Ask the Board – November 11, 2019 | RICHARD DAUGHERTY


“Proprietary vs. Off-the-Shelf … when do you customize (software/hardware) vs. buy the product everyone else uses?”

There is a good argument when it comes to selecting digital signage that is made of either a proprietary or off-the-shelf solution. Thoughts on this can be from one extreme to another. Here are two scenarios that illustrate this:

Scenario 1: A company is reviewing digital signage solutions to implement in their offices. They finally land on one that the team really likes, and they realize that all the hardware comes “off- the-shelf” from a third-party, and the thought is that support for this hardware will be iffy at best. 
Scenario 2: The same company decides to review a digital signage solution that has proprietary hardware, giving them a sense of comfort in knowing that the company that designed the software also is responsible for the hardware, which can be potentially more expensive.

In our experience, it all boils down to budget. We have seen clients select either scenario with the ideal experience being delivered. Our belief is that, when partnered with solutions that are “best in breed” and certified to work on off-the-shelf hardware, they will work on the same level as proprietary hardware. We have seen companies that have proprietary hardware also quote off-the-shelf hardware to be more competitive. We have also seen digital signage companies taking full advantage of delivering their solution via SoC or Web OS displays, eliminating the need for media player hardware.

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Senior Solution Architect – Digital Media

Integrator Council

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