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There are a lot of technical terms thrown around on the Internet, and only very few people know what they actually mean. Digital signage and intranet are of course part of the game.
Today, we want to clarify: "What is digital signage, what is an intranet actually and how can both solutions be combined with each other for even more power?" In the following article, we will get to the bottom of this, because hardly any medium-sized or large company will be able to avoid this question in times of large-scale digitization.
Let's start small first... what is digital signage anyway?
When we talk about digital signage, we are usually talking about digital media content that is displayed on advertising and information systems. This includes, for example, digitized posters that are used to advertise products or services. These are usually placed in city centers or on busy roads to advertise a company. Digital signage also includes indoor advertising, for example in stores, where billboards advertise the latest products or where steles with touch controls are used to conduct surveys.
Digital signage and the Reichstag building - an attraction known throughout Europe!
But even in non-commercial spaces, digital signage plays an important role today, such as in digital traffic signage or large-screen projections inside and outside the German Bundestag.
How digital signage is now regularly implemented and used successfully even by the formerly rather dusty German Bundestag is shown in this short YouTube video about a public film and light projection of a documentary in the parliamentary district.
But it also goes much more spectacular, such as in the context of the world-renowned major event Festival of Lights in Berlin.
Let's move on to the intranet - it may not sound as cool and newfangled as digital signage, but it is in no way less interesting.
An intranet is an internal network that is primarily used for the transmission of information. In this way, companies can create their own "Internet" to which only employees, partners or other authorized persons have access. In short, an intranet is nothing more than a closed Internet, which significantly increases the digital security of sensitive data and information and protects them at the highest level from external attacks (keyword: industrial espionage). Data is sent via a closed network to other departments within a company, for example, and cannot be accessed by unauthorized persons.
But it is not only security that is significantly increased. An intranet makes organization, internal processes and collaboration between employees, departments and partners much easier, which is why medium-sized and large companies in particular benefit from the technology in the long term. Furthermore, a modern intranet also enables users themselves to help shape communication and thus identify even more strongly with the company. For example, a company's employees can play an active role in ensuring that the in-house intranet is always growing by, for example, filling their own user profile with information for their colleagues, publishing internal blog posts on their own blog, exchanging information with other employees or departments in group chats and live streams, or uploading digital media such as images and relevant documents to the intranet for colleagues - from anywhere in the world!
But that's not all, because contrary to what one might think at first glance, it is not absolutely necessary to be on site for an intranet to be able to access the closed network. Like so many things in this day and age, an intranet can be accessed from anywhere in the world and offers the respective users the option of accessing the intranet from their smartphone, for example. This is ideal if parts of the company are located abroad or if you need to access certain data quickly while on vacation.
An intranet, like digital signage, is used in most cases by the business community. However, the topic of intranets has long since found its way into government institutions and it is hard to imagine today's public authorities without them. Especially in the case of cross-state cooperation or cooperation between city and state or between state and federal government, technologies such as the intranet are a great help for ministries, for example. For example, Brandenburg has an intranet called "bb-intern", which is intrigued within the state administration network, and the federal government has an intranet called "IVBV" (Informationsverbund der Bundesverwaltung), which is intrigued within the federal administration network and is one of the government networks.
But state-owned enterprises have also been benefiting from the technology for years. For example, the intranet is being used successfully at Deutsche Bahn and makes internal collaboration much easier, as the following short YouTube film from Deutsche Bahn shows.
Now that we have clarified the basic questions, let's get down to the nitty-gritty: How can digital signage be combined with the intranet and what are the advantages of using both solutions?
Basically, it can be stated that digital signage works very strongly with visual and dynamic content such as moving images and has become a great marketing factor in terms of new customer acquisition and customer communication. Interfaces to data beacons of any kind, contribute to the fact that the technology turns into a very powerful tool for companies to use so, for example, social media content, calendars, weather data, menus, video content or entire advertising campaigns directly from the corporate website and output in public places (posters / stelae) at intervals and with a few clicks directly from the office.
For the development of digital signage solutions you can plan a project duration of about one year - depending on capacity and scope. Therefore, it is recommended, especially for small and medium-sized companies, to fall back on already developed solutions. Here, the market now offers a wide selection.
Are you looking for a digital signage solution and would like some advice? Our IT experts will be happy to present you our comprehensive steles control with touch function, which we have developed as an in-house product for our customers in recent years. Please contact us!
As already mentioned, digital signage can be controlled online directly from the office with good software implementation - for example, directly via the admin area of your own website. However, in addition to the possibility of controlling the digital signage via the Internet, there are also solutions that can be combined with the company's internal intranet connection. This offers many advantages, especially for large companies that already have an extensively developed intranet. For example, content such as images, videos or other dynamic advertising content can be output directly from the company's own internal network, as securely as possible from external attacks on, for example, steles and posters. This offers more security against possible manipulation and, depending on the company and network structure, can significantly facilitate digital signage control.
As you can see, in the end it depends on your structure and on your future plans whether digital signage in combination with an intranet connection makes sense for your company.