St. Paul, Minnesota, October 17, 2017 — Since launching its digital signage initiatives more than ten years ago, the University of Minnesota has continually expanded its network to more departments on its main campus in Minneapolis. Using the scalable architecture of Carousel Digital Signage Software from Tightrope Media Systems, the University is now supporting departments throughout all of the campus locations including the Twin Cities, Duluth, Crookston, Morris and Rochester, along with remote research stations and outreach centers.
With so many locations and departments to serve with each expansion – the most recent expansion has raised the total number of displays on the network to 275 – Carousel’s de-centralized, multi-seat capabilities become increasingly pertinent with each semester. This valuable benefit ensures that each new department added to the network can quickly create and disseminate local messages, while Emergency Management services can automatically post and cancel alert bulletins utilizing Carousel’s supported CAP protocol. Emergency messages are localized to each respective campus.
This multi-seat digital signage strategy also means that the software must be easy to learn and use, given the large number of personnel with various skillsets creating and publishing content.
“Since launching the Carousel network, we have had more departments coming online each year,” said Eric Topping, digital signage manager at University of Minnesota. “This network now serves the entire University of Minnesota system, so any department on any campus that is signed onto the service acts their own governing body be it athletics, academics or administration. This is also very useful for our emergency alerts, which remain completely independent from other campus operations but can be quickly and easily added as needed.
“Overall, we hear a lot of feedback about the value of being able to manage their own content, and the ability to do it from anywhere on campus, at home or from another location,” he continued. “And there is no question that digital signage has very significantly changed the culture of communications both here and on other university campuses.”
Topping notes that Carousel’s data-handling capabilities are useful and impressive, pointing to a project with the Student Unions and Activities department that incorporates transit schedules from city bus services. Carousel Digital Signage Software communicates directly with a Metro Transit server to feed arrival and departure times to displays throughout the student union buildings.
“Carousel does an excellent job with data feeds and real-time updates,” said Topping. “It’s dynamic and live, with a refresh every five seconds. In the dead of winter, students can stay inside the student center with one eye on the schedule, and run outside just as the bus arrives.”
The Carousel Digital Signage network also features a handful of interactive touchscreens and kiosks that are primarily used for wayfinding. As with the real-time bus schedules, Carousel’s data-rich benefits offer a strong value proposition for interactive digital signage applications such as wayfinding, allowing people to map routes through campus with ease. One interactive kiosk located by a donor wall allows student and visitors to look up donors, with selectable video clips, bios and pictures accompanying each entry.
While the university network has operated successfully on many Carousel Digital Signage Software iterations, Topping adds that the transition to the recently-released Carousel 7.0 software has opened many new opportunities and efficiencies. As Tightrope’s broadest digital signage software refresh in many years, Carousel 7.0 provides richer content creation and content management software to empower a variety of modern digital signage needs, including wayfinding, interactive kiosks, video walls and digital menu boards. It also offers a completely redesigned web-based interface and responsive software to simplify the user experience, and allow users to efficiently access Carousel from tablets and mobile phones.
“The transition to Carousel 7.0 makes it even easier for operators to turn out high-quality professional content even without web development or graphic design skills,” said Topping. “Moving forward, 7.0 will allow us to take advantage of Tightrope’s integration with Apple TV, which turns Apple TV devices into actual digital signage media players. That will be a game changer in the way we support, manage and configure our systems. The way that Tightrope continues to bring new features and capabilities to Carousel and evolving how we can use digital signage makes them an ideal partner.”
About Tightrope Media Systems
Founded in 1997, Tightrope Media Systems is the pioneer of web-centric digital signage and broadcast automation systems. With its Cablecast portfolio, the company provides station automation, video servers, Internet video on demand and live streaming, while its Carousel Digital Signage system powers on-premise content and out-of-home networks across multiple business verticals. Tightrope’s award winning systems are used throughout the world. You can reach Tightrope Media Systems at (866) 866-4118 or visit them on the web at https://www.trms.com.
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