BrightSign Launches Cloud Management Platform That Helps (And Maybe Competes With) CMS Software Options

Silicon Valley-based BrightSign continues to evolve its go-to-market position – having pretty quickly transitioned from a company known for reliable but proprietary little purple media player boxes and software, to a very open platform that’s doing partnerships all over the place lately.

The company is launching a new API-centric product called BSN.cloud, described as a robust player-management platform driven by BrightSign’s OS 8.0.

“BSN.cloud consists of three clouds,” explains Jeff Hastings, BrightSign CEO, in a press release. “At the base level, the Control Cloud subscription is included with every player. It offers BrightSign customers simple provisioning and setup options and real-time data about player health.”

Within the Control Cloud level, the B-Deploy feature enables complete configuration of players remotely, dramatically reducing install times and making player setup or provisioning an almost automatic process. Large-scale rollouts are greatly simplified via new options for automatically setting up large groups of players simultaneously. And for small-scale rollouts, a new on-screen setup process utilizes QR codes for easy player setup via mobile phone.

The Control Cloud also includes access to view real-time health information of the player and the ability to change configurations and deploy operating system updates in real time without having to ever physically interact with the player.

Numerous CMS software and integration companies – such as Appspace, Carousel Digital Signage, Creative Realities, Diversified, Four Winds Interactive, Mvix, Reflect Systems and Signagelive – are  “in the process of using the BSN.cloud APIs to integrate their software with the BSN.cloud management platform.”

This will be a bigger deal to some companies than others. Robust device management is kinda my base-level requirement when vetting CMS options for consulting clients, and frankly some companies have waaay better management controls than others. If a CMS company is plugged into this and using BrightSign players, that part is covered without having to put the developer resources into monitoring and managing specific hardware that doesn’t work on Windows or Linux.

Regardless of the software chosen for a project, says BrightSign, all BrightSign players can connect – at no charge – to BSN.cloud and take advantage of all the Control Cloud services.

“As it becomes increasingly common and more desirable to connect all kinds of devices to the cloud, digital signage for the vast majority will exist as connected networks,” says Hastings. “BSN.cloud is a robust player-management platform intended to provide secure and scalable networking options for end-users, integrators, network managers and DOOH operators.”

The other two clouds within BSN.cloud are the Management Cloud and the Content Cloud, the PR continues.

The Management Cloud is a data-driven cloud service that delivers a complete set of digital signage network management tools to the end-user. It collects and stores data about performance measures that are important to network managers such as advertising proof of play, player performance and health, remote snapshots, etc.

The Management Cloud pushes out email notifications about issues important to end-users such as a subscription that is about to expire or players that are reporting errors. At the highest level, the Content Cloud adds the media library and content feeds, schedules, presentation management and content distribution tools.

BrightSign ships more than 1,000 players a day – so that will tell you there are a lot of people using its devices. If you didn’t know, BrightSign was/is a spinout of Roku, which makes very popular set-top boxes and tech used for streaming on smart TVs. I have at least two Roku thingies and they’re solid.

The BSN.cloud thing may be a particularly compelling thing for networks – like big retail or digital out of home – that have limited and well-defined scheduling, targeting and play-out needs, and who for commercial, security or strategic reasons do not want to invest in third-party CMS software to run the signage network. Easier setup and provisioning of players is also attractive.

With this – the solutions provider or end-user company can write a front-end that does what’s needed, use BrightSign boxes, and use the APIs for management and content controls.

The Control Cloud part is a free subscription with every BrightSign player. There IS a fee for the Management and Content Clouds – likely around $50 for Management-only and $99 for Management and Content Clouds. That is per player, per year.

BrightSign will undoubtedly be talking this up next week at ISE in Amsterdam. It says the BSN.cloud player management platform is the new BrightAuthor:connected, which will be available in Q2 2019. Other UI’s, it says, will be available in the coming months from CMS and channel partners.