Luis GonzalezIt is preferable to a less ambitious in scope, but function properly. There are many customers who want to put screens on a budget and end up with a solution that does not respond to the realities.

Richard St.

Digital signage is a technology and a type of communication that has not been developed in Latin America and in Asia or Europe, but in recent years has shown a strong momentum in the region. To understand why this situation, AVI LATINOAMÉRICA spoke with Luis Maria Gonzalez, an expert in digital signage and wide experience both in Argentina and in the region.

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Our guest is the founder of Digital Convergence Signage an Argentina company that has 9 years in the development of digital signage in your country, with about 9.000 screens installed, and in the last year has begun to expand in different countries in the region .

For Luis, one of the main problems of the development of digital signage in Latin America is that the projects, when they have a partial approach, end up failing. The piecemeal approach may be interpreted as technology projects by the department and offered as a complement to other solutions being developed. They end up being very technologically sound projects but does not respond to the need of the user.

"They are usually the area of ​​marketing, communications or an agency responsible for the contents. Also opposite happens, when the projects lead by marketing or communications, are very well made, with good aesthetics, but with deficiencies in technology. I know many projects that these conditions have failed in Latin America. Why is it important to have a comprehensive project, "he said.

internal communication and integrator
With his experience, Luis Maria Gonzalez in companies identified projects between IT and communications departments and each has a very strong management are not shared. He suggests that when pose a digital signage project, the integrator must interpret the necesidaes and requirements of each of the departments within the company, to meet the requirements that are generally opposed.

He said that "when we called looking for a digital signage solution, customers often have not defined what will be the use that will be given or the communication plan to be implemented. It happens that the marketing people calls for a solution and IT people out shopping and 6 1 months or year realize that does not meet the needs of the company. "

The issue is directly related to planning clients. Sometimes they buy screens before defining what, how and when. In cartelería projects it does not always happen but it is very common. Tthe integrator must advise their clients on all ranges of the solution to take a successful and needs sustained over time decision.

Another case that unfortunately happens a lot in Latin America, by poor advice from industry or poor planning customer is not dimensioned the size of the solution and use software with or without a capacity less than that required to consider a future growth, creating problems of management and operation.

"It's more common than you should. Unfortunately, in Latin America budgets are tight and companies try to do more with less investment. There are some aspects in which you can do more with less, but others do not and this difference often not taken into account, "he said.

In addition, in the region there is a delay in the development of networks. Even in the most developed countries in the region, such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Mexico. An example of Luis Maria Gonzalez are data signals on mobile devices, in the capital is lost connectivity capacity in some areas. The same goes networks in the capitals there are good facilities but out of other cities are old or low capacity.

dynamic content
One trend that management Convergence recommended for digital signage networks is dynamic content, ie content predesigned that the public perceives it as a video or still images, but it is actually a content by layers. In this content are layers that can be edited independently.

As an example, he said that for a retail who wants to publish a discount or special offer for the day, with its armed content layers, the customer can change the text information and images by simply updating a table or automatically with the data in a management system. In this case it is not necessary to edit videos and reprogram the air content.

"This generates up to 90% savings in network traffic and makes a difference, making projects viable when the traditional way they were not. There are different ways of dynamic content. The content can be static or html5 video formats. For the client user experience it is the same for both dynamic video or animated format. "

countercyclical business
On business growth in the region, said Luis Maria Gonzalez in Argentina, during times of economy was very good, had good results. During the boom in consumption, supermarkets and stores were selling a lot, they had a big boost in consumer trends and supermarkets at this time thought it was not necessary to invest in digital signage because they were already selling without solution.

"Often it happens our business has to do with counter-cyclical conditions and low consumption when customers look for ways to sell more, getting better by the end user. In those moments it is where better opportunities arise for us. Today Latin America is going through a difficult situation in some countries, which have more to do with political issues but end up affecting the economy. In general we see good opportunities to continue habiando both Argentina and regional levels, "he said.

He added that the advantage is that customers who invest in digital signage have a guaranteed return. "In addition, regardless of how economies grow, digital signage is a little behind other regions, but this delay can be compensated quickly because we are in the region and end up reaching technological trends elsewhere in the world".

To consider
To conclude, Luis Maria Gonzalez highlighted four key points that any integrator is to continue to

1 Define what the goal of the digital signage solution. This objective work on planning and dimension of the solution.

2. Do not underestimate the Latin American context and do not generate sobreespectativas technology. Must take into account the challenges of implementing these projects and coordinate tasks such as: implementation, planning, networks, content development and joint work between different areas.

3. Less is more. There are many customers who want to put screens on a budget and end up with a solution that does not respond to the realities, such as using smaller or TV screens. It is preferable to a less ambitious in scope, but function properly.

4. Harnessing the latest technologies and try to work with dynamic content, which allows you to upgrade a lot of content with low cost and use of networks.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.


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