This article is the first in a series about the choice of architecture for your digital signage network, if you’re not entirely sure about the concept of digital signage, or aren’t familiar with the different existing models, start by reading this article: Digital signage: Preparing yourself well, available on our blog.
Without equipment, there can be no digital signage. Screens, network peripherals and/or servers, un minimum of equipment is always necessary.
Case of the on premise hosted model
In the case of models (or architectures) that are on premise and hybrid, the equipment and software belong to the customer. He has to purchase them. The company has to take care of the hosting of the servers on the local network in good conditions (security, cooling, maintenance, 24/7 availability). Moreover, even in these conditions, equipment doesn’t last forever, you have to anticipate the replacement of material over long term plans, as well as the transfer of existing data on the new equipment. Even though these interventions are rare, they are rarely indicated in the initial billing and can contribute to the abandoning of the digital signage project, if they’re not calculated before you start. Moreover, though it’s possible to install redundant solutions to guarantee a strong availability of service, evading black screens and data loss, they’re complex to implement and imply substantially higher purchase costs (the equipment has to be purchased at least in double). These solutions need technical teams to take care of the maintenance, these need to be implemented in the client company.
Case of the SaaS model
In the case of a SaaS architecture, the players can be sold to the client. With complete solutions (software and players provided by the same provider), the players are often leased or made available for the duration of the contract and are thus a smaller initial investment. The obsolescence and usage thus become a smaller problem and certain providers offer standard exchanges after a certain period of use. The servers of the provider are generally housed in datacentres in the best possible conditions. Redundancy and replication services are generally implemented which assures a maximal continuity of service and the insurance of never losing data. The client company doesn’t have to worry about these technically complex implementations, which are often included in the initial subscription, and can concentrate wholly on its business.
Thus, choosing a SaaS solution implies the acquisition of less equipment, sometimes even none. The installation is reduced to its bare minimum, and the maintenance doesn’t necessitate an internal tech crew since it’s taken care of by the provider, who operates their own servers. Depending on the objectives and the structure of the company, its policy concerning data storage, the wish for scalability, the services that have to be implemented, the capacities of technical teams and the company’s capacity to host servers, the preference for one of these architectures will emerge. Many other factors should be taken into account as well though.
Continue reading the series:
- Preparing yourself #2: Time and effort necessary to get started
You have a digital signage project, ask for a free demo.
Considering that each digital signage solution is different, ask the advice of an expert before settling on the right one for you.