IT Operational Oversight Committee. Digital Signage. January PDF

Project Title Digital Signage Project Team IT Operational Oversight Committee Digital Signage January 2015 Linda Baer, Assistant Comptroller Payroll Services, Payroll Services Mona Holdcraft, Director
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Project Title Digital Signage Project Team IT Operational Oversight Committee Digital Signage January 2015 Linda Baer, Assistant Comptroller Payroll Services, Payroll Services Mona Holdcraft, Director Financial Affairs HHS, Business Office Health and Human Sciences Kevin Maurer*, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Assessment, Housing and Food Services George McCabe, Associate Dean and Prof of Statistics, Statistics Julie Kercher-Updike*, AVP, Teaching & Learning Technologies and IT Customer Relations, The late Joann Miller, Associate Dean of Engagement/Head of Interdisciplinary Studies/Professor of Sociology Executive Summary The scope of this effort was to identify the opportunities, limitations, costs, and incentives to enable all digital signage in public/common areas to transmit emergency alert messages. The team also was to define and recommend action items for digital signage that is not currently on the network or running Four Winds and recommend best practices for displaying emergency alert messages on digital signage. It is our recommendation that standard guidelines (template) should be established on how emergency alerts are displayed and to display emergency alerts on all digital signage capable of doing so. For those devices that are unable to display emergency alerts require a standardized plaque be prominently displayed on the device noting This devices does not display emergency alerts. Further we recommend all signs adhere to this practice and that the IT purchasing process be changed to notify all new purchases of this standard practice. Alternatives Considered The team considered requiring all 210 digital signs on campus be required to display emergency alerts however: 30 are not connected to the network (11 of these signs are dedicated to displaying instructions/specific purpose within an office) and may or may not be able to be connected to the network without significant cost (see Appendix A for details). 56 are on the network but may or may not be able to receive alerts due to the purpose the signage serves, for example specialized software running on a sign (see Appendix A for details). 119 are managed through a central content management system, CoolSign. Campus is currently in the process of migrating all CoolSign devices to a new management system, FourWinds. Emergency alerts can and will be displayed on all CoolSign/FourWind devices. There are an additional 5 devices that run Cable TV. Emergency alerts can and will be displayed on these devices. Not all signs are able to run FourWinds software without additional/change in hardware configuration. Not all functionality needed for digital signage can be facilitated through FourWinds. Recommendation(s) Identify guidelines and best practices for digital signage as it relates to emergency alert messages: o All alerts will be transmitted from the RAVE emergency response system, i.e. text messages pushed to RAVE will be what is displayed on digital signs o Develop and share a template/display for broadcasting emergency alerts to include size of font, color scheme, time to stay on screen, display over the entire screen, etc. for signs not on Four Winds in order to ensure consistency of alert messages o Test the alert system once a semester as part of the regular campus emergency preparedness Encourage those display owners not using CoolSign/FourWinds to convert. The current rate to run the FourWinds service is $2,010 annually for each participating unit (college, department as long as the technical support and design is centralized). As many signs as needed may be managed for this annual rate. If a department is already participating in CoolSign/FourWinds no additional charge will be incurred. Encourage those owners not able to convert to CoolSign/FourWinds to display emergency alerts via an RSS feed (must adhere to template/standard message display guidelines.) For those owners not able to display emergency alerts, require a label/plaque (approximate cost $12-$15/plaque) noting: This display does not broadcast emergency messages Keep all signage compliant with the guidelines by adding a requirement to the digital signage purchasing process such that upon approval of the sign, the owner agrees to display Emergency Alerts by using FourWinds, an RSS feed (must adhere to template/standard message display guidelines), or display a label/plaque (purchaser assumes the plaque cost) noting: This display does not broadcast emergency messages. Impact Assessment (if known) Key stakeholders Faculty, Staff, Students, Visitors Impact on stakeholders Ability to use digital signage on campus to view emergency alerts Identify assumptions There are many mechanisms for faculty, staff, and students to be made aware of emergency alerts therefore our assumption is that having the alerts displayed on a digital sign is a nice to have option as opposed to a requirement. o o o No legal requirements were identified for displaying emergency alerts on digital signage. Classroom computers receive emergency alerts. Faculty, Staff and Students are all encouraged to sign up to receive the RAVE emergency response notifications on their cell phones. Page 2 Risks associated with the recommendation To better help assess the risk the team developed and sent out survey questions to our Big Ten peer institutions. Compiled benchmark results can be found attached as Appendix B. Identify organizational units responsible for implementation ITaP, Safety & Security, and Marketing & Media. Timeline Spring Cost Savings No cost savings identified. Resource Requirements A project team should be organized with representation from ITaP, Safety & Security, and Marketing & Media. The CoolSign/FourWinds coordinator should take ownership. Page 3 Appendix A: Digital Sign Locations (Not Running Coolsign/FourWinds/Broadcast TV) Investigate Further Not on the Netwk N/A On the Netwk Totals AG KAN AGAD hall, 1st floor 1 1 BCHM 1 1 KRAN 6th 1 1 LILY 1 1 N/A CLA BRNG 1st floor hall 1 1 BRNG First Floor Hall 1 1 PAO Hall 1 1 SC 1 1 EDU 1 1 BRNG North Lobby 1 1 HHS JNSN 2 2 LAMB 2 2 LYLE 4 4 MTHW 1 1 PRCE 1 1 PSYC 3 3 PHRM 1 1 RHPH Front Lobby 1 1 SCI HAMP 2169 hall 2 2 HOCK Lobby 2 2 Lily 1100 Hall 1 1 Lily Lobby 1 1 LWSN 2nd floor hall 1 1 LWSN Commons 1 1 LWSN entrance 1 1 VET 1 1 LYNN - Main floor, east entrance, on the south side 1 1 ECN/TECH ARMS Page 4 ARMS 3rd (Dunville Room) 1 1 Birck Clean Room Bay N 2 2 BRK 2156 cleanroom 1 1 BRK 2164 cleanroom 1 1 DLR 1st floor hall 1 1 ECEBO 2 2 EE FRNY GH GRIS 1 (GRIS 1st floor) 1 1 GRIS 235 (GRIS 2nd floor) 1 1 HAMP HAMP HAMP HAMP Commons 1 1 HAMP G HAMP G HAMP G HGR HGR HOVD 3rd floor opposite the reception desk 1 1 KNOY 1st floor hall 1 1 KNOY MSEE 104F 1 1 NUCL 1 1 POTR STEW Wang 1 1 YONG YONG 3rd floor by conference room 1 1 YONG 3rd floor by elevator 1 1 YONG 3rd floor by south stairwell 1 1 Office of Intercollegiate Athletics 1 1 Mackey Concourse and Arena plaza 1 1 Office of the Provost STEW Office of the Vice President for Information Technology 1 1 STEW G65 & G Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs 1 1 PMU 1 1 Grand Total Page 5 Appendix B Digital Display Benchmark Responses 1. Which university do you represent? University of Nebraska - Lincoln Last Modified: 12/29/2014 Ohio State Indiana University University of Illinois Michigan State University University of Michigan UW-Madison Statistic Value Total Responses 7 2. Do you have digital signage on your campus? # Answer Response % 1 Yes 6 86% 2 No 1 14% Total 7 100% NO SKIPS TO THE OPEN ENDED LAST QUESTION Page 6 3. Approximately how many digital signs do you have on your campus? # Answer Response % % % % % % % 7 More Than % 8 Not Sure 1 17% Total 6 100% 4. How are your digital signs managed? # Answer Response % 1 Centrally 0 0% 2 By Department/Area Responsible for the Signage 1 17% 3 Combination of Both 5 83% Total 6 100% Page 7 5. What factors have lead to the shared/split management of digital signage on your campus? ONLY THOSE WHO ANSWERED COMBINATION OF BOTH ON #4 We set a partnership that shares the cost: for more information: The software for managing the signs is an enterprise solution for all signs on all IU campuses. However, the hardware and maintaining content on a day to day basis is the responsibility of the department who owns the signs. Decentralized management processes No overarching policy to address the issue. With such diverse needs across the different units on campus, it was necessary to distribute content management to each unit. Our group provides the software and infrastructure, as well as some basic content (templates, images, etc.), but it's up to each unit to design and maintain their own signage. Statistic Value Total Responses 5 6. Do you manage your campus displays with a digital signage program? # Answer Response % 1 Yes - A single program 2 33% 2 Yes - Multiple programs 1 17% 3 No 3 50% Total 6 100% Page 8 7. How are your digital signs managed/controlled? ONLY THOSE WHO ANSWERED NO ON #6 Each department is responsible for their own signs. They manage and control them based on departmental needs/interests. Centrally and within a department By individual departments that provide us some access to broad cast to. 8. What program is utilized? Do you have any plans to change to a different signage program? If so, when and why? ONLY THOSE WHO ANSWERED YES-SINGLE PROGRAM ON #6 Four WInds Interactive Four Winds Interactive is our enterprise solution for Digital sign management. However, if a department chooses to manage their content through our WCMS - Web Content management Solution, they can make that choice too manage their sign content as well. Both work for the Emergency Alerts. 9. What programs are utilized? Who determines which program to use? Do you have any plans to change to a single or different signage program? If so, when and why? ONLY THOSE WHO ANSWERED YES-MULTIPLE PROGRAMS ON #6 The ITS Digital Signage service uses Four Winds Interactive software, and we manage a Windows 7 environment. There are other areas on campus using their own instance of Four Winds, and also other software, like Drupal and Visix. There are currently no plans to consolidate the different programs at this time. Page 9 10. Are the displays connected to your campus network? ONLY THOSE WHO ANSWERED YES-SINGLE PROGRAM or YES- MULTIPLE PROGRAMS ON #6 # Answer Response % 1 Yes 3 100% 2 No 0 0% 3 It Depends 0 0% Total 3 100% 11. Are your displays required to connected to a private subnet? ONLY THOSE WHO ANSWERED YES ON #10 # Answer Response % 1 Yes 2 67% 2 No 1 33% Total 3 100% 12. What factors determine whether a display is connected to the campus network? Does that also impact whether a display is required to be on a private subnet? ONLY THOSE WHO ANSWERED ITS DEPENDS ON #10 WHICH WAS NO ONE Page 10 13. Are you able to display emergency messages (sever weather information, campus warnings, etc.)? # Answer Response % 1 Yes 5 83% 2 No 1 17% 3 It Depends 0 0% Total 6 100% 14. What factors determine which or whether emergency messages are displayed? Did you have to grandfather in older displays/content management systems? ONLY THOSE WHO ANSWERED ITS DEPENDS ON #13 WHICH WAS NO ONE Page 11 15. Are you able to display emergency messages on all of your digital signage? If not, what are the factors that led to that disparity? ONLY THOSE WHO ANSWERED YES ON #13 Yes - each sign is connected to display digital alerts. All signs that are listening for emergency alerts display emergency alerts. If they are using WCMS or Four Winds to manage their signs, they will get alerts. The incentive for everyone to convert their signs is a bulk deal with CDGW for the hardware, but we don't force people to use it. Most have converted or are planning on it, but not all signs have converted. No...only the centralized digital signs Some not granting us direct permission to do so. So not all. Yes, the capability exists to display the emergency messages on all of our signs. However, the signs must be configured to point to the RSS feed that is managed by the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security. If a unit has not properly configured their sign, or there is some other issue (technical or functional) with their sign, the emergency message will not display. 16. Are there any concerns on campus about not being able to display emergency messages? ONLY THOSE WHO ANSWERED NO ON #13 Yes. We have been attempting to work with our student union leaders to conduct a pilot program with their signs but this is a slow process NO SKIPS TO THE OPEN ENDED LAST QUESTION Page 12 17. Do you have any best practices that you would recommend with respect to displaying emergency alert messages on your signage? Explain up front that digital alerts are part of being on the digital signage network. Use the content of the text message alert, not the content because it has proven to be too long to display well on all signs. We also color code the background: Orange = Emergency(active shooter, etc), Yellow = Advisory(winter closings). Have them synced to the emergency notification messages Consistency in the message with other devices. And central management of this function. We force using a test feed to ensure that the displays are configured properly, and require a specific background color, font color, font size, etc. Here's a link to the instructions we provide to our customers: We also work with the UM DPSS to conduct regular tests of the emergency alert software/process. 18. How are the costs for digital signage management budgeted/allocated? Is it the same for older vs. new/planned displays? Details of the MOU are here: You can see our digital sign details at Enterprise package deals with CDGW. University paid for the Four Winds Interactive and WCMS software tools as enterprise solutions. No idea By department. For our customers, we charge $200/year, billed monthly ($16.66/month). These funds cover licensing, infrastructure maintenance and support personnel. We are currently piloting a design as a service program, which will generate additional income, but at this time, there is no set pricing structure in place. It's the same charge for old and new signs. 19. If not addressed in your best practices recommendations, do you run periodic tests of your emergency alert system? How often? How Page 13 do you determine how often and for how long a message is displayed? Does it depend on the type of message? Emergency Alerts are tested on the signs at minimum of once a semester. The message is provided by an RSS feed from UNL Alert. Length of display depends on the nature of the emergency. We run 2 annual tests: 1. Operation Stormy Weather during the State's Tornado Siren tests, 2. A few weeks into the start of the Fall Semester (this test will be skipped based on each campuses use of the system throughout the year). We also test signs at individual campuses any time there is a complaint that the Emergency Alert didn't display. It does depend on the alert: if it's a school closing, we leave it up as long as the campus administration wants it to display and since we cancel the content manually(we've never been able to get the expiration date and time to do anything), we can leave it up for a short time or a long time. Tornado warnings - set to be removed after 15 minutes or when the next tornado warning comes in. School closing may stay up for 2 hours. Drills every three months. The message is displayed for as long as the emergency exists Yes, each semester. Yes, we conduct tests of the emergency alert software and process. Since the feed for these events is managed by the DPSS group, we rely on them to determine when the tests will take place. We had been conducting tests on a monthly basis, but going forward, it will be less frequent, as we believe that we've resolved any issues that had been occurring since we implemented new emergency alert software about a year ago. The emergency message contents, frequency and duration are determined by DPSS. 20. Who makes the decisions about what and when to display emergency messages? UNL Police Department. All UNL Alerts take over the entire digital sign. The messages are removed by sending a clear message to the signs. Emergency messages are displayed on all digital signs when any alert is sent to all modalities we deliver to, so I guess I'm saying, if a decision to send an alert is made, it goes on the signs. Police department Chief of Police Division of Public Safety and Security Page 14 21. Do you have any additional thoughts you would like to share with respect to digital signage? EVERYONE On the outside, it sounds like a fantastic opportunity to communicate with visitors/others. I will be interested to hear about others experiences and, hopefully, use this benchmarking to jumpstart my own attempts to implement a similar program. Make sure whatever ENS vendor you use or digital signage content management software you use allows for expiration of the alerts. We struggle with that issue at IU. we have to send an alert to set the conditions back to normal for both our web page and digital sign alerts. That doesn't always happen, so the alerts stay up longer than we or the customer/owner of the sign wants them to. No Keep in mind that in addition to establishing a software vendor, you will want to establish a reliable hardware vendor for touch screen interfaces. We have found that since our infrastructure is managed centrally for our service, we need to be able to obtain and work with any associated touch screen drivers. In addition, careful consideration must be made for ADA/Accessibility requirements. We have outlined our best practices here: There is a project that is beginning on campus relating to smart signage. I am not part of the committee, but Lt. Ruth Ewing in our Field Services Division is. Her phone number is Are you willing to discuss your answers further if needed? # Answer Response % 1 Yes 7 100% 2 No 0 0% Total 7 100% Page 15 23. Contact Information: Name Phone Mark Robertson Bob Armstrong Marge Abels Todd Short Penny Fischer Mandy Grabowski Tamara Kowalski Page 16
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