Technology Background

How to Overcome Today's Digital Signage Challenges

Posted by Steve Holly, Product Manager, Chrome & Devices on May 4, 2015


“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...” The Five Man Electrical Band must have seen into the future when they wrote that line in their song “Signs”. Everywhere you look today there are bright, colorful digital signs advertising the latest offers.

Signs are also used to provide people with information, show menu items in high def at a fast food joint, and entertain people as they wait three hours to ride the newest roller coaster at an amusement park.

As useful as digital signs are, managing the infrastructure that supports them is largely stuck in the same time frame as the band Tesla’s remake of “Signs”. When questioned, many people will admit that their digital signs are being driven by old Windows machines. If asked about the issues created by this environment, typical responses deal with managing security, OS management such as patches and upgrades, and reliability. With these challenges, managing just a few systems might be okay, but even modestly-sized display networks can be an albatross to manage in the Windows environment.

Using Windows, however is not the only challenge. The term “sneakernet” is often used to describe the manual management of digital signage content. It’s bewildering that so many organizations rely on a thumb drive, a PowerPoint deck and “sneakernet” to update content on their signs.

Sadly, this situation has been created by a market that is mostly divided between expensive and proprietary solutions for which only large enterprises can justify spending money, and low-cost systems with limited capabilities. As advances in areas such as LED and touch technologies provide businesses with unique and cost-effective ways of displaying information more impressively and efficiently than ever, organizations are looking for new ways to bridge these two extremes.

The Google Chrome OS is the ideal platform for the digital signage infrastructure, providing cost-effective media players that can drive all the displays in your network while being centrally managed from one web management console. Patches and operating system updates are eliminated, boot-up times are shortened to less than 10 seconds and displays become ultra-secure.

To combat “sneakernet”, Onix’s solution leverages an open source content management system that runs as a cloud service on Google’s massive infrastructure, the same one that runs, YouTube, Gmail, Google+ and the rest of Google’s online services. You can schedule content to be shown during certain times or days, control which messages are shown on individual displays, divide displays into zones to show varied content, rotate among multiple messages on a display and much more.

To explore further how Onix's Digital Signage Solution powered by Google can make digital signs easy, cost effective and powerful for your business, download this solutions brief now. After reading it, you’ll be singing Bob Seger’s Simplicity... “Simplicity in everything...Use your power and your speed, Get exactly what you need”.

Topics: Cloud Infrastructure, Google Chrome


Easy, Cost Effective and Powerful Digital Signage  for Your Organization.

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Steve Holly, Product Manager, Chrome & Devices

Steve Holly, Product Manager, Chrome & Devices

Since 2008, Steve has been on the forefront of the transition to cloud-based services. He has helped companies like Whirlpool, Lexmark, Fujifilm America, Celestica, The New York Times, and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation make the transition to Google’s cloud-based services. Steve spent six years in the Navy, where he got his start in computers. During his service, he visited Japan, Thailand, Bali, Austrailia, Hong Kong, and more.