The corporate work environment continues to change with the times. The cubicle farms of the recent past have mercifully faded as huddle spaces and conference rooms invite openness and collaboration. This is a breath of fresh air for those of us that spent years working in cramped, crowded environments that proved insular in all the wrong ways.
The fact is that people work differently today. Much of this has to with a transient workforce that is more often on the road, or working from home with greater frequency.
The more transient nature of the modern corporate employee also means that it’s easier to fall behind on company news, changes and opportunities. While working away from the office invites freedom, flexibility and a unique set of benefits, there is a natural tendency to tune out the day-to-day.
This is where the modern workspace pays off. In addition to reconnecting employees in more collaborative environments, there’s also an opportunity to leverage the technology in these spaces to keep employees informed and engaged.
The thought of a blank screen is enough to make any digital signage supplier cringe. Yet, meetings spaces around the world are equipped with displays that remain in the off position more than not.
The exceptional quality of today’s commercial displays begs to share content, yet corporations tend to only leverage the technology in their meeting spaces for lectures and presentations. These events are precisely why these meeting spaces are equipped with displays – however, there is an opportunity to take better advantage of these systems throughout the day.
Digital signage is meant to be leveraged as a visual marketing and communications tool, regardless of vertical. Many corporations execute this strategy, yet localize their content and messaging to lobby and commons area screens. Meanwhile, the meeting space displays remain idle, producing a “black rectangle” effect, or an unexciting list of screen-sharing instructions. The latter is at least mildly helpful, but it’s certainly not effective as a communications tool.
Bringing digital signage into the meeting space ecosystem eliminates the black rectangle problem, strengthens the company’s brand and culture, and creates a consistent visual experience throughout the enterprise. Beyond communicating with employees, these benefits extends to visitors and customers that have an interest in understanding the company’s corporate message.
Bringing digital signage into the meeting space is simpler than one might think, thanks to today’s collaboration devices. Beyond standard HDMI connectivity, vendors such as Mersive have built wireless presentation and screen-sharing capabilities into their systems. These innovations make it easy to share content from outside the meeting space ecosystem, notably through BYOD devices, apps and IP networks.
These collaboration systems are ideally suited to bring digital content into the meeting space, and immediately share it to screens when not in use. This is also achievable without the need for a media player, and/or wiring into complicated signal detection, switching and control systems.
The only technology required beyond the collaboration devices is an enterprise-level, digital signage content management system. Using a system like Carousel Cloud, tech managers can simply point to a URL on the collaboration device’s web interface to integrate HTML5-based digital signage content. The incoming signage content can live on a common, 1Gb/s IT network, with delivery enabled via a unicast or multicast configuration. There isn’t any need for a separate VLAN to carry signage content outside of highly sensitive institutions, and no concerns around managing bandwidth or a dense server infrastructure.
The basic functionality of the system: Seamlessly transition to and from digital content as presentations begin and end. This essentially means that a presenter can enter a room, and wirelessly share content via Miracast or Airplay, for example. The collaboration device is programmed to recognize the priority of that content over digital signage, putting the latter to sleep. The signage content picks up where it left off at the conclusion of the presentation.
For presenters representing the company to visitors and customers, the architecture brings the flexibility to switch between lecture and digital signage content. With specific digital signage content pointed to the system via a URL, corporate representatives can quickly incorporate company values, business wins, customer testimonials and mission statements into their presentations.
The learning curve for digital signage content creation continues to evolve with each new software generation. There is no longer a need to hire a skilled graphic designer, or outside content creation to network operators, in most situations. Organizations everywhere now rely on multiple departments and contributors with varying technical skillsets to create, manage and schedule content.
This flexibility and simplicity opens the door for corporations to disseminate targeted messages to meeting spaces by floor, by department or even by screen. That process can be simplified by incorporating dynamic data that allows users to format different data sources, without the need to re-type or re-enter information.
While it’s also possible to share and rotate some basic, static JPG images in between presentations, these value-added applications point to the benefits and results of using a professional, enterprise-level content management system in the meeting space ecosystem. The end goal is to help corporate businesses and organizations more effectively and efficiently communicate with their employees, visitors and customers, and leverage the technology investments across all collaborative spaces in the building.