Should you Buy Digital Signage Software from Hardware Manufacturers?

Display Manufacturers are in the business of selling displays and the software they provide acts as a value add to sell their hardware. The biggest blocks for any digital signage software originating from a display manufacturer are Lack of Flexibility and Scalability.

Lack of Flexibility: A good Digital Signage Software needs to be hardware agnostic . i.e the ability to support a range of screens with different operating systems. One recent interaction with Phoenix Mall manager, it was revealed that the mall currently has 4 different CMS softwares to manage their network of screens in a single mall. One software for LED screens, one for android tablets setup for advertising in wash rooms, one software to manage screens with webOS operating system and the other to manage windows based Kiosk. This makes the Signage network unnecessarily complicated and extremely inefficient to manage. The problem could have been easily avoided if a 3rd party software supporting multiple operating systems was selected instead of going ahead with the software that was offered with the hardware.

Lack Of Scalability: When it’s time to scale-up and add more screens to your signage network, would you always want to stick to the same display brand even if you experienced any issues. Wouldn’t you want the freedom to choose a different brand of displays because they are better or probably use it as a negotiating point with the existing supplier? If yes, you need to stay away from going with the software provided by the display manufacturer. That way you are not bound to one hardware supplier for life.

Nothing against Display manufacturers, many brands make wonderful Displays and a few make good software too. However, there is no standard operating system with widespread adoption in Digital Signage Industry. Hence it is impossible for hardware manufacturers to come up with a hardware agnostic signage software unless there is openness from all major display brands for collaboration which is highly unlikely.

To conclude, it’s always best to buy the hardware from any decent brand but choose a software that is hardware agnostic. Refer this Checklist to help you identify the right digital signage software for your needs.

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