Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Digital Signage Need to Know: Why cloud control for your LED sign is better than using localized software

"THE CLOUD" Everyone’s all excited about the recent trend where businesses and people are moving their software programs and applications to the “cloud”. Is it all being transported to an evil-looking raincloud, or a nice puffy white cloud with the shape of a swan? None of that foolishness!

The shift is definitely underway from more traditional models of software storage to using the resources of large companies via the Internet. It’s more than a trend it’s an active process underway that makes tremendous sense and is a superior choice. 

This includes the transition of LED sign software off of your desktop to the “cloud”.

Why does it make sense you ask? Simple- “less risk and fewer headaches” is the quick answer. Software can be complex and expensive to update, store, maintain and deal with over time. Most companies just want the end result of using the software, not the process of evolving it and ensuring it works on their hardware.  The cloud provides many distinct advantages over traditional storage methods. 

Let me present these allegories to amuse you and illustrate my points. 

First any resemblance of these characters to other beloved American comic strip or cartoon characters is entirely coincidental.

* “It was a dark and stormy night,” Loopy, the small Beagle, typed these words sitting in the basement of his dog house. Just as he hit “enter” on his Dell laptop his trite paragraph came to life as a lightning bolt blew a transformer off a power pole adjacent to his dog house.

The lights immediately went out but then the power surged back on and then the lights returned. Loopy looked at his laptop and realized it was now “off” despite being plugged in to the AC adapter.

“Rats,” He lamented. Loopy’s paw pressed the power button but nothing happened. Little did he know but the current spike when the lights came back on was so strong this time it damaged his computer, killing the hardware and software.

* The WWI Flying Ace, Loopy’s alter-ego, and Woodstick, his trusted bird friend, stumbled down the street towards the dog house. Woodstick was ready for the comfort of his fluffy rooftop nest and Loopy, aka the “The WWI Flying Ace” was looking forward to a restful sleep in his waterbed on the 2nd floor bedroom of his dog house. Loopy and Woodstick had slugged down far too many root beers that evening to be comfortable and both were eager to arrive home. 

Loopy reached out to unlock the front door and was shocked to find it not only unlocked but slightly ajar. They both stepped into the crime scene and inspected their belongings. All was present and accounted for except the Dell Laptop, and the programs he had invested in. Loopy had lost his computer but more importantly his top secret data and it was probably in the hands of the German army!

* Loopy looked at the watch on his wrist and mentally calculated how many hours he’d spent that week working on his computer, filing, updating, refreshing, backing up, revision enhancements, and deleting old software. This week he’d also had to do a fix a fragment problem on his hard drive for the new update to run. “I wonder just how many hours I spend maintaining this stuff and making sure it all works?” he thought taking a big bite of his banana split ice cream treat. “I think maybe I should use someone else's computer department! After all, I just want to use these programs I don’t want to memorize them! That will also give me more time to fly my dog house!”

What business is a typical sign company in? Well, selling and installing signs and advertisement products is the best answer! So, does it make sense for a sign company to have to deal with storing, updating and maintaining software products? Why not make it the responsibility of some trusted software vendor since that’s what they do?

What about the sign companies customer- the user of the sign or the advertising products? Does it make sense for them to waste time with the same issues? Usually it does not.

With cloud-based software you pay for only what you use, upgrades are automatic, scaling up or down is easy and all you have to do is open your browser, log in and get to work! Many cloud-based programs will unchain you from your desk and allow access on a mobile device like an iPhone, android, tablet or a smart phone. Money is made out in the field working with customers not riding the desk like some office jockey! Why not change the message your LED sign on the way home from work?

Businesses are specialized these days. Software companies don’t make their own LED displays and LED sign retailers really are not in the business of dealing with software. The end result of using the software- the new LED sign message, the CAD drawing, the spreadsheet, the image file, the animation, or whatever the software creates, is what the sign company wants. This is efficiency.

Consider sourcing your LED sign software in the cloud- that’s where the future is! Check out the market, do your research and see which LED display manufacturers have migrated their software to the cloud and allows for remote control of the programming. No more discs sent to you to lose, no more missed updates, no more lost data. 

This is the way to fly! Even the WWI flying ace would agree.

These comments belong to me, Mike Prongue, and do not reflect the views, opinions, hopes or dreams of anyone else, anywhere else and this includes Vantage LED. I appreciate your constructive opinion which may be sent to me at    

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