Digital signage CMS tools come with a wide variety of features and pricing models, but where should you begin? What’s worth paying for and what isn’t?
Some industries are well-known for adding on costs for features that seem standard and that you really need. Consider, for example, the commercial airline industry. You’re traveling on vacation with your family and plan to be gone for a week. Many airlines will assess additional charges for you to select your seat assignments, check a bag and, sometimes, even bring a carry-on for the overhead storage.
By the time you are done purchasing your tickets, you are probably frustrated with the experience and wish the airline had just given you the features you wanted as part of your package.
The same can be said for some digital signage companies. The most robust digital signage CMS solutions offer a wide variety of features and functionality, ranging from numerous content types, login methods, customer support options, and more. Before selecting the right CMS to support your digital signage network, you need to consider a number of factors, test-drive solutions and ensure that any add-on features and functionality are worth the extra cost.
There are, however, some features and functionality that are essential to managing the majority of digital signage networks. As you select a digital signage solution, you should evaluate if they are included in the base price or are a pricey add-on to your licenses.
1) SSO Login Capabilities
Security cannot be overlooked or minimized when it comes to digital signage. You and your team need to ensure that your digital signage network is safe and secure, as well as easily accessible by approved users. This is where single-sign-on (SSO) comes in. When selecting a digital signage CMS, ensure that you have the opportunity to use SSO to log in to your solution.
But, there are more benefits to leveraging SSO capabilities with your digital signage CMS. From elevating user experience to saving your team time, SSO provides an opportunity to streamline your operations. Given how SSO improves security and saves time, it stands to reason that this functionality should come standard and at no extra cost with any digital signage CMS license.
2) Additional Users
At Skykit, our digital signage CMS is priced based on the number of screens you plan to deploy, not the number of users you may need. We understand that every organization is different and you may need a number of team members operating within Skykit Beam to manage your content and engage your employees. And, we know from our customers that they prefer to easily scale their digital signage network as their business and locations scale. Rather than limit the size of your content management team, we simply scale our licenses alongside your digital signage network.
3) Customer Support
When you sign on with a new technology provider, you never expect to experience issues. And in the beginning, you likely do not have any issues operating the system and your network. After all, you chose your new digital signage solution because it is presumably easier to use than your current configuration. However, issues do arise in the course of business. Sometimes they are caused by changes on your side; sometimes they are caused by the software provider.
Imagine if your organization updated its IT security rules across offices and facilities. It is possible that change could cause your digital signage network to go dark. You’ll likely need the help of your solution provider to get back up and running. This issue may take multiple tickets into your provider, depending on the scope and the number of changes your organization has made. If you didn’t opt to pay for more customer support tickets each month, you may experience significant screen downtime.
The best digital signage providers do not limit the number of times you can reach out to customer support. Because they want to know when customers are experiencing issues so they can help quickly or identify potential bugs efficiently. Adding cost to your license fees for additional customer support tickets may help the digital signage company set expectations for their teams, it certainly doesn’t lead to your satisfaction.
4) File Storage
We’ve all seen it – your backup is full, your file server is full, and your email account is full. It happens. Especially when you are dealing with large files, such as images, videos, and even some slide shows. Digital signage is no different. Many platforms limit how much file storage you have and charge extra if you are going to use more. Creating limits and additional fees, like these, can have a negative impact on your team and your use of the platform.
Perhaps you just launched a new company video and want to show it on screens across your network. If you are nearing your storage limits within your digital signage CMS, you will likely have to remove files in order to free up space for your latest creation. A week later, one of those files you removed probably needs to be added back to your playlist and so the delete, upload, share….delete, upload, share cycle continues. Robust platforms have unlimited storage to serve your team better and ensure that your processes are efficient and effective.
5) Unused Licenses
Building a digital signage network can seem overwhelming. But, once you sit down with a checklist in hand, you can quickly identify how many screens you will need or already have in each location, who will use your digital signage CMS and what content you will share. Then you have to select your digital signage provider and review your plan together to determine license fees.
At Skykit, we believe that you shouldn’t pay digital signage license fees for screens you aren’t using yet. We understand that many of our customers – through the normal course of business – will add more screens to their network, particularly as new offices open or as digital signage proves to be a valuable communication and marketing tool. But, why pay for those screens today when you may not install them for weeks, months, or even years?
When it comes to selecting a digital signage solution provider, you need to choose one that will fit your needs, enable your team to easily share beautiful content, and fits your budget. As you evaluate providers, watch for providers who are adding costs for essential features and functionality that should be included at no additional cost to you.