University of Westminster communicates with impact using Tripleplay Digital Signage and Workflow Management Platform

With four campuses spanning busy central London, the University of Westminster strives to create the best possible learning environment for its students. Huge investments have been made in recent years in order to create fresh and inspiring places to learn and socialise. Tripleplay’s Digital Signage solution continues to be the chosen method of bringing students and staff together through dynamic content delivery of key information.

Originally in 2007, the University of Westminster did not have a cohesive digital communication strategy, they relied on email and some faculties created their own local digital signage using a single computer displaying PowerPoint slides. This solution was far from ideal – especially when looking for a system that could be implemented long term and managed simply.

“At the time we were reopening our refurbished historic Regent Street Cinema site and needed a system to push content to screens for the event,” says Robert Ojok, systems development officer at the university.

“We considered several systems that promised so much yet involved costly complexity and did not seem to meet our requirements for simplicity of content delivery, simplicity of management, delivery of an array of multimedia and a system that would grow with the University’s vision of digital communication and be able to expand and cover all our sites.”

After looking into what Tripleplay offered it was an obvious solution. Tripleplay would not only solve the University of Westminster’s immediate problems but also change the way content was distributed for the whole university. One platform, centrally managed, spanning several campuses; including one located several miles away from the central campuses.

Communicating With Impact
With lots of screens positioned across multiple sites, the University of Westminster can relay messages directly to all students, staff and visitors who step foot on campus. “We are able to deliver meaningful and impacting information to our visitors and students,” continued Robert. Whether this is in relation to exciting events taking place, promotional material for on-site cafés and shops or educational and health and safety messages that the University wants to draw people’s attention to.

TripleSign Digital Signage provides a platform for each faculty to advertise, either to the whole University community or in relevant locations (zones), allowing them to move away from previously displayed paper posters and flyers. This was crucial as they are not only time consuming to make but often costly to print. In addition, by using Tripleplay’s TripleSign Digital Signage solution the university can offer a free advertising service to faculty and students.

Operation Simplicity and Reliability
The service is Apple centric in its approach to UI which makes it easy for the communications team to manage content yet offers the system administrators solid reliability delivered via a stable Linux OS. “The service is extremely reliable and stable,” explains Ojok, “we have been running the service on a single server since 2007 and not once has the service been down.” With this track record the University of Westminster has felt confident in adding features and functionality to their solution as it works without fail.

Creating a Secure Solution for a Higher Education environment
The University of Westminster has taken advantage of Tripleplay’s in-built Workflow Management System, allowing them to implement an approval process and aggregate control and administration of its digital signage displays to a number of staff without concerns for misuse or abuse.

The flexible nature of workflow management makes it easy to upload content and display the content in a very short time. “We are able to create, upload and deliver to a screen, groups of screens, across multiple sites or to the whole University within a very short turnaround,” commented Robert.

Furthermore, “Since we now have a centralised digital signage service, we are able to control content displayed across the University by ensuring conformity in brand and messaging using workflows that require approval.”
The system integrates seamlessly with the University’s LDAP service, an essential requirement for their IT information security strategy. “Single sign-on offers us the benefit of creating Active Directory user groups and setting different levels of management of the services offered in Tripleplay.”

It is important for the whole university community to embrace new technologies introduced on campus, however, with this brings its own difficulties. Having authentication and access rights secured means all content can be easily checked and approved prior to distribution; system security being a fundamental requirement for any higher education institution.

Looking to the Future and Introducing IPTV on Campus
Having used a Tripleplay Digital Signage solution since 2007, the University of Westminster is preparing to enter the next stage of their project, implementing a new IPTV live streaming element to their existing platform, “We would like to use Tripleplay to offer live streaming to users of our service allowing our staff and students the opportunity to broadcast their events across campus; a real value add of the Tripleplay platform.”

With the Tripleplay infrastructure already in place, the University is eager to be able to deliver live event streams across the network to a variety of devices, these may include seminars and lectures, graduation ceremonies or social and music events – taking the system to the next level for faculty and students.

Robert Ojok summarised, “We are extremely pleased with the Tripleplay system, the whole experience has been great. The support we have got from Tripleplay and their partner has been timely, enthusiastic and professional.”

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