Sorting Out DS Content Software

  • The Digital Signage Content Management Software that organizes and directs how “content” will play is central to providing the unique, powerful and inherent capabilities of Digital Signage. But the selection of software can be complex and daunting. There are more than one hundred software providers. And software being software, challenges face the systems integrator and the end-user: software doesn’t have the kind of “specs” that allow easy A/B comparison when deciding which product to go with.
  • In the next issue of Digital Signage magazine, I am going to focus on the essential distinction: Hosted (or SaaS “Software as a Service”) vs. Premise-based digital signage content management software.
  • It’s not always a black and white decision, but let’s start simple, and build out from there. This is what users are doing.
  • Premise-based digital signage content management software packages are often more scalable, more secure, and more reliable because they are not based on a constant internet connection. So there is the perception in the industry that Premise-based digital signage content management software packages are often the best choice for complex systems especially. Conversely, Hosted Software that is a browser-based, or SaaS digital signage software solutions, more easily bring live data, custom messages and content to displays, from users that are not required to know or learn much programming, so the thinking goes. A web-based service does not require intricate hosting infrastructure; users log in from any Internet-accessible browser to update, control, and monitor their displays, or use smart phones to send alerts.
  • Yes, this is a simplification, and I’m ready to get bombarded with objections to the above.… but we need to sort out the other more subtle differences in this issue, and this is the best place to start. Trust me, users are 1) thinking along the lines above, or 2) totally confused as to what software does what. (And, we are going to list top Premise-based digital signage content management software offerings; and top browser-based/hosted digital signage content management software offerings.)
  • So, gentlemen, and ladies, start your (software) engines… And let me know what camp you’re in (or both?)…
David Keene is a publishing executive and editorial leader with extensive business development and content marketing experience for top industry players on all sides of the media divide: publishers, brands, and service providers. Keene is the former content director of Digital Signage Magazine.