Ask the Board – August 22, 2016 | RALPH SCHORBACH


What are the criteria for picking a CMS amongst the myriad of options out there?

This month’s question pertains to the use of CMS or Content Management System in digital signage. The criterion for choosing such a system is probably the most important part of your digital signage system. The CMS allows for scheduling, customization, deployment and transportation of information to your displays.  It is the control system that runs your digital display. This behind-the-scenes part of the system will make you a shining star or a crashing one. The following are some basic steps to ensure you come out looking great.

End User Interface – Administrative operation and support. This includes the back-of-house folks charged with writing data interfaces or collection data points. This is where the core setup of the system happens, links are created and controls are set up for the entire system.

Automation – Systems can (to a certain degree) fix themselves, schedule correctly, keep the screen operating when off-line and handle system updates and data pushes (basically the cool part from the software demo you had).

User Control – The user permissions levels and ability to change some or all aspects of the sign. The end user control of the system; picture uploads, text changes, scheduling shifts, etc. People charged with “user control” will handle the day-to-day maintenance of the system.

Support – It is vitally important to pick a vendor or manufacturer who will work with you through the different cycles of implementation: pre-sales, installation and production support.

Security – In today’s hack and attack world, you need a secure link between the source and your destination. This is similar to a VPN type of connection to prevent hacks, data-theft or data-insertion, user permission controls and monitoring.

Like most systems, it isn’t hard or complicated.  If the system can support these five points, your digital signage should run smoothly for years to come.  Be diligent and test, test, test with different vendors, users, clients and anyone involved with the project. It is all about acceptance and usability. Make sure everyone is happy with the system and is willing to use it.  With everyone on board, the process will go much easier and everyone wins.

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IT Manager

End User Council

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