Based on past experiences, what lessons can be learned from failures with network implementation/operation?
The biggest and most common failure in network implementation or operations is a lack of understanding about the impact on the daily routine for a given software platform. Anyone can do a pilot program with just about any Content Management System. But what happens when you need to scale and expand from five stores to 100 stores or even 1,000 stores?
And what content do you need to have when the network scales? Will you now need to manage 100 or 1,000 different playlists? Case in point, the now defunct PRN/Walmart network, which had 150 staff to manage 5,000 stores. In contrast, a 5,000 gas station network had only two people managing that network. PRN invented their own software, which could only send the same videos to all the stores. Conversely, Fuelcast and GSTV use a Scala-based system that had metadata associated with each location and tagged the media as it was entered into the system. The result was that the 5,000 playlists were generated automatically on the fly to get the right message in front of the right eyeballs at the right time.
Be careful when choosing your software. It matters more than you can imagine.