My industry friend Nurlan Urazbaev – who has been producing the signage and DOOH industry round-up Digital Signage Pulse for many years – flagged something that’s been on my mind in recent months – the merits of review sites for CMS software.
His headline: TechRadar’s List of “Best digital signage software in 2020” looks strange, at best.
The Techradar top five listed:
- OnSign TV
- Telemetry TV
I have nothing bad to say about any of these CMS software companies or their platforms, but I think it is reasonable to suggest these are not the companies that spring to mind among those people who have years of experience invested directly in this industry.
Nurlen suggests the nature of how review sites work is that a vendor can cook the results via its own submissions – a bit like how restaurants can amp up their diner ratings by writing their own glowing reviews.
I note all this because lately I have seen more and more companies – usually smaller ones with skimpy or non-existent marketing budgets – noting how high they were ranked on services like Capterra.
- Atmosphere TV (honestly, never even heard of this company)
- Zoom Rooms (it’s pretty much a screensaver)
- Rise Vision
- Sprinklr Modern Engagement (again, NO idea who or what this is …)
- Raydiant Digital Signage
The admittedly limited amount of poking around in reviews on Capterra and G2 suggest the end-user review submissions are credible and the people actually know what they are reviewing. I have written in the past about review sites for signage software that bordered on nonsensical, but that does not seem to be the case here.
A sample from CrowdReviews:
FrontFace is truly a superb piece of software! i accustomed be longing for Associate in Nursing easy-to-use application that serves my wishes (info / welcome screen in associate extremely public town hall). Most of what I found on the net were subscription-based product where you’ve to pay cash for victimization the code. With FrontFace you get a permanent license that never expires which does not prove any running costs!
I would LOVE to understand and get some on-the-record or quiet and private feedback on how these sites work and whether the reviews are credible. There are some good platforms included in these lists, but many companies who would not be top of mind.
We are increasingly conditioned to using consumer reviews to shape decisions on where to eat, what to buy and where to stay, so it is not surprising that there is a market for software reviews. It is NOT how I’d recommend software sourcing, but for a harried SMB manager, it may be the only due diligence he or she has the budget and time to do. My guess the buyer market, and reviewers, skew to smaller solutions that are not looking for STRATACACHE, Scala, Four Winds, Reflect. Appspace, Comqi, Navori, Signagelive or some of the other well-established solutions that get considered for larger and enterprise jobs.
I also wonder if reviews are paid, and how that shapes the veracity of reviews. The absence of top-tier solutions that most “lifers” in signage would know leaves me skeptical.
For the hell of it, I submitted a nonsensical review on Capterra. We’ll see if it goes up.
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.