fact, you’ll be up and running in minutes.
The above scenario is possible due to the power of Cloud computing. The Cloud is a term used for the management of applications and technology from the Internet, instead of on-premise using your own servers and local networking.
Cloud based digital signage players use the Internet to connect to an online digital signage service and confirm they are operating correctly, make sure they have downloaded the latest content and upload log files detailing what they have played and when. Whilst not true of all Cloud based digital signage solutions, Signagelive players do not require connection to the Internet to operate, they will quite happily carry on working and displaying the last content received until an Internet connection is re-established.
Adoption of Cloud computing has grown massively over the last decade with companies such as Salesforce.com coming from nowhere to becoming the leading provider of sales, marketing and customer service software in the world with a turnover of over $1BN.
In addition to Salesforce.com, many of us use the Cloud everyday, probably without realising, as Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are hosted on the Cloud, as too are Google Apps including Gmail, which many commercial organisations have adopted within their businesses.
Another major advantage of Cloud based digital signage solutions over on-premise, is that Cloud based offerings are provided as a service. At Signagelive, this means that from the moment you take a free trial, through to rolling out a network of a few (or maybe a few thousand) digital signage players, you have our support team on-hand, ready to help you every step of the way. All Signagelive users can click on the ‘live help’ icon from within Signagelive at anytime and chat with our support team or raise a support ticket at the click of a mouse and our support team will get back to you straight away. This support is for everyone who uses Signagelive, from the person in a reception area managing the scrolling welcome ticker, through to other members of the end users team, the reseller that installed the Signagelive solution and our distribution partner that sold it to them.
Adding to the free support, all Signagelive users receive free software updates at no extra cost whilst they have a current licence and all Signagelive licences are sold on a simple ‘all inclusive’ basis, with one price per player covering all features, so you do not have to choose from an impossibly difficult price list to get the true cost per player for your requirements.
Marc Benioff, Founder and CEO of Salesforce.com is famous for his evangelical keynote speeches regard the ‘move to the Cloud’ and talks passionately about software being considered in the same way we purchased utilities, such as electricity and water. He says that prior to the distributed electricity network, companies had their own generators powering their premises and that one day, all companies will access their computing needs via the Cloud and purchasing on-premise servers and installing and managing software, will be resigned to history.