West Virginia University (WVU), a land-grant institution home to more than 28,000 students at its Morgantown campus, is widely considered the state’s premier higher education institution.
When WVU approached Four Winds Interactive (FWI) in 2013, the University had a pre-existing digital signage network consisting of 80 screens, called InfoStations. The signs were used for daily campus-wide, site-specific and automated emergency alert messaging.
After reviewing multiple other providers, WVU selected the FWI platform due to its superior flexibility, network security and high level of functionality which are important factors in digital signage for schools and education. In only three years with FWI, WVU created eight unique interactive touchscreen experiences, more than 50 unique templates, and expanded their network to include over 140 screens across their Morgantown campus. They are currently expanding that network to their additional regional campuses.
of Content is Live Data
WVU was looking to update their pre-existing content management solution.
They needed additional flexibility within the template management and scheduling functions as well as the ability to leverage interactivity for donor recognition and hall of fame projects. The University also wanted to enable building-specific wayfinding.
With legacy hardware and software in place at the time, WVU needed a Windows-based Content Player solution that was able to access live SQL databases and had the ability to continue to play timely information—even if the player lost internet connectivity.
The new Content Management software also needed to be flexible enough to play multiple unique templates based on time of day, location and interactive functionality.
What Needed To Be Done
Leverage live data feeds to ensure content remains relevant
Enable different user groups to easily contribute content
Create an engaging and intuitive digitally integrated campus
FWI and WVU partnered to implement Content Manager and Content Player software, providing the University with access to multiple new features while maintaining the previous emergency messaging capabilities.
Once the FWI software was set up on the InfoStations’ servers, WVU’s staff immediately began leveraging the new scheduling and variable-based opportunities available to them. The University then implemented more non-interactive InfoStations across WVU’s Morgantown campus, which has been highly beneficial for students, faculty, staff and visitors. With the completion of the WVU Health and Education Building in 2014, the University began leveraging interactivity for the Hall of Fame and Wall of Honor at the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences. Additionally, WVU’s two primary software managers gained the ability to centrally control every aspect of the institution’s digital signage network while also enabling various user groups to access and update custom content databases. This functionality gives each group ownership of the content displayed on their screens.
The success of WVU’s Visual Communications network can be measured by the rate of its expansion and the variety of ways it is used every day.
Since implementing FWI’s platform in 2013 on 80 screens, the network has grown to include140 endpoints. As new construction projects are planned around campus, the University’s Facilities Planning, Design, Construction and Scheduling teams scope InfoStation implementations into those designs. With various uses around the campus ranging from general InfoStations through departmental specific signage, wayfinding stations, interactive donor walls and more, WVU relies on the FWI platform to power their digital signage.
Leverage Live Data
95% of the content displayed on WVU’s screens is live data derived from their custom content databases and filtered by screen location as well as specified start date and time.
Optimize Content Management
WVU created over 50 unique templates for the screens around their campus and they also built a system that allows different user groups to contribute content without granting them access to Content Manager.
In today’s digital world, WVU can now communicate in the most effective way possible. Using screens in strategic locations around campus, with information specific to those locations, WVU reaches their students, faculty and staff in a more effective way.
Our Visual Communications network is growing at an incredible rate because of how flexible the FWI software platform is. The network has undergone a significant expansion and shows no signs of slowing down.
—STEVE STAVAR, DIGITAL SIGNAGE SPECIALIST AT WVU