It has been a few years since LED display manufacturer Daktronics waded into the smaller-format digital signage display sector with its acquisition of the Canadian software firm Adflow Networks, and now the content management software for giant LEDs and much smaller LCDs has been merged to a single product.
The latest software update to Dak’s flagship Venus Control Suite software now “provides centralized control for scheduled content on both LED and LCD displays in indoor and outdoor spaces.”
“Venus Control Suite has been the control software for our digital LED displays for a while now,” explains Audie Baker, Venus Control Suite product manager at Daktronics. “We are very excited to expand the capabilities so display owners can unify their digital signage strategy for their complete network of indoor and outdoor signage – for both LED and LCD displays. It will simplify their operations and provide easier control.”
With Venus Control Suite, organizations can save time and money by scheduling content for multiple displays in one place. They can create consistent key messaging, elevate the customer experience through graphics and imagery, and ultimately achieve their marketing goals.
Venus Control Suite is a cloud-based software that provides display operators the ability to control scheduled content on their signs from anywhere at any time, and with any device. It provides instant software updates via the cloud, and Daktronics hosts the Venus Control Suite software on one of the most secure data centers in the world.
“Daktronics created Venus Control Suite for anyone who has digital displays with scheduled content,” explains Baker. “That could include schools, small local businesses, large franchise chains across the nation, billboard companies and more. This software can manage all of those applications.”
More than 32,000 digital display operators currently use the software, which has been offered by South Dakota-based Daktronics for more than five years.
Venus Control Suite provides operators the ability to schedule messages for special promotions and products according to brand, region, daypart or special events on all LED and LCD displays with scheduled content. They can track all their messaging with reports showing what content played on each display, how many times and when.
Operators can also opt to add content from multiple third-party sources, including news feeds, sports scores and menu prices. They can zone screen layouts with different content parts and even create custom layouts. With the cloud-based software, customers can also provide automatic emergency alerts with access to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
“One advantage of Venus Control Suite is the ability to activate the software before displays are even installed,” says Baker. “That allows people to learn the software, and create content and playlists ahead of time, so the organization can start seeing a return on their investment on day one of installation.”
Mike Abbott, the longtime Adflow exec now running Dak’s digital signage software team, says the blended software “brings together the very best features of the legacy Daktronics Venus Control System and the ADFLOW Dynamic Messaging System into one unified platform.”
This makes sense to me. If Dak is selling into a large sports and entertainment venue (a key vertical for the firm), suggesting the giant LED halo over the seating bowl and the menu displays at concessions would need to run and be managed on two different platforms, with different logins and so on, would probably be met with puzzled looks from prospective clients.
They’re two very different applications, certainly, but a unified system means less training, possibly less cost, and less technology upkeep.