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2016 the year of digital signage, integrators urged to get onboard

Digital signage is still young but growing rapidly and will become a dominant force in 2016, according to Mike Killian, DSCE and Mvix director of business development.

As a result of the digitisation megatrend, businesses are investing heavily in digital technologies that can engage their customers, he says.

"2016 is a good year for digital signage. Businesses have finally become comfortable with digital signage, and so pilots are now becoming large-scale rollouts. This is the perfect time for integrators to take on digital signage projects,” he says.

However, Killian says he's disappointed over the hesitation of integrators to delve into digital signage.

“To be highly effective and get great ROI and ROO, a digital signage solution needs to comprise more than just the hardware and software. Services such as consultation, network design, content production, installation, custom integration, managed services and ongoing support are what make a digital signage project successful. They turn a basic digital signage system into a complete turnkey solution.

“These services are the 'digital signage money makers' for integrators. Integrators have highly specialised skills in these services, which present revenue, margin and account control opportunity,” he says.

According to Killian, a growing trend among businesses, especially in the foodservice, retail, hospitality, healthcare and corporate communication industries, is their preference to focus on their core business operations, and outsource things like their digital signage solutions to professionals. This approach gives them one point of accountability to help network design, content production, installation, custom integration, managed services and ongoing support,” he says.

“We think of traditional sign providers as a subcategory of integrators. Sign shops are perhaps best positioned to increase their revenue by adding digital signage to their portfolio. They already have the customer base, and they also have a unique understanding of the elements of effective information display, without relying on the medium as an attention-getter. All they need to do is introduce their existing clients to this "new and improved" digital alternative," Killian says.

According to Killian, there are specific areas where integrators can leverage increased revenue through digital signage.

“POS system sales can also reap great benefits from digital signage. Retail relies heavily on their point of sale systems, and POS providers are in a prime position to introduce dynamic signage to a market made for customer-oriented communication. Complementing a POS system with a digital display network offers customers added value or even a whole new experience," he says.

According to Killian, successful digital signage providers are those that go above and beyond what is expected of them.

Killian says, “By nature, digital signage is meant to be seen and heard. As a provider of A/V components and services, completing the product package by adding digital solutions is an effective way to help customers optimise and achieve their goals.

“Much like A/V providers, IT managed service providers can expand their services to include the management of a digital signage network. They are in a great position to offer a one-stop-shop for all IT related services, which will appeal to clients who are looking for one point of accountability instead of dealing with multiple.

“Web designers have great skills in creating killer websites that engage clients. They understand the concepts of colour, balance and proportion, flow and spacing. They can take this same skill and use it to create visually compelling digital signage content. Since they're already familiar with the work on the website, they can replicate it on the digital signage content to maintain brand consistency,” he says.