I was 22 when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and since then, I take four shots every day. For the past 10-years or so, I’ve gone for my medical check-up quarterly. I don’t go to a general practitioner, I go to an Endocrinologist, someone who specializes in diabetes, because they know about comprehensive treatments, innovations, they have day in and day out experience dealing with people with similar issues and conditions. Yes, my endocrinologist fees are twice as expensive as our family GPs.
Similarly, when I need advice regarding my finances, I don’t just go to anyone at a bank. I go to a financial advisor; someone who has inside knowledge of my life goals and objectives; someone who is professional and is actively monitoring the economy and trends while I’m working. That said, I wouldn’t trust my financial advisor with my diabetes, and wouldn’t trust my endocrinologist with my finances…the thought is funny indeed.
I trust them and use them in their respective fields because they are specialists. There is no doubt that specialists are expensive, but what you are paying for is the value of their knowledge, their experiences and an ability to provide comprehensive consultation in their fields. If you look around, our economy shifted to one where we value people who have a particular set of knowledge, experience, and skills to do specific jobs we need. The benefits of leveraging a specialist are peace of mind, long-term cost savings, and a more predictable outcome.
Without a doubt, specialists are the future of pretty much everything these days. In fact, here’s a short (15min), thought-provoking documentary of what we should expect our jobs to be in the future: (“Humans Need not Apply”).
The specialists argument can be extended to digital signage. Yes, digital signage has a very low barrier to entry. You can configure a small media player or Android stick for less than $100, run a basic webURL/website on your screens and call yourself a digital signage solution provider. This makes it easy for an AV integrator, website consultant, a contractor, electrician or a help-desk support tech who is already working at your company and doing a great job in their respective service to offer digital signage for a few extra bucks. It’s rational, they are doing a good job, it’s convenient. You need to get it done anyways, and you even think maybe the price is right….Wrong!
Managing Digital Signage
In the last 12-years during which we have been involved with over 15000 digital signage projects across 30+ countries, I’ve never heard a client say their electrician is managing digital signage and it’s great, or that their website management company built a robust, future-proofed, remotely managed digital signage network. The stories I hear are ones of HORROR:
- Overcharged because the “solution provider” didn’t know how to do the job
- Underestimated/under-bid and unable to complete the project.
- Basic screen which shows a few images and videos, unable to scale.
- Too long to get the work done because they were unsure how to do it efficiently.
- Insecure system, causing random glitches and security issues.
- Using non-compliant OS, causing more blue screens and OS upgrade views.
Frequently, the client will try to make the system work for them but too often, they’ll call us in a couple of years, or within the same year to diagnose their network. Very few times we can undo what was done, but most of the time we have to scrap the entire project and start from scratch.
No matter how we do it, we always start with really understanding what the client is looking for. Being specialists, it is easier for us to forecast (with some degree of probability) what their future intentions will look like. Mostly we do an accurate prediction, sometimes we can’t.
Our solution consultants then prepare proposals and recommendations based on the project requirements. Enterprise-grade digital signage projects can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars but if not qualified correctly, their future proofness can be critically impeded by someone who is not a specialist and may not have done such a project in the past.
Our commitment to you is simple – we promise we will never offer to run network cables and set up your internet firewalls if you promise not to let an AV installer bid on your digital signage project without comprehensively analyzing your requirements.