6 Questions To Ask a Potential Digital Signage Partner
The most important thing about a digital signage solution is support. While digital initiatives are getting easier to implement with consolidation of hardware, players and smart devices - these usually span a number of departments within the organisation that have conflicting priorities which means that supporting a live network is not as easy to internalise as it may initially appear.
Technical issues come part and parcel with any distributed digital network, and if a vendor suggests otherwise, then I would implore you to run away. What really matters is when you pick up the phone to ask for support, what type of answers do you get?
“Sorry – we don’t support that hardware”
“Sorry – we have a new version of the software, so we don’t support yours.”
“We can confirm this isn’t a problem at our end, try the <>”
“Oh – that component comes from a third party, let me escalate to them and we’ll get back to you soon.”
“We don’t integrate with that.”
If you have heard this, or are nodding your head right now, then you have felt this pain in some facet of your life. With digital signage – the Australian market consists of AV Solution Providers that don’t own intellectual property, but resell others - and hardware vendors that have their own software that is not supported or needs a 3-day course to understand. Software vendors that pass you to a third party to work out screens and solutions design aren’t unheard of.
All of the above strategies can and do work quite well with a vendor, but here are six questions to consider asking when researching your potential digital solution partners:
Will the support centre know about my network when I call them?
Will they support all components of my network?
How integrated is their service with other vendors – do they have API’s or support integration, or are they a closed shop. Do they pass all of this to a third party?
Will they customise their solution to fit your business and will they support it thereafter?
Do they own the software, or are they reselling? If they are reselling, how much ‘weight’ do they have with the software supplier?
What is their product roadmap?
If you don’t like what you hear, – then keep looking! If your current provider doesn’t stand up well against the above checklist, then perhaps it’s worth evaluating your options.