Today, cloud computing is one of the most fashionable trends. Do not stay aside and technology Digital Signage. Many solution providers span> DS offer cloud versions of their products. Let’s figure out what cloud Digital Signage is and how interesting it is.
Cloud computing (in a very approximate and simplified form) is the integration of IT and other resources into one common pool (cloud) and providing them on demand to various clients. Available usually via the Internet, resources are distributed in the best way between users who pay for the amount of services they provide.
Resources should be understood not only IT assets (servers, data warehouses, network infrastructure, software), but well-established business processes, and the work of people who serve equipment, provide technical support and advice to users. Often, it is the content of highly qualified specialists, the construction and maintenance of efficient business processes that are the most expensive and costly, and not the capital costs of building an IT infrastructure.
Cloud technologies have a number of advantages:
- high reliability and fault tolerance of the server part
- guaranteed data integrity
- access to data and services from anywhere in the world and from any device
- Reduce ownership and maintenance costs
- the ability to focus the attention of the company’s employees and mobilize its resources for the execution of business processes, rather than creating, deploying and supporting the infrastructure.
What role do clouds play for digital signage?
A typical Digital Signage solution includes the following components:
- Digital Signage Player This device connects to the LCD panel (plasma or LCD TV, projector) and displays media content according to the schedule. The player can be a PC with specialized software (for example, a mini-PC AOPEN, equipped with PADS4 software) or a professional network media player (for example, IAdea).
- CMS server. The server distributes media content between players and monitors their performance
- Utilities. They are used to create Digital Signage presentations, content planning (where, when and what to show), network management and monitoring. Programs can have an HTML interface or be separate applications installed in the control center.
Obviously, for such a solution, the use of cloud architecture is optimal, because placing the server part in the cloud allows you not to think about its support. Digital Signage is a highly specialized segment, and, unlike common server applications (for example, MS Exchange), it is very difficult to find a specialist who knows one or another DS platform. Most likely, the company will have to train its employees or give support to the service for outsourcing.
Another obvious plus of addressing to the cloud architecture is the ability to consume just as many resources as you need. If, for example, the company installed Digital Signage in 100 offices, and after the reorganization the number of required licenses was reduced to 90, it would not be possible to return back unnecessary ones. When using the same cloud approach, a certain number of licenses can be suspended (for example, before the completion of the overhaul of the premises), or at all, to refuse them and pay only for the used ones.
Updating the software is another expense item if the license is acquired in the property. Typically, Digital Signage software vendors offer one year of free updates, and after this period, the transition to new versions becomes paid. Often, customers do not take into account these costs and remember them only after a year and a half when they need new features from the latest version. Cloud service ensures that the most advanced features will always be available.
Digital Signage Player for 1USD. Is it possible? In Europe or the US, buying a phone with a contract, the user pays for it significantly less, and sometimes just a symbolic amount of one dollar, euro or pound. Similarly, by entering into a long-term contract for Digital Signage services, you can significantly reduce initial investment in equipment and purchase a Digital Signage player at a significant discount.
So, we understand the advantages of cloud solutions Digital Signage in terms of maintaining the infrastructure of the system. Is it possible to put an end to this? No, it’s still early.
The meaning of the cloud approach is that the client receives an effective business tool and can focus on applying it to solve their urgent problems, rather than wasting time on support and maintenance. In the case of Digital Signage, this means that the company will direct all its efforts to preparing information, marketing and advertising messages that it wants to convey to the audience: it is important that the screens are not black, so that the content on them is displayed correctly and was always relevant.
The normal functioning of Digital Signage networks is closely connected with the planning, placement, monitoring and creation of content. Part of these tasks can be shifted to the solution provider within the provided service. This allows the client to focus on the most important of them, which no one else can solve. As a result, not only access to a reliable and flexible infrastructure is acquired, but access to expertise and knowledge accumulated by the partner supplier of the cloud solution Digital Signage. This allows you to move to the goal much faster, ahead of the slow competitors.
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