Have you heard the one...
A German walks into a fast-food burger chain in NYC. The lunch line is incredibly long and it takes about 15 minutes to get to order. Finally, he steps up to the counter and asks for a large beer.
The people behind him start laughing and say, "You came here for a beer? Are you crazy?"
The German turns around and looks at them with surprise, "You mean you're here for the food!?!"
Fast food corporations are great markers for cultural integration. Dunkin Donuts (known under the alias of Mister Donut in Japan, a competing brand DD bought out), offers soups and tofu donuts in Asia. McDonalds has vegetarian-based menus in India and shrimp burgers in Asia. Coca Cola offers a carrot-flavored soda for the Japanese market (Vegita Beta). Nestle's KitKat comes in potato flavor in Asia (Japan alone has over 80 flavors of KitKat available). These companies have learned a hard lesson, there is no single solution or product which fits all situations, it's necessary to be flexible with the product to meet varying demands.
How flexible is the manufacturer you work with for Digital Signage (DS)? I recommend checking on how "future proofed" a company is (especially if that manufacturer works with new technology). When a product is released tomorrow, will it be able to be supported 8 years down the road when some of the components are no longer available (i.e. driver control chips, specialized components or proprietary technologies)? How quickly & easily can a manufacturer customize the software and/or hardware to meet site and client-specific needs?
The Best Solution
There is no "one size fits all" solution with Digital Signage. The best solution for DS is the one that solves your customer's problem. Customization to meet client need is as important as that carrot-flavored soda in Japan. You might not want it, but your client will go with the company who can provide the special solution they're requesting. Take the taste-test challenge with whomever you're working with and see how custom they're able to go before they say, "No."
Please comment here or send questions or requests for information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (http://www.vantageled.com), please check it out when you have a moment. Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically noted.