What are the criteria for picking a CMS amongst the myriad of options out there?
Many digital signage software solutions were built for the primary purpose of delivering video and very simple content types. To extend the value of a digital experience network, you need to communicate much more. Brand messaging is important but when choosing the best CMS software platform, you should look for a more sophisticated communications framework – “An Intelligent Platform”.
Some criteria to consider:
- External Data Sources – A solid software platform has the ability to connect to multiple external feeds and information sources that would allow you to pull in data to create intelligent content.
- Flexible Permissions – In order to maintain a network efficiently and retain some control yourself you want the ability to have multiple users and also the ability to define roles and access levels to various different users and groups
- Intelligent Playback – The ability to define criteria for the playback of specific media on players without always requiring manual user intervention (e.g. creating new playlists)
- Cost Effective Automation – In order to manage a large network of distributed and unique end points, automation of content distribution as opposed to custom or manual end point management can save you lots of money. For example the ability to:
- Automate screen sizing
- Automate content messaging/information
- Automate data
- Graphic Data Display – A good CMS solution should also provide the ability to automatically provide visual presentation of real or near real time data (e.g. Charts and graphs.) A solid platform would not require manual user intervention.
- WYSIWYG Templates & Playlists – A solid software platform would offer easy to use tools for the creation and ongoing updating of content templates and allow you to playlist these with full preview on screen.
- Simple Web Interface for User content submission – A simple web interface (without coding) that allows users to submit media and text content via a browser, should have the following features:
o The ability to define different users and groups and restrict their access to specific areas
o Submission approval in conjunction with users and groups
o The ability for users to attach playback parameters to submitted content (e.g. metadata)
- Interactivity and Way-finding – The ability to support interactivity and dynamic way-finding with the system
- Supporting different screen types and devices – A huge consideration is choosing a solid software solution with the ability to run the same software platform on digital signage screens, touch screens and tablets can save you so much money and allow for one centralized portal to push content to all screen and device types.
- Dynamic Content Resolution – the ability to dynamically support multiple resolutions for a specific piece of content (e.g. 1920 x 1080 content will automatically scale up or down depending on screen resolution) this would allow you to save costs in content production
- Powerful Local Data Capability – delivering unique and relevant information based on data (geo location / meta data)
o e.g.: the ability to show local weather, news, social messaging, community info at a branch level without manually having to create each individual location
- The same Platform across the Enterprise – A solid platform would be able to service other areas of your business and internal needs not just customer facing needs. For example:
o Ability to report on key metrics to different audiences using the same end point intelligence
o Leverage data and information in a secure way across all your existing systems
o Connect people to the information that you want them to see in real time leveraging this system and expanding it over time
Evaluating CMS options using these criteria will ensure you have the flexibility to deliver the most effective experiences to your audience.