16:9 could be an endless supply of re-purposed PR about new industry partnerships, but I read and then ignore most of that news because experience and analytics show readers aren’t much interested either.
However, when the biggest digital signage-focused integrator in North America announces a partnership for workplace communications, I get more interested.
With the new integration, says a press release today, communicators can scale their content strategies and reach their entire workforce around the globe by publishing to digital signs and displays in the workplace.
“Reaching every employee is critical to engage, support and inform the workforce, yet incorporating digital signage as a communications endpoint has not been effective for many organizations because content distribution is cumbersome, often only refreshed once a week with physical USB drives,” says Nicole Alvino, co-founder and chief strategy officer of SocialChorus. “We’re thrilled to be the first workforce communications company to partner with Diversified and deliver true digital signage solutions for our customers.”
Through the partnership, customers now have a fully managed, end-to-end solution that lets them publish content instantly to digital signage on top of existing channels. SocialChorus offers a single platform to publish and create content, and with Content Amplifier, can automatically refresh the relevant content that employees need to see at that moment. Diversified takes care of the distribution, providing a system tailored to fit client needs through its dynamic software, hardware, reporting, maintenance and consulting services to make the experience seamless.
Specific features of the new SocialChorus and Diversified solution include:
- Single source of publishing: Using SocialChorus Program Studio, users can publish once to multiple channels and touchpoints, such as mobile, desktop, email and more in addition to digital signage;
- “Plug and play” installation: Simple setup allows users to connect their SocialChorus feed to any digital software, helping to unify and align communications channels and content;
- Variety of templates: Several templates provide flexible dimensions for any display, designed specifically for digital signage with the ability to auto-refresh with the latest content or set to auto-play video;
- Easy control: Delivers the control to easily place both global- and location-specific content, refreshed regularly so employees receive the most up-to-date messages.
The pitch here is one platform that delivers across all communications channels, including phones, desktops and digital signs. The sign part is compelling for organizations that have 80% or more of their workers not sitting at desks, but out on production and operations floors.
“Digital signage is a powerful, increasingly critical channel for reaching frontline workers who may not have access to other devices while performing their work,” says John Mellilo, senior vice president of Diversified’s Digital Media Group. “The combination of SocialChorus’ content creation and publishing capabilities with our digital signage and technology expertise gives customers a comprehensive solution for reaching all employees, while creating less work for IT teams through auto-refresh capabilities that get messages out automatically.”
Diversified is by no means alone in chasing workplace communications, and arguably late to the party. But it is a big company with some very sharp people working the digital signage file and supporting other sales people who sell more conventional AV systems.
I told the crowd at a speaking thing a couple of weeks ago that workplace comms that reached non-office workers was a big, still under-served vertical to go after for digital signage, and Diversified either saw that, or its new software partner saw it and knew it needed an AV partner to handle scale and get projects done correctly.
Software guys rarely know all the ins and outs, and gotchas, of planning, sourcing, deployment and ops, so getting a partner is wise.
It is no great reach to imagine there are times when customers have started with desktops and phone messaging, and asked the software guys if they could also do flat-panel screens around the white and blue collar areas.
I don’t know Social Chorus at all, so I can’t speak to their platform. A quick run through the digital signage section of the company website – with lots of examples of multi-windowed screens, small images and squint-sized fonts – suggests Diversified needs to teach them many things about content design. As noted about 8,000 times here, just because software can do things like multi-zones doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
What the company has is that one point of content entry and distribution that other, more traditional CMS software companies don’t offer. Being able to design once and push to many different types of screens has its genuine attractions. The content design part will get figured out.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.