“Proprietary vs. Off-the-Shelf … when do you customize (software/hardware) vs. buy the product everyone else uses?”
There are several reasons we would consider recommending custom solutions vs. those that are “off-the-shelf.” With respect to software, the degree of customization is usually dictated by content strategy and workflows for clients whose needs are not supported by the CMS they are operating. One such use-case would be a scenario where broad participation in content strategy by local employees requires very little training. In these cases, a custom front-end via HTML Web Portal tied to a CMS back end can streamline content management and foster a greater sense of community across the network.
For hardware, the inflection point for off-the-shelf vs. custom stems from the application requirements for video source output and processing power. Video walls and large-format LED applications need more graphics and CPU processing capacity than a typical small form-factor media player used for single-screen installs.
Most importantly, clients should seriously consider engaging a competent technology solutions provider familiar with an array of solutions to successfully navigate balancing the right cost vs. performance for their solution.