ScreenScape is in the final stages of preparing a new application release. The latest release is set to deliver inside of the next few weeks.
What’s in the new release? Join us on September 22 for a sneak peek live webinar, online demonstration and discussion. Don’t miss this opportunity preview upcoming features and ask questions. Next Tuesday, 3PM EDT September 22nd, 2015.
Even if you can’t attend, you may still want to register; we’ll send all registered attendees a link to the recorded video. Meanwhile, here’s an overview of what we’ll be covering in the webinar.
Update September 23, 2015
- Watch the recorded copy below:
What follows is a general description of the new improvements.
High Volume processing
The latest release from ScreenScape is focused on content management for our high volume users. These users typically manage dozens or hundreds of locations from a central account (we call them ‘Groups’). As we observed our Group users growing in size and success over the past months and years, it became apparent that we needed to develop tools to assist them in getting their work done as efficiently as possible. Group users often process large batches of content data at once, so we expanded our user interface to assist with making that process easier. We also upgraded the performance of our back end services, to handle the higher loads that high volume processes generate.
A single group user action of sending a new playlist to their group members, for example 10 videos to 300 locations, generates a cascade of actions in the background: 3000 playlist updates, 300 player messages, 3000 video downloads, 3000 status reports… behind the scenes it gets busy in a hurry. Our goal is to make that complex set of processes seamless, fast and transparent.
In addition to a faster service with a snappier response time, the benefits of the new release include help with keeping content organized, streamlined publishing steps, and faster member setup.
Group users have asked ScreenScape for help in organizing large content libraries. Active ScreenScape users like group managers create new content items every day. Over time their content library can grow to hundreds of items, making it a challenge to keep it all straight. This release responds by introducing the ‘Content Tag’: a flexible, user defined tool that help users organize content items into logical categories.
For example, a user might have a mix of Entertainment, Advertisements and Educational content items, which change from season to season and year to year. As their content list grows over time, keeping everything up to date and making certain that the right items are getting to the right venues can become a real challenge. Some users have solved the problem by creating their own naming conventions for content items (“Entertainment – ACME video 123”). This approach works (sort of) but is limited in its usefulness: naming conventions are inflexible, don’t scale well and are difficult to modify over time.
With the new release, group users can create personalized Content Tags that act like folders, or color-coded containers (e.g. tags for “Entertainment”, “Advertisements”, “Educational”, and more). They can create as many tags as needed, change them over time, and assign the same item to as many different tags as makes sense for their work.
The new Content Tags can also be used to perform follow-up actions like publishing, or simply to make ScreenScape content items easier to find and update.
Group users with many venues asked us for help when publishing complex lists of content items. Not only can it get complicated to keep the web of “who gets what” straight – it takes too many steps to complete even simple tasks like “these new videos go to all my venues”. We’ve responded by streamlining the publishing process. It’s now possible to create and save any number of new playlists (aka Content Tags). When you’re ready to publish, you just drag your Content Tag to as many (or as few) venues as needed, in a single step.
For example, the manager of a group with 20 members wants to publish 7 new Educational videos to all their venues.
Using the old way, the process was:
- Create the 7 new content items
- Drag the 7 new items to the first venue.
- Drag the 7 new items to the second venue.
- Drag the 7 new items to the third venue.
- Repeat 17 more times (!!)
Using the new way, the steps are:
- Create the 7 new content items
- Create 1 new Content Tag called ‘Educational videos’
- Drag the 7 new items to ‘Educational videos’
- Drag ‘Educational videos’ to ‘My Group’
The new ‘tag to tag’ publishing can save an active group manager hundred of clicks a day, all while making it easier to get the right content to the right screens.
Users asked for help in preserving the order of their playlists when publishing many items at once. In many of these cases, publishing was a two step process: first publish the items, then follow-up by reordering the playlist of each of the target venues one by one. This release removes the need for the second step with the introduction of “ordered publishing”.
For example, a user wants to publish a mix of new Entertainment videos and Educational videos, but they want to alternate between the two types: 2 Educational videos shouldn’t play back to back, nor should 2 Entertainment videos play back to back.
- Under the old way, the user would have to individually re-order the playlists of each venue after publishing.
- Using the new Content Tags introduced with this release, the user can define a specific order for their videos within a tag. They simply drag and drop the item into a new position on the list, similar to how venues order their playlists. When the tag is published (drag the content tag to a member tag), the published order of the items in the tag is respected. The user is saved the time consuming task of reordering each individual venue playlist after publishing.
When combined with the time saving introduction of tag-to-tag publishing, ordered playlists are a huge efficiency gain for busy group managers.
Faster member setup
It’s often the case that ScreenScape group users are responsible for maintaining multiple venues at the same time. These users have asked us for help in making it easier to complete initial setup steps and everyday maintenance tasks. This release responds with new member actions that help group users maintain venue settings from within their central group account.
For example, one group manager is responsible for keeping all their member logos up to date with the latest brand standards, making sure the member default preferences are properly set, correcting a time zone assignment, or updating member names with a new naming convention.
- Under the old way, the group manager would have to login to each individual member account and perform the maintenance tasks (e.g. Edit Profile->Edit Logo) one account at a time.
- Using the Publish tool updated with this release, the group user can select all members and select a single Action (e.g. “Update Member Logo”) to update all members at once, without leaving their central group account.
Member actions aren’t expected to be used every day. But when they’re needed, such as during initial setup of a new group, they’re a huge time saver.