Questions to ask Digital Signage Companies

When we get to talking about digital signage and what a true solution looks like we have to be mindful of what that actually looks like.  We have broken this down in the past but, put simply, it should have both the content and file management capabilities at your fingertips.  What this means is you shouldn’t have to design something outside of the system (i.e. Photoshop, PowerPoint, etc) then load it in to a media player, either manually or otherwise, to get images on to your screen.  So how do you know if what you’re looking at is a true solution or just another playback-type system?  You can find out a lot by asking the questions below. 

Questions-Directional-SignageCompany background:

- What vertical do you consider to be your area of greatest expertise?
- Is your primary focus in the food service industry?  How long?
- Were you a hardware first company or software first?
- Who developed your software?  When?
- How many releases have you had of your software?

Design and Maintenance:

- What do you do for content development?  Extent?  Number of transitions per screen?
- Do I own the design files after they have been developed?
- How much do you charge for menu, price and promotional updates/changes?  Turnaround?
- What is your design consultation protocol?  Approval process?
- Can my content be templated so I can change it?
- What happens when I want to redesign all of my screens?  Cost associated?
- Can I upload my own pictures and videos into your system?
- What happens when I want to change more than just items and pricing?  Can you walk me through how to do that?
- What do I do if the text or pictures that I want to bring in exceed or fail to fit within the given fields?
- If time elapses and I have forgotten how to make changes, is there a cost to re-train me?
- Do I have to pay for new releases of the software?

Support:

- What do you provide in terms of ongoing support?
- What can I expect in terms of training on the system?
- What do you do for installation support? Cost associated?
- Do you configure my Player Computer?  Cost associated?
- How do you handle remote support? Cost associated?
- What is your daily support hours and response time?
- What do you provide in terms of basic training of the software? Cost associated?

Administrative:

- What are the scheduling capabilities for my content?
- Can different workgroups be set up or administrator roles assigned?
- Can your software accommodate video, applied transitions and various file formats?  Which file formats?
- How many separate sets of content can one Player Computer support?  Can sets of content be split to subsequent screens?
- Can sub-sections/frames of the LCDs be independently scheduled?
- How much storage is there on the media player?
- Can I control multiple locations?
- Can the software pull in RSS feeds?

Access:

- How do I access my design files?
- What operating system(s) is the software compatible with?
- Is the system hardwired or wireless?  If wireless, what happens when the Internet cuts out?

I am sure we missed some additional questions that would help lead you to the promise land.  If something comes to mind, we’d like to hear it.  Leave a comment below and share!  Or you can email us at info@origindisplays.com and we’ll add it to this blog.  888-235-2579