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Digital Signage for a People-First Culture

digital display internet of things iot

A 2018 Gallup poll indicates that 53 percent of the U.S. workforce is “not engaged.”

This means that “they may be generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace; they will usually show up to work and do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer.”

One tool the modern enterprise uses to combat this problem is digital signage. In an age when employees are inundated by email, and corporate intranets are used only marginally, digital signage offers an effective means of communication (Figure 1). For example, innovative signage solutions can capture the attention of digital natives with familiar features like streaming video and touchscreen interaction.

Enterprise digital signage
Figure 1. Enterprise digital signage can be used in a variety of ways to keep employee engagement levels high. (Source: Four Winds Interactive)

They can also increase engagement by:

  • Highlighting employees for recognition
  • Hosting company news or executive blogs
  • Live-streaming corporate events
  • Displaying key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Alerting employees to potential safety hazards

Going further, digital signage solutions can pair with a mobile application that allows employees to access information on the go. But the challenge most enterprises face is keeping up with digital signage systems once they are installed.

“Governance and content creation are often the toughest components of managing a digital signage network focused on employee communications,” said David Levin, CEO of Four Winds Interactive. “Back when corporations first started deploying signage, they struggled to keep their screens updated with fresh content. And this is still something we hear today.”

Creating a process for content contribution and governance is a challenge that enterprises often underestimate. Many digital signage solutions don’t offer the tools for effective, rapid content creation, especially when this content must be deployed across an entire enterprise.

And that’s without addressing the technical requirements. As a baseline, enterprise digital signage systems must also be scalable enough to impact all corners of a company.

Better Content with Digital Signage

FWI ENGAGE is a market solution designed to address content creation, governance, and scalability issues associated with today’s enterprise digital signage solutions (Figure 2). The solution has two core components, FWI Cloud and a set of pre-built applications that provide users with a framework for quickly implementing digital signage communications:

  • FWI Cloud is a web-based tool that enables enterprisewide content contribution, asset repository, and a device management tool accessible from anywhere.
  • FWI ENGAGE applications are structured communications templates that help users generate messaging for employee recognition, alerts/announcements, and other corporate information. Of course, users can also build their own applications from scratch.
FWI ENGAGE provides structured applications
Figure 2. FWI ENGAGE provides structured applications. (Source: Four Winds Interactive)

Operating within the FWI platform, FWI ENGAGE supports integrations with hundreds of enterprise systems through FWI’s Integration Framework. Using standard APIs, the open integration framework allows digital signage users to connect to and display data from almost any business system from a single platform, including customer relationship management (CRM) solutions or social media services. The power and flexibility provided by FWI’s Integration Framework make it possible to integrate with Salesforce or a similar CRM to create customized performance management screens driven by real-time KPI data (Figure 3).

Real-time information from other enterprise systems can be pulled into the FWI ENGAGE platform and displayed companywide
Figure 3. Real-time information from other enterprise systems can be pulled into the FWI ENGAGE platform and displayed companywide. (Source: Four Winds Interactive)

Scaling Engagement Enterprisewide

While the components mentioned previously address the challenges of content creation and governance, there is still the issue of scaling digital signage across an organization. FWI ENGAGE supports displays from LG and Samsung, including touchscreen-enabled systems. But, of course, a media player is still required.

On that front, Four Winds Interactive opted for the Intel® Next Unit of Computing (NUC) platform. Intel® NUC media players are cost-effective, scalable digital signage players based on Intel® Core processor technology (Figure 4). The compact 4” x 4” media players offer HDMI, mini DisplayPort, integrated wireless, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, and 4x USB 3.0 interfaces. The Windows-based machines also support up to 8 GB DDR4 RAM and a 128 GB hard drive for playback of engaging digital signage content.

Intel® NUC media players provide the performance and I/O necessary for enterprise digital signage
Figure 4. Intel® NUC media players provide the performance and I/O necessary for enterprise digital signage, while being compact enough to remain unobtrusive. (Source: Four Winds Interactive)

In addition, Intel® technologies such as Intel® vPro for remote management integrated into the NUC platform make it a perfect fit for the device management side of enterprise digital signage.

“The Intel NUC provides industry-leading reliability and hardware management for our enterprise customers,” said Chris Keefe, Senior Vice President of Product at Four Winds Interactive. “This was a critical factor in our choice to use the NUC for FWI ENGAGE, because it ensures our customers get optimal performance.”

Analyzing the ROI

Although enterprise digital signage is just one component of improving employee engagement, every bit of engagement helps.

But how do you measure engagement in a meaningful way that can be traced to either profitability or ROI? One method is by looking at metrics such as churn, brand advocacy, or through employee satisfaction surveys. In the case of FWI ENGAGE, users can create their own.

“The flexibility of our platform enables each organization to both create new applications to address specific challenges and track those metrics differently,” Levin said.

Now that’s taking enterprise engagement to a whole new level—all thanks to advances in digital signage technology.

About the Author

Brandon is a long-time contributor to going back to its days as Embedded Innovator, with more than a decade of high-tech journalism and media experience in previous roles as Editor-in-Chief of electronics engineering publication Embedded Computing Design, co-host of the Embedded Insiders podcast, and co-chair of live and virtual events such as Industrial IoT University at Sensors Expo and the IoT Device Security Conference. Brandon currently serves as marketing officer for electronic hardware standards organization, PICMG, where he helps evangelize the use of open standards-based technology. Brandon’s coverage focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, embedded processors, edge computing, prototyping kits, and safety-critical systems, but extends to any topic of interest to the electronic design community. Drop him a line at, DM him on Twitter @techielew, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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