Prepare Your Network For Digital Signage
Guest Blog: Anna Madden, Astute Technology Management.
The last 5 years have seen a significant uptick in the usage of digital signage in industries across the board.
If you live in Central Ohio, the home of Wendy’s, and have ordered inside, you can’t miss their digital order display. Been to the doctor or dentist lately? They all seem to be using digital signage in their patient waiting areas now.
While the use of living displays is terrifically beneficial to businesses – making ordering simple and accurate, selling toothbrushes and sunscreen – it has the potential to interfere with the internal network of the entire organization if not installed properly.
Following the four tips below will help ensure utilizing soon to be industry standard living displays don’t interfere with the daily operations of your business.
1. Create a Separate Network for Media Players and Displays
Unlike a personal use television that is simply connected to a home network, business use digital signage needs its own dedicated network (or Virtual LAN). Be it wired or wireless, a separate network will ensure security and control.
Consider implementing Quality of Service (QoS) to prioritize traffic on the network so more important traffic can pass first. While we think your digital signage content is super important, we don’t want it hogging all your network bandwidth preventing your staff from serving clients on the phone or over video conference.
2. Wire Media Players and Displays if Possible
Assuming you stuck to tip #1 and had wireless media players and displays, the impact could be noticed on the overall performance of the wireless access point. This goes for displays that have built in or system on chip media players as well.
With so many organizations relying heavily on wireless for interoperation and guest use, it may be worth the time and investment of wiring devices over troubleshooting and amending a poorly performing wireless network.
3. Control the Traffic
Only allow traffic from your digital signage software provider or content provider. Not only will this keep the network running at peak performance, it reduces the risk of malware.
It just makes sense to control the traffic in and out of the digital signage network to ensure the investment a business has made is maximized.
4. Work with an Experienced Digital Signage Provider
Qualified providers will be able to demonstrate an effective, seamless network solution specific to your industry. Experienced media providers know that in order for their client's investment to produce a positive ROI they must ensure a great experience.
This means not cutting corners when it comes to establishing network reliability. Steer clear of pop up shops who are willing to acquiesce to sub-par hardware/software (here’s looking at you free solutions) or seem to lack justification for adhering to industry standard best practices.
If you are uncomfortable in your ability to implement any of the above or have questions regarding the performance or capability of your network, seek the help of an experienced Managed IT Services provider. A properly configured network can be a key factor in the success or failure of your digital signage solution.