How to Roll Out Large-Scale Digital Signage Implementations Across Multiple Locations

Since establishing digital signage across an enterprise involves so much more planning than single-site installations, the process can often present many unique challenges. In order to stay on track, you should have a well-mapped strategy in place to oversee the project and ensure you have the right team to carry it out.

Scope planning and operations

 After the initial decision is made to implement digital signage solutions across multiple sites, the planning stage begins. The process and support requirements for each location should be accurately documented, after which a long-term plan can be developed that covers each site and stage of the ongoing project, as well as costs and challenges. Visual Communications experts should be consulted for resource management and scheduling. These types of professionals can be depended on to perform site surveys, determine the types of appropriate hardware and identify infrastructure hurdles.

Digital signage content strategy

 Once scope and operational planning is complete, a digital content strategy should be established that creates brand continuity across all signage. A comprehensive mix of content is the key to engaging your audience and fulfilling business objectives.

Although content strategy is sometimes overlooked during the implementation process, it is imperative for long-term success. In order to ensure you have a decent digital content strategy in place for multi-site installations, consider the following aspects of the plan:

Design discovery and impact
Content roadmap
Editorial calendar
Content inventory
Content management
Localization
Brand continuity
 

It's important to establish a system early on that accounts for the content needs of an enterprise digital signage implementation. And once your content strategy is defined, it's time to consider what it takes to keep it all going.

Continuous management and support strategy

Operations that involve large-scale digital signage solutions will most certainly require ongoing management and upkeep. Once the digital signage solution is completely implemented across all locations, having access to a network of robust support ensures your system will continue to run smoothly. This includes considerations like:

Projected challenges
Scope risk
Change control
Technical support
Network maintenance
Hardware maintenance
Team management
Best practices
Upgrade strategy
 

By acknowledging these benchmarks in the process, it should be easy to keep your digital signage solution running smoothly. Another part of ongoing management includes optimization planning, reporting and stakeholder management.

Monthly and quarterly meetings will guarantee the project continues on the right track. Annual check-ins will ensure all aspects of the program are effective. Annual template refreshes and software upgrades should also be included in your digital signage program’s scope. For large, multi-location implementations, most organizations choose to leverage program management services to oversee the process.

When to consider a program manager

Since the need for phased implementations and deployments can go unidentified, it’s important to have another set of eyes on the project. Hiring someone to oversee the entire process promises the least number of hiccups.

If you aren’t sure if you need to hire a professional (or team of them) to oversee your project, here are some things to consider:

A single vendor would be preferred
Your focus must remain on your business’ daily operations
The process must be rolled out and managed in stages
Your vision spans across multiple stakeholder groups
A team dedicated to continuous management and upgrades would be beneficial
 

When done across multiple sites, implementing digital signage can be daunting task, but having a project manager to oversee the team makes things easier.

It's imperative to have an implementation plan in place once you decide to roll out a digital signage solution of this scale. When proper planning is implemented from the program's outset, costly mistakes can be avoided and your signage network can be optimized for each iterative implementation. And when you’re considering a large-scale digital signage program, trust the company with a history of successful digital signage program management. Just look at Courtyard by Marriott’s GoBoard®. Starting in 2007, Four Winds Interactive has teamed up with Courtyard by Marriott to implement the interactive GoBoard solution in more than 1,000 properties across 42 countries. And that’s just one example.  

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