The demand for dynamic and interactive signage in the workplace is growing as organizations move toward automation of more functions (processes), and as they realize the need to communicate more effectively with their employees, partners and other communities. Digital signage solution providers now integrate business applications, such as Salesforce, with content-management platforms, in addition to time, weather and other widgets typically seen on signage displays. An increasing number of AV/IT firms are also offering both managed services and business-process integration for digital signage and other cloud-based applications.
Sensory Technologies has been integrating business applications with digital signage for several years; so, I discussed that trend with Blaine Brown, the company’s Chief Technology Officer. “We see the virtual receptionist as a natural extension of our cloud-hosted digital signage platform,” Brown said. “During the past year, we have seen a lot of interest in more advanced features, such as virtual receptionist, beacon tracking and interactive video.” Brown explained that, at a basic level, a virtual receptionist offers directory-type and wayfinding capabilities and, at an advanced level, it can be motion activated or even support a live remote receptionist via videoconferencing. “At the advanced level, we support corporate and institutional clients with our hosted HD cloud conferencing service, and we fully manage the video experience,” he said.
Recently, Sensory Technologies deployed a virtual receptionist, a videowall and 13 large-format (55 inches and 65 inches) digital signage displays for United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) at its new regional headquarters in Indianapolis IN. “Our client wanted the technology to automate routine functions and increase efficiency, as well as create an environment that positions UWCI as an innovative and efficient organization,” Brown explained.
The lobby is equipped with virtual receptionists that run on Microsoft Surface Pro tablets, with printers for badge IDs. Full automation of check-in required integration with third-party software. “Large-format displays are used as ‘performance boards’ to keep employees updated on goals, and visitors informed on UWCI’s mission,” Brown noted.
Dynamic workplace signage is playing a significant role in engaging viewers, and it’s enabling communications and marketing professionals to better manage viewer perception of their organizations. Oftentimes, companies and institutions are not fully aware of how their information, or their products and services, are being utilized. By integrating their content platform with mobile-device interactivity and data analytics, organizations can boost audience engagement and even modify the content to get actionable results.
A cloud-hosted solution makes it easier to change content remotely at any location, and in real time. By customizing the content-management platform and integrating third-party business solutions, you can help your clients better achieve their business goals and objectives. With today’s tools, a company should be able to view Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), reports, campaigns and goals on selected screens.
Several digital signage software as a service (SaaS) providers have integrated Salesforce and other solutions with their platforms. Reportedly, solutions that run on Java offer ease and flexibility to integrate software stacks into the platform. So, if you want to deploy and manage your client’s dynamic signage network that’s capable of playing back audio, video, HTML5 apps and other content assets, you will want to review and compare the features and licensing agreements for the latest media players and platforms.
In addition to customizing your clients’ digital messaging platforms with appropriate business tools, it makes sense to offer software training and management of their networks. Customization, training and network management are not only added revenue sources; they also enable you to ensure ongoing customer satisfaction and loyalty.