Based on past experiences, what lessons can be learned from failures with network implementation/operation?
Depending on the severity of the failure issue itself, there will be costs in time and or money. How much depends on what step of “The 7 Key Elements of Digital Signage” was not completed successfully. These are:
Key Element 1 – Business
Key Element 2 – Content
Key Element 3 – Design
Key Element 4 – Software
Key Element 5 – Hardware
Key Element 6 – Connectivity
Key Element 7 – Operations
One example involved a client’s internal network department scheduling network wiring. They were working from a call center hundreds of miles from the installation sites and coordinated the wire pulling from one subcontractor, while the ping and pairing was performed by another separate subcontractor on a different day. There were no construction issues … just a boneheaded decision to break up the work order thereby losing accountability. Given that this occurred during Key Element # 7, the impact was not huge. It was the loss of a day or so, and the costs associated with duplicate work. The solution involved working with the network call center management to ensure that only a single subcontractor would be involved.
Costs will rise exponentially and may lead to failure when installation issues uncover problems, which should have been caught during earlier Key Element steps. An example of these occurred when a digital display was installed in a sports arena. On day one, it worked flawlessly and every one was pleased that the resulting display, which was behind a glass window, included many historical props in addition to the player and display. All was tested in the lab and functioned as designed. However, the issue arose when it was time to update the content. Due to the location within an all-concrete wall system, cell service was unavailable and neither was Wi-Fi on this hallway. On top of these issues, power was turned off unless an event was ongoing. Over a period of months, many hours were spent seeking a permanent solution. On a temporary basis, content was updated via a thumb drive, but soon, that just became too labor intensive to remain practical. Ultimately, the player and monitor were removed, and the display of the historical items remained. Had a site survey been done during Key Element # 2, an alternative or a decision not to proceed may have been made thereby reducing months of discouragement and costs.
By following the 7 Key Elements in order, you will help to ensure more successful digital signage implementations and more satisfied clients.
Please reach out to any of my co-consulting board members to assist your company in developing plans for successful implementations.