Digital signage will enhance your internal communications in many ways. Welcome Walls, Digital Directories, Mobile Wayfinding, Emergency Messaging, Menu Boards, Recognition Walls, Employee/Visitor/Patient Communication Boards, Social Media Walls and Outdoor Signage are just a few of the enhanced communicational touch points digital has to offer.
“Printed materials are a thing of the past,” says Jose R. Diaz, owner of DSignage. “They are cluttered all over the place and not many people read them.”
That’s not the only disadvantage to outdated marketing material, he notes. They are also nearly impossible to keep up to date and it takes people’s time and money to print the material and physically go to the bulletin board to update them.
“Not to mention the ink and paper that needs to be used,” Diaz adds.
White Glove Services
“Our approach is to provide a complete turnkey solution—we call it ‘white glove services,’” says Diaz. “We start with our consulting services by defining with clients their overall objectives, pain points and priorities; then we focus on deciding where the screens need to be installed and what size or orientation they should be.”
Once that is done, Diaz and his team will provide the hardware and software that will be used to update content of the screens (back end systems). Next, DSignage provides installation services to make sure that what was designed is implemented properly and helps with the initial content for each of the screens.
“Finally, we provide end user training, ongoing monitoring of all screens, tech and creative support,” he says.
Most companies want to sell either hardware or software, not solutions, says Diaz. “We focus on complete solutions starting with the end in mind. We are software and hardware agnostic, and we work for our clients not for any specific manufacturer.”
It was a sudden demand for digital signage services that caused the company to pivot and go in a new direction in 2003. Back then, according to Diaz, the industry did not even have a specific name yet, it was referred to as ‘Narrowcasting.’ Later, ‘Digital Signage,’ became the default name for the whole industry.
At the time, DSignage was involved with another technology company in the out-of-home advertising space when one of its clients, Philip Morris, asked for help to use TVs at their point of sales to promote their brands.
Later, Burdines (now Macy’s) asked them to help with innovative ideas for the reopening of their flagship store in Dadeland Mall. Kendall Regional Medical Center then asked for help as they wanted to implement an “Employee Channel” for the Human Resources Department.
“After these three events happened within six months, we decided to sell our shares of the other company and start a new business,” recalls Diaz.
Digital Signage Strategies
If you’re interested in developing a digital signage campaign, there are some things your facility needs to consider.
“These projects are traditionally handed over to IT which we believe is a mistake,” says Diaz. “Needless to say, IT needs to be involved but it should not be ‘owned’ by IT. IT should support the project to make sure the digital signage network is designed properly from the beginning, compliant with their network and security protocols.”
However, once all of this is in place, then content becomes the driving factor which determines the success of the project, stresses Diaz. For projects to be successful, besides IT, other departments need be involved from the beginning, especially the Executive Corporate Team who has the vision for the organization and the facility.
“HR, Marketing, Foundation, Construction, Food Services, Nursing and even Medical leadership should also be involved to make sure their needs are considered when putting together these complicated solutions,” says Diaz. “Saving a lot of money down the line because we keep the end in mind.”
Diaz says that DSignage acts as the “Magic Glue” or the liaison between all these departments giving them peace of mind that their needs have been considered and incorporated into these expensive implementations.
“If any technical issues occur, we have dedicated personnel to solve these issues in ‘Jimmy Johns’ like response time,” he says. “We become an integral part of the team because we technically are not responsible for the screens having relevant content or continuous content enhancements, but we act like we were responsible. We care about the solutions we deploy for our clients because we really believe in the power of digital and how it can elevate a positive experience inside the hectic and stressful hallways of a hospital.”
Digital signs are here to stay, whether people want to accept it or not, says Diaz.
“Many people think they are expensive but when you figure out the amount of time and money you save daily, they pay for themselves within two years,” he says.
The screens are getting larger, thinner, lighter and brighter and as a result, it’s making large format screens more accessible from a budgetary point of view. For certain applications, the touch interface makes it easier for people to interact with the screens. People are now used to interacting with screens thanks to mobile phones so it’s very easy for us to develop user interfaces that are easy for people to understand and utilize.
Content Is Crucial
“However, at the end of the day, content is what really makes the difference,” says Diaz. “We strive for ‘smart content’ that is relevant and up to date. Ideally being fed from other systems and sources so the information does not need to be updated by humans. The phone is also playing a key role so people can get the information they see on the screens to their phone so they can take it with them.”
In addition, now with beacons, once linked to the mobile phone, DSignage systems can tie into the location services of the audience (WIFI Permitted) and trigger specific content based on who is standing in front of it.
Diaz points out that the company now has an end-to-end mobile solution for the complete patient journey: from making appointments to checking in at doctors’ practice, to outdoor and indoor wayfinding, to medicine reminders and surveys at the end of each process.
“We are here to help the healthcare community improve the efficiency in internal communications while saving money, as well as elevating the experience for patients, visitors and staff to feel a stress-free peaceful environment, helping them forget that they are even in a hospital … and more like a high class resort!”