Why the StudioLite is the Next Strategy Phase

I have conversations with old Enterprise users, newbies and current customers on a daily basis. I’m typically on the phone with them for long periods, answering questions, resolving concerns and giving my two cents on ideas for business strategy. In the conversations with previous Enterprise users, I often ask what it was that drove them away from us. We like feedback. It’s how we make things better. The following are some of the most common responses I receive:

  • “Our business didn’t take off like we thought it would.”
  • “We didn’t have a large enough customer base to justify paying the $99/month.”
  • “The system was very impressive, but ultimately too impressive. It was overkill for what we were attempting to accomplish.”

The latter of the three statements is perhaps the most common I hear from previous clients. I know that sometimes our perspective might be a bit skewed. We have a great deal of high-profile enterprise clients, but the large majority of our active accounts are being used by those who’re less familiar with the technical aspects of Enterprise Software.

Our outreach gave us a great insight into our most active customer-base. And we’ve made adjustments accordingly.

Enter SignageStudio Lite 

Digital signage mainstream acceptance is coming, albeit more slowly than we initially would have liked. With the mainstream comes a push toward simplicity for the end-user. Perhaps Steve Jobs said it best:

Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.

Simplicity is truly the highest form of sophistication. If you can make it good, make it simple and –in our case–make it free, then it’s easier to acquire a broad-base of accepting and willing users.

We also made it open source and available on GitHub. So, if you’re technical enough to make your own adjustments, but want something for your end-user that provides a simple drag-and-drop system, the SignageStudio Lite will provide the necessary tools to make this happen easily and quickly.

We also believe that there are plenty of options for Enterprise digital signage, including our own, but we also recognize the need for investments in the future users of digital signage going forward. Our aim is to:

  1. Get our clients using our “Lite” easy-to-use version
  2. Once they’re familiar with “Lite,” move you over to the Free Pro Version
  3. Transition from the Free Pro Version to the full-service Enterprise Edition

As anyone in this industry knows, the sales cycle can be extremely long and drawn-out. Education, therefore, is perhaps one of the most costly investments digital signage software firms need to make in order to win customers and get traction. Significant time investment is needed in user-experience to ensure the customers will still be yours when they are eventually ready to purchase. We hope that’s where SignageStudio Lite comes in.

How has your learning curve progressed with digital signage technology?

  • Mike

    My first impression with SignageStudio was “Wow, there is a lot going on here”. Especially since I had been testing several smaller management systems. However, the video tutorials were very informative and made it very easy to get up to speed with the software. Some of the other management systems had features that I liked, such as Audience Analytics, but I didn’t like how I was restricted in making a playlist or timeline. I can also relate to the customer responses you mentioned at the beginning of your post. I am in the same boat where I am trying to get my small business model up and running and cannot justify spending $99 a month. The free version an amazing solution but the one feature that I am missing out on is Proof-of-Play. Once I can justify the cost of Enterprise Edition, I will definitely pay $99 in order to be able to provide my clients proof-of-play.

    One thing I have come to realize in the short time that I have been involved with digital signage is that it is a huge market with a lot of companies that offer various hardware and software solutions. I am thankful to have come across SignageStudio and given it a shot because it is definitely the platform that I want to build my business on. I have also received the best customer support from MediaSignage, compared to all the other companies I have communicated with over the past 2 years.

    • Nate Nead

      @Mike. Thank you for commenting. Your feedback is priceless. It’s what provides the basis for all the features we’ve included in both the Pro and Lite versions. I’ve been of the opinion that the growth in this market will continue to be networks with <20 displays. It's the true industry long-tail. Without a simple-to-use, drag-and-drop system for them, they get lost in a long list of features and functionality. Our hope is to further move down market to where the end user resides by making it easier. It's nice to shoot the elephants, but most of the opportunity is in the rabbits. Would love more of your feedback as you test and grow. Best of luck on building your business.

  • http://www.showitmedia.eu Jonas Christoffersen

    I to run a small business, but I must say that I haven’t quite catched on the idea behind the Lite version, or the Idea is great but it’s the functionallity that puzzles me. It might be that I just havent had time to sit down and look into it or that the information about the functionallity is sparse.

    We use Mediasignage and I am glad for it, it usually works great and the video tutorials have made the learning curve much easier to climb. My only regreat on behalf of mediasignage is that it all seams a bit unorganized, but I hope that will get better in time, now I’m just looking forward to the new SDK to see what posibilities we get to add value to our solution.

    I don’t mind investing both time and money in something that I belive could be great and I think $99 is a bargain compared to other solutions. I have choosen to go with mediasignage as my companies offered platform and this is where we are going to stay, like in any relationships in life there are ups and downs and as long as there are more ups then down, there is no limit to what we can accomplice together.

    • Nate Nead

      @jonaschristoffersen:disqus Thank you for your feedback and comments. We appreciate any feedback we can get. We would love any specific feedback you have on the Lite version. How can we make it more simple? How can we speed up the learning curve further?

      Our software will continue to improve. The apparent lack of order I hope doesn’t distract from the quality of the software or the high-touch nature of the service with our online chat etc. That may be due in part to our focus on customers and features rather than company culture, organization and operations. That said, we’re ALWAYS looking for suggestions on improving things and welcome your feedback anytime. Thanks again for reaching out.

  • Middendorp.INFO

    Here is some respons from Europe. I run an enterprise edition of the software you provide. Not so many businesses but trying hard to get things going. I notice that the pro version of the studio is quit complex for the beginner so use of the lite would be great for some of my client. But when having businesses in the pro version of the studio I cannot use the lite anymore. This is quit strange. Or am i doing something wrong?

    • Nate Nead

      Lite is a limited functionality Studio that allows for a quicker learning curve, it is also open source so anyone can edit the code that’s hosted on GutHub and add / remove features via JavaScript lib named pepper. Our Pro version is also FREE, but has higher learning curve and it is not open source and of course has much more functionality.
      keep in mind we are adding new basic features to Lite on weekly basis.

  • Mike Parham

    Great article about digital sign. I like it. Thank you
    very much.


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