Hi, I’m Seba Gnagnarella, the Chief Technology Officer here at FWI. I’ll be a regular contributor to the FWI blog, and therefore wanted to take a moment to introduce myself before we jump in.
I’ve had the pleasure of being CTO here at FWI for ~2 years, creating innovative technology solutions that revolutionize how our clients manage their digital signage networks. I’m passionate about helping our customers best connect with their target audiences. That’s why I love the products and services we create—they're revolutionizing how our customers communicate with their employees, customers, prospects… and really anyone who they desire to. With over 15 years' experience developing software, I’m highly motivated by the opportunity we’re chasing here at FWI. It’s an exciting industry, and one which we’re actively shaping.
Now that we’re acquainted, let’s get into today’s topic… What FWI Cloud can do for you.
For the past 15 years, FWI has created a more inspired, informed and connected world by empowering our clients—companies such as Marriott International, Hershey, the New England Patriots, Western Union, and Microsoft—to better connect with their employees, to create better guest experiences and to provide access to relevant information. To make these outcomes possible, we’ve built industry-first tools, that enable teams to build and manage their content, manage devices across multiple locations, build new applications and more—all in service of companies who desire to modernize how they connect with their audiences.
In my role as CTO, I am frequently asked "Why should I consider FWI Cloud?" It’s seemingly on the minds of both current customers and prospects, which makes sense, as everyone is looking for an easier way to manage their signage networks.
One of our most recent product releases that’s revolutionizing how companies communicate with their audiences is FWI Cloud—a mobile-first, cloud-based digital signage content and device management platform.
I’d love to take this opportunity to walk you through what we’ve built—and what outcomes our customers can achieve with it. Since I’m a technologist at heart and not a marketer, I’ll stick to the tried-and-true list format. Without any further delay, let’s get into the top six benefits of FWI Cloud.
1- The Platform
First and foremost, FWI Cloud provides enterprise governance and controlled access to the full FWI platform. To boil that down a bit further, I’ve summarized the four main components of our platform below to help showcase the depth of what that access gives you:
- Content Manager Desktop: The most powerful low-code/no-code digital signage authoring tool in the market. With Content Manager Desktop, you can build as many simple or complex applications as you need, whenever you need to.
- Integration Framework: This middleware, designed with digital signage in mind, helps connect a broad set of disparate data sources with your screens in a secure and scalable way. Because while having access to data is great, having the ability to display that data—in real-time—is better.
- FWI Native Content Players: To give you more options, both from a functionality and cost perspective, we’ve built native content players for Windows, BrightSign, LG WebOs and Samsung SSP.
- FWI Cloud itself: This mobile-friendly, state-of-the-art responsive web portal for digital signage management includes functionality for device management, user administration, channels, tables and playlists.
And unlike some other digital signage platforms, when you go with FWI Cloud, you’re not getting a one-off custom product that just serves one purpose—or a set of applications roughly glued together that may not exactly meet your needs. When you choose FWI Cloud, you are getting the same platform that also powers the largest casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, the world’s major airports, Fortune 500 companies' campuses, many major sports stadiums, and the like. The power of FWI’s platform to help you meaningfully engage with your desired audiences can’t be overstated.
2- Mobile First Management and Contribution
FWI Cloud is a cloud-based, mobile-first application, making it easy for you to manage your digital signs the same way you manage every other aspect of your life—via your smartphone. Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can leverage FWI Cloud to manage your devices, or contribute and schedule content. That level of flexibility in management not only lets you more easily control your digital signage network, but also eliminates the hassle of having to log into VPNs and clunky public web servers to get access to the controls you need.
This is a big deal in our industry, and not something that everyone offers. Let me ask—does your current digital signage platform, or any other ones you may be looking at, give you the freedom to manage your digital signage network from your phone? What about enabling your employees to change things on the fly while standing in front of one of your screens? This is the kind of thinking that’s built into FWI Cloud—making signage management work for you where you are, with the device that’s always within your reach.
In 2019, security statistics show that there was one hacker attack every 39 seconds. As the classic adage goes, your enterprise security posture is only as strong as your weakest link. you really don’t want to deal with the economic and reputational impacts of your signage networks being compromised.
Security can’t be an afterthought—it must be a big part of the decision-making criteria. That’s why we built FWI Cloud with security as a primary consideration.
FWI Cloud is GDPR compliant in three regions (North America, EU and APAC) as well as SOC2-Type2 compliant. To put it simply: security is a major consideration during our software development lifecycle.
On top of FWI Cloud’s compliance with those security standards, every endpoint in your FWI Cloud network identifies itself with a set of credentials unique to them and your company, continuously reporting status and alerting your IT administrator if things go wrong. You have enough to worry about—the security of your digital signage network should not be one of the things that keeps you up at night.
Additionally, FWI Cloud integrates with your identity provider of choice, simplifying governance. And users can be granted granular access to the different features and components found within the platform, for example:
- IT administrators can be set up in groups by location or building, giving them access to view and manage only certain groups of screens.
- In a similar way, content managers can be assigned to manage only certain schedules or regions in a shared library.
FWI Cloud allows you to slice-and-dice access to align your digital signage strategy to your enterprise governance model.
FWI Cloud was designed with layers and layers of security in mind. We know security is top of mind for you—therefore it is top of mind as we build, test, and deploy our product for you.
4- Scalability and Extensibility
Business needs change as often as life does. Similarly, the digital signage platform you choose must be able to seamlessly adapt to whatever changes come your way. Whether you want to scale from 10 screens to 1,000, or if the needs for your main use case changed a little—or a lot, you need a flexible solution. Consider this; most people that have a competitor’s solution in place don’t realize that it’s possible to use a single screen for a variety of different use cases. It’s beyond possible, it’s something our clients do daily. And that level of flexibility is just on the content side. When it comes to the technical aspects of your network, FWI Cloud provides that same level of flexibility.
With FWI Cloud, you don't have to worry about server infrastructure or custom-built applications that will hinder your growth and imagination. No more security patches, long and usually non-backwards compatible upgrades, etc. And when it comes to scaling your solution, you can go from a simple use case piloted in one location to a global rollout with several use cases and thousands of screens—all without any additional IT work. Or updates. Or migrations. It’s a dream for IT and the individual contributors alike.
5- Continuous Innovation and State-of-the-Art Technology
Seamless, frequent and frictionless upgrades let you benefit from the latest features as soon as they become available. And things that are impossible in an on-prem environment are now possible, like IoT, big data, machine learning and AI. This lets you realize a faster time-to-value on new, innovative use cases. Forget about manual upgrade processes and unoptimized software.
It couldn’t be more clear—having your digital signage network backed up by the most powerful SaaS provider in the market makes your life easier. We’ve already discussed the lack of servers to maintain, the security aspects and the ease of mobile management, but on top of that, if you run into any show stopper or just need help accomplishing your digital signage goals, FWI Cloud makes it easier for our team of experts to help you.
Those are the top six reasons you should consider FWI Cloud. But there are many, many more. And while it’s one thing to read about how FWI Cloud can deliver value for your business, it’s an entirely different thing to see it in action firsthand. If you’re curious about FWI Cloud, schedule a demo—you won’t be disappointed.