WireSpring has just published a whitepaper on some common mistakes made when undertaking a new interactive kiosk or digital signage project. These are the things that we see every day when helping customers set up or expand their kiosk and signage networks. The whitepaper is intended to be short and to the point, so you should definitely download it and have a look. It doesn't take more than a few minutes to read, and if you're new to the digital retailing industry or working on your first kiosk or signage deployment, it may help you avoid some common pitfalls. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to examine some of these mistakes in more detail, and today I'm going to start with #13 from our list:
Relying on consultants who haven't done kiosk or digital signage projects before.
As the whitepaper says, "Kiosk and signage networks have unique requirements. Be sure to choose vendors who can provide references to successful projects.
Sounds simple, right? It's amazing how often people get this one
wrong. Before I get started on this, in no way am I implying that
your project will fail if you use contractors or consultants
who haven't done kiosk or signage projects before. In fact, given
the fact that there are so few contractors who do have this sort of
experience, it's almost inevitable that you will work with at least one
inexperienced party during your deployment, and that's ok. However, what
will get you into trouble is not working with anybody who has done this sort of thing before.
reality, if you're reading this page, you've probably already done some
research on this industry, its technologies, the unique requirements
and barriers to entry, and so on. Of course, WireSpring considers
itself an authority on kiosk and digital signs, as our FireCast software for interactive kiosks and digital signs
powers thousands of devices across the world. By working with us
on a project, we would bring not only our software to the table, but
also the knowledge gained from working on hundreds of projects over the
years. The same could be said for many of our competitors, as
well as a few hundred other companies who have worked on different
aspects of kiosk and digital signage projects.
For example, if
you were to focus on hardware first (not always the best idea, but the
most visible part of the project, so it gets a lot of attention), you
would do well to work with an experienced organization. For
digital signage deployments, the most knowledgable would probably be Electrograph, ActiveLight, and Richardson Electronics (warning: their homepage loads a Java applet that has been known to crash some computers). While a company like Best Buy Business
might be able to provide comparable or better prices on things like
plasma screens, they don't provide the full line of hardware components
needed for most signage deployments, and they don't (yet) have a lot of
experience working on digital signage deployments.
Similarly, if you're working on a kiosk project (aside from NOT picking hardware before software), you'd probably want to work either with a reseller/integrator such as KIS or Affordable Kiosks, or a custom kiosk manufacturer like White Mountain Solutions
instead of working with your local cabinet maker to build something
from scratch. Even if you don't wind up using any of these people
for your project, the knowledge that they can impart is many times more
valuable than the hardware itself.
WireSpring is happy to work
with anybody serious about deploying a network of kiosks or digital
signs, and we welcome new resellers, integrators, distributors and
service providers eager to work in this new and exciting
industry. As the network of kiosk and digital sign experienced
service providers increases, this problem will gradually fade
away. But for now, it is one of the most obvious and easily
avoidable pitfalls for people new to the industry.