If you had to make a checklist for a smooth and successful digital signage installation, what items would be included?”
Without question, the most important element of a successful digital signage installation is well written and comprehensive scope of work. I cannot express in words how important it is for both integrator and owner (customer) to have a comprehensive scope of work in place that has been agreed to by both parties. This document, if well prepared, will help set proper expectations and prevent scope of work creep. So how does one create a good comprehensive scope of work? Well, this is where you separate the men from the boys in this challenging industry. A comprehensive scope of work that will serve as the guiding light to both end user and integrator only comes through asking the right questions.
The right questions come from an experienced and proven integrator that knows all the elements that have to be covered for a successful digital signage installation. When I and others are teaching the key elements or essentials of digital signage, we often refer to the stripes on our backs that have been endured through years of trials and challenges resulting in our knowledge about knowing what questions to ask. In fact, I will often say to a perspective customer that you can judge the quality of your integrator by the questions they ask. So what are those questions?
Well, since this is just a Q&A response, I will provide the topics that questions must be asked about. From there, the scope of work can then be developed. These are just the top-level topics. There are many questions that support each topic.
Value: What value will the investment in digital signage bring to the organization and/or business?
Content: Digital signage is a living organism, and unless a commitment is made to keep content fresh, timely and pertinent, the system will fail. So what is their content strategy?
Connectivity: How will the digital signage system co-exist on the customer or organizations network? What bandwidth will be available?
Design: What are the long and short-term needs for the total system? Scaling requirements?
CMS Choice: What are the requirements for the CMS (content management software)? Hardware? What are the requirements for the hardware? How much owner furnished equipment is expected to be used?
Installation: What are the needs and understandings associated with the installation? Roll out needs?
Training: Who needs to be trained? What training do they need? What happens when personnel changes?
Service/Support: How will this system be supported in the long term?
I would suggest that the most important skill that an integrator can own is the knowledge of what questions to ask. From those answers, you can develop your scope of work that will allow you to set proper expectations. So, the key to a successful digital signage rollout is the upfront work to establish a comprehensive scope of work.