Guide to purchasing video conference system in Kenya

Video Conference has geared up enough demand in the market in recent times. Especially with the ever-increasing traffic snarl-ups on our roads. Companies are trying to cut costs related to traveling. Today it is impossible to hold more than one meeting in a day! As the saying goes “face to face is better than voice on call”.

Face to face meetings provide the experience, create perfect business bonding enhance business confidence, and strengthen inter-business relationships. Video conference provides the best opportunity to meet, at the comfort of your desktop/meeting room.

Video Conference is the meeting set up on live video transmitted over an IP network or a telephone line. In this document, we will be looking at the various factors to consider before purchasing the required equipment.

What is the requirement?
You must first identify the requirement before spending on a system that might not satisfy the current or future needs. Do you currently hold meetings on skype(free)?, have you deployed skype for business? Do you often hold webinars on WebEx, GoToMeeting? Do you already use zoom on your phone?

How do you want to use the Video Conference system? Does the person you want to call on video or how you are dialing to them? If any of your answers to the above question is yes, then you might want to consider something that works with what you are already familiar with.

Do you have the supporting infrastructure?

Video Conference systems have standard requirements; they all speak the same language. But it is important to ensure you have the related infrastructure. For starters, you need to invest in a reliable internet connection if you already haven’t. For most video conference systems, one mb (up and down) should be just fine if you are doing point to point calls. When the above is dedicated, it’s even better. This requirement might increase when you are doing multipoint calls. What is the sitting capacity of your boardroom? Is it a video ready environment? Consider rags, suitable lighting, window blinds, general acoustics.

Have you budgeted for the same?

As much as you can start small and grow from there, you may consider setting up a kitty to fund the process of acquiring a video conference system. This will also determine the infrastructure you will finally purchase since as much as you have gone through the first step, your budgets will eventually determine the end product that you finally purchase.

Most vendors provide both hardware and software versions of their video Conference offerings. Hardware sometimes tends to be more expensive than software options. Some software options are leased on an annual basis.

Kevin Nyota
Pre-sales engineer

Digital Signage Solutions in Kenya

Digital signage is the remote-controlled distribution and playback of digital content. Forms of Digital Signage.

  • Static – i.e a light box, which continually displays one lighted image. Basic digital player, capable of playing or displaying a series of still images—essentially, an automated series of static posters, displayed in a sequence determined by a playlist.
  • Dynamic – They offer animated Ads. These spots range from simple to complex—from a Flash-based animation to simple video to professional 10- or 30-second spots.
  • Interactive – Incorporate some level of interactive into the design—letting customers embed a snippet of Flash code.
  • Queuing –Queuing systems keep any customer line moving quickly. Increasingly, you will find them in airports, banks, urban supermarkets, etc. Queuing digital signage efficiently directs your customers to the next available teller, checker or service rep. Such systems can be simple or complex, and some offer advertising when not directing customers.
  • Room booking System – Placed at the front of the rooms for the purpose of displaying room information along with other cooperate communication.

Features of Digital Signage

Digital Screens installed at public places, corporate offices, hospitals, restaurants and other facilities include big billboards to small monitors. They show information, advertising, brand promotion, alerts and other messages. Remote controlled distribution and playback of digital information and messages. Content is centrally managed from one location.

Advantages

  • Product promotion and incite purchase with targeted message
  • Inform & Educate with better mechanism
  • Engage or entertain during the waiting period
  • It isn’t a TV. It’s active communication then passive. Disseminate information at right time and at right place – provides a custom channel for internal/external communication.
  • Reduce cost of printing & distribution

Digital Signage System Designer Software

The Digital Signage system consists of the following;

  1. Designer software – It’s your comprehensive design platform complete with Widgets, Scenes and various tools. It also has a dashboard that enables you to schedule and manage the live content. It comes in various user profiles like one user be the publisher who has limited access to other design options.
  • In-Built Tools & Widgets – Feel free to use image or audio/video, animated text, weather, clock, crawler and other in-built tools and widgets.
  • Supported File Formats
  • Windows Audio/Video files i.e. WMV, wav, avi etc.
  • Quicktime Movie files i.e. Mov, mp4
  • Flash Files
  • Web pages
  • Text Crawler & RSS Ticker
  • Weather
  • TV Feed
  • Business Reports in form of charts, gauges and tables
  • Excel files
  • PDF Files
  • Dynamic Scenes – Combine text, graphics, sound and video into a scene.
  • Animated Static/Dynamic Texts – with custom formatting
  • Full Transparency – Tools and widgets support full transparency.
  • Templates/Layouts – Split the screen layout into multiple layers/zones and schedule multiple scenes in each layer.
  • Features of the Designer Software
  • In-Built Preview – Preview the scene before you publish.
  • Multiple Distribution Option
  • LAN
  • FTP using broadband connection
  • USB Key
  • Screens/Sites Grouping – Create hierarchical location structure and group the screens. Publish the playlist to one to many locations in one go.
  • Time Based Playlists – Create playlists to be targeted at specific time of the day.
  • Trigger Playlists – Change content from an RS232 trigger from an external device or using a keyboard keystroke.
  • Player Reporting – Generate proof of play or other system reports.
  • Player Heartbeat & Monitoring – Check the status of the player and take a remote control for maintenance.
  • White Labelling – Brand the Designer

Features of the Player Software

  • Reliable – Stable and reliable content playback 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Heartbeat & Logs – Player communicates with the Designer for health status and logs all the activity at specified interval.
  • Remote Management – Player can be remotely monitored and controlled i.e. remote view, stop player, restart player.
  • Multiple Distribution Option
  • Screen On/Off – Player can turn on/off the screen using RS232 protocols.
  • Control Updates – Player can request updates at specific interval. Player will download only changed or new content.