New functionality streamlines content management for large scale networks
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE (September 30, 2015) ScreenScape Networks Inc. today announced the arrival of a major update to its Saas-based solution, ScreenScape for Groups, that aims to make life easier for content managers, and anyone with aspirations of operating a large scale digital signage network.
Operators of large scale digital signage networks face a challenging environment. They have hundreds of screens spread across hundreds of different locations. Each screen caters to a unique audience – the customers who have come into a store for a rare and often brief visit. They are savvy marketers who know the stakes in the race to own the screens that now dot the retail landscape along the path-to-purchase. On a day-to-day basis they are busy content managers who face practical challenges when it comes to scaling up their operation and executing smart and sophisticated promotional campaigns that resonate with each local customer.
Era of static signage, manual processes has produced costly, arcane systems
“Until now digital signage hasn’t fully addressed the challenge of bringing large scale content distribution and management to the cloud as part of an integrated online system,” says ScreenScape CEO Mark Hemphill.
“In the past digital signage systems were not expected to be online, and were not expected to operate in real time, at least not with any real scale in mind.” says Hemphill. “Digital signage was all about taking the idea of a static poster, digitizing it and then running it in loop on screen. It was a lot more like traditional signage than it was a dynamic, local media channel.”
This simple process of putting up a static digital poster pales in comparison with today’s evolved versions of the technology. The early digital signage systems didn’t require much in the way of sophisticated software. Instead they relied on people acting “behind the curtain” in a professional services role to gather digital files and manually move them to a local computer.
“Many customers were taught to accept the fact that their digital signage system isn’t designed to scale. They accepted the fact that the costs associated with adding more screens, with managing more content, and with executing more localized promotions had to grow in proportion with the size and sophistication of the network. They have been taught that scale and sophistication requires more and more professional services costs, more leg work by the people behind the curtain.” Hemphill continued.
New era of integrated online services offers scalability while reducing costs
ScreenScape challenges that theory by offering software that is designed to put end users in control of their own networks. ScreenScape allows its customers to use technology, rather than patchwork manual efforts, to keep screens up to date, dynamic, and optimized for speaking to a local audience.
As Hemphill puts it: “We prefer to let the technology do the work.”
Where many content management systems for digital signage have been timeline-based and oriented toward one playlist, ScreenScape for Groups is built on a different paradigm. It is designed for scaling up, for organizing a network of screens on the one hand and hundreds of digital media spots on the other. In this particular update ScreenScape for Groups is introducing a new system for categorizing content that allows users to group pieces of related content in any way they want. The system provides users with an intuitive interface that makes publishing a category of content to a specific group of screens a simple matter of moving the category over to the group. Through this process the matchmaking exercise of placing the right sequence of promotions on the right screen has been reduced to a simple drag and drop gesture.
“If we can empower network operators to manage their screens more efficiently and cost-effectively, even while scaling up their network to hundreds of screens, you’re going to see better programming on each local screen, more interest among advertisers, and overall a faster return on investment.” says Hemphill.
The first job of every content manager is to grab the attention of each customer as they visit a place of business. The secondary goal implicit in every network is to leverage and sometimes monetize the network by involving key industry and community partners. This process turns the screens into location-specific marketing channels that are available to third-party advertisers. It’s a world where scale matters. As any advertiser will tell you, the bigger the audience, the better.
The new software update can be summed up as a collection of efficiency features for Group users. The benefits include organized content, rapid publishing and unpublishing, ordered playlists, and faster member management. A detailed look at the four areas where the new update impacts customers has been posted on the ScreenScape blog.
“ScreenScape has been listening intently to us. With this release ScreenScape will extend its lead in the area of large scale content management. With hundreds of screens and dozens of promotions to manage at Eileen Fisher, this release is set to deliver major savings in time and effort for us. We are very excited.”
~ Josh Goodwin, Digital Media Specialist, Eileen Fisher Inc.
All members of ScreenScape with a Group account will receive the software update at no additional cost.