When selling, designing and deploying a digital signage solution for college campuses, schools or even entire school districts, there are many moving parts to track and areas where potential problems can occur. Here’s how to make sure your next project stays on track.
1. Planning phase
Oftentimes, solution providers are presented with a digital signage opportunity for just one department. Why not try to expand the project by getting other departments or even the whole school on board? One of the first actions you should take is asking your contact to connect you with other departments or whoever makes the campus/districtwide decisions. With multiple departments involved, you can help design a more holistic solution that addresses a range of needs. At the same time, the customer can earn discounts by consolidating the digital signage hardware and software.
2. Software selection
Not only is it critical to understand what sort of content the customer is seeking, but you’ll also need their help in determining who holds the keys to the CMS. If multiple departments are using the system, will each have access or is one person in charge? You’ll want to take the time to explain the benefits and downsides of having multiple users playing multiple roles in the system. Also, depending on the customer’s desires and the software you use, there may be licensing requirements that can affect the cost. Finally, on-prem versus cloud-based software is another decision that must be made.
3. Hardware selection
When it comes to selecting hardware, follow typical digital signage best practices. Make sure the signage is the right size and resolution for the area it’s placed. Ensure the brightness is adequate for its location at all times of day and year. Ensure outdoor implementations use enclosures and can withstand heat, cold and humidity. Another hardware consideration today is whether to use external media players or select displays with the player integrated.
4. Content creation
Don’t assume the customer knows what content they need, how they’re going to produce it and how they’re going to manage it. You’ll probably need to assist in recommending content types depending on the area being used. For instance, gyms and rec centers will want to include a schedule of events, the library would want to include hours of operation and new books, and the cafeteria would want to include the menu.
Your job doesn’t end once the installation is complete. There are plenty of ways you can provide extra value to your customer (while earning more revenue). Warranties and preventive maintenance are two common upsells. Additionally, training services can be offered along with content creation services.
If any of the above recommendations are outside your comfort zone, feel free to contact Tom Jones
, Ingram Micro’s pro AV/digital signage specialist.