Signagelive-powered digital signage bridges communication gap for Babraham Research Campus [+VIDEO]

Babraham Research Campus has updated and revitalised its communications strategy with the roll-out of a network of 16 digital signage screens, all powered by Signagelive, across its 25 tenanted on-site buildings.

A vital component of a wider digital communications approach, the digital signage solution has already proven indispensable, serving as the connective tissue that binds the on-site campus together.

Working with Signagelive, audio-visual hardware partner, 21st Century AV, has installed the BrightSign digital signage devices across on-site buildings, including in the Campus reception, on-site restaurant and communal laboratories.

It has, Samantha Jackson, Marketing and Business Development Manager, explains, advanced the Campus’s mission to support early-stage bioscience enterprise: “This cloud-based digital signage has enabled us to help strengthen our community and continue to build the kind of collaborative environment that’s so integral to the 1700 employees and 300 academic researchers on-site.

Until now, the challenge has always been to provide engaging, widely accessible communications at scale, that are relevant, and can keep everyone on campus up-to-date with global as well as local Campus news.”

The challenge

Prior to the installation, Jackson would have to walk the grounds, manually updating paper signs on noticeboards, which would take upwards of two-three hours a day.

The only other form of Campus communications was by email, which is not always easy for employees to check, as many move around between buildings and laboratories, and are engaged with practical, hands-on tasks.

The move to digital signage came about when the team first raised the need to update an old screen in the restaurant. It triggered broader discussions about how communications across the entire Campus could be made more efficient.

Once the transition to digital signage was agreed upon, the priority, Jackson says, “was to find a centralised system that could be accessed from home as well as the office, and that would also be easy for the wider team to use.

Debbie Seward, Account Director for the Campus’s audio-visual partner, 21st Century AV, highlights the fact that this need for a centralised system was in and of itself a challenge to set up: “There was no infrastructure cabling that was available from a central rack point. Also, the main on-site building is historic and listed, which means that the screen inside it had to be mobile.”

The outcome

Despite the difficulties, the 21st Century AV engineering team were able to work with Campus staff to install the cloud-based digital signage, and for the old, listed building, install a mobile solution, leveraging Signagelive’s compatibility with a BrightSign wireless device.

Seward explains, “The benefit of using a Signagelive-powered wireless device for the main building is that, even in the event of a problem with the WiFi network, Signagelive will continue to play until the issue is resolved. There won’t be any downtime.”

As a cloud-based content management system (CMS), Signagelive now gives Jackson and her team the ability to create, deliver and manage content for one, some or all the screens from absolutely anywhere.

Tailored content

Also, crucially, the CMS enables the team to create tailored content, based on the location of the signage – another important requirement for the Campus’s communications strategy.

With Signaglive, different content can be scheduled to appear at different locations. It essentially means staff now have the agility they need to customise messaging, and for instance, deliver updates on the shared equipment and resources that are available, where it’s most relevant for the information to be relayed. It’s contextual content, offering the facts and updates everyone on-site needs, exactly where and when they need them.

Planned maintenance and emergency alerts can also be displayed in near-real-time, giving everyone on campus the advance notice they need to act and make alternative arrangements, should, for example, one of the communal laboratories be closed to them for a limited time.

Global and local content

While global news, as well as traffic and weather updates can now also be broadcast on the digital signage, so too can local news about the Campus itself. Babraham Research Campus has, for example, been able to widely publicise the launch of its latest networking forum, the Campus Entrepreneurship Network, across all the Campus buildings.

Dynamic 24/7 content line-up

The Signagelive-powered digital signage network has also created a more inclusive and engaged on-site environment. Many of the 60 businesses on the Campus now actively volunteer to contribute content, taking the opportunity to inform the community about their news, what innovations they’re working on and/or collaborative support they’re looking for.

It’s a way to foster community spirit and interaction, but more than this, it helps maximise the Campus’s digital signage return on investment. By displaying contributor content, the Campus can be sure that there is a constant flow of diverse and pertinent community news – from the on-site businesses themselves – to feed through to the screens 24/7.

With Signagelive, Campus staff can feature content in most formats from 4K jpegs, pngs and videos to HTML interactive presentations.

Energy efficiency

The digital signage solution has also helped to further the sustainability goals of this eco-focused Campus, enabling the screens to be turned on and off automatically at pre-set times to cut down on energy usage.

The Signagelive-powered digital signage network has already made a positive impression on the Campus community, with, according to Jackson, employees appreciating the fact that they now know exactly what’s happening and available on-site.

Jackson says, This installation has been a game-changer, saving time and resource, while also enabling us to markedly improve on-site communications for our tenants, and their employees in every building.

An effective, streamlined and centralised solution that complements our existing suite of integrated digital communications, it’s helped us enhance the on-campus sense of community and made it easier for everyone on-site to share resources as well as ideas and networking opportunities.

The platform is also simple to use and provides so many options to tailor content. You can feature everything from global news, weather and traffic reports right the way through to localised content that you upload yourself. Signagelive has also worked hand in glove with our audio-visual partner and been incredibly pro-active and creative in coming up with a custom-fit solution and strategy for our Campus.”

Jon Gilbey, Signagelive Business Development Manager, adds, We’re excited to be working with the Babraham Research Campus and to have helped realise their digital signage vision.

As with every project, our role here has been to solve problems –  to understand the communication challenges organisations face and then suggest exactly the right Signagelive digital signage solutions to ensure they can overcome them quickly and efficiently. We worked with Babraham Research Campus every step of the way from ideation through to installation, and so it’s now great to see the solution, up-and-running, and delivering the return on investment that we anticipated.”