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Digital Signage: Seven common pitfalls to avoid

7. Choosing the wrong partners
The size and complexity of a digital signage network will help determine the scope of professional integration assistance required for its implementation and ongoing management. This is where problems can arise if a provider falls short in delivering on its promises or, worse yet, goes out of business.

Such problems do happen, so it is important to check vendors are stable enough to provide long-term support. New companies just entering the burgeoning digital signage marketplace need to be scrutinized especially closely.

It is also important to check their credentials and ensure their expertise is a good fit. Many audiovisual (AV) system and component providers and installers have plenty of experience with consumer electronics, home theatre systems or even office communications, but not yet any with commercial-grade digital signage. When providing and supporting a totally integrated system for long-term use, IT and data networking expertise is called for with seasoned professionals.

Moving beyond product selection and availability, after all, there needs to be after-sale service. Even with the most expensive systems, screens will go blank and other issues will inevitably arise. The question is how quickly these problems can be fixed and at what expense. Both availability and costs should be specified well in advance.

It is important to learn about partner organizations’ warranties and shipping policies, how customer complaints will be handled and whether or not discontinued products will continue to be supported. (In some cases, upgraded products will need to be purchased instead.)

Software support, meanwhile, may involve dedicated online and/or phone-based assistance when content managers encounter issues on a day-to-day basis.

Falling victim to common mistakes can cost both time and money when deploying a digital signage network. And the fastest, lowest-cost options can be the costliest of all in the long run.

With files from Blackbox, which provides video wall controllers and other communications and data infrastructure products. For more information, visit www.blackbox.com.

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