DS for Internal HR Communication
AGIS Keeps its Employees Informed via Central Digital Signage Software
It goes without saying that an IT company of this size no longer wants to keep its employees informed about the latest developments by posting news and information on a notice board, so the management has initiated the installation of a modern digital signage terminal system. Since the end of 2005, AGIS employees at company headquarters in Unterföhring, near Munich, have been receiving internal information, videos and animated shows about the company, plus the latest news in general, via two 40-inch LCD displays from NEC. Each display is controlled from a PC, and both are integrated into a C-Line internal network. But the centrepiece of the system is the friendlyway software composer: company information, videos, animation shows and the news display are all realised as RSS feed, controlled via the composer and fed into the network.
The friendlyway composer professional package provides all the functions needed for effective digital signage and customer/employee communication. It is authoring, presentation and multimedia-packaging software in one. The composer can be used to quickly combine existing content in all formats into attractive digital signage multimedia shows, and to play it back as and when required.
However, AGIS didn't switch directly from post-it notes and e-mails to the friendlyway system: "Before we introduced friendlyway, we were already using a different system with software and terminals. However, it turned out to be too complicatedand not what we wanted", said Iris Thomas from the AGIS development department, which monitored the introduction and subsequent operation, as well as the switch to the friendlyway system.
The contract posed a significant challenge for friendlyway’s software expertise: since AGIS itself is a skilled IT specialist, and manages highly sensitive data, it has a complex network with very high security standards. It wasn’t possible simply to install new software on the server or PC, particularly if this software was to be operated via the network. friendlyway had to integrate its software composer in accordance with the extremely high security requirements at AGIS – and it also had to make the whole thing user-friendly. Another challenge was to develop an interface with AGIS’ own software, a visitor-welcome program, that was already up and running.
“Friendlyway certainly had its work cut out for it when integrating the software into our internal network as per our requirements”, recalled Iris Thomas. The composer is installed on her PC, where she enters the internal information sent to her by the various company departments and management into the system, and controls the information displayed on the monitors. She can also carry out remote maintenance of the whole system from her PC.
While the screens certainly replace the familiar notice board with pieces of paper stuck on it, this is a digital signage system that offer a whole lot more. Via the screens, which are divided into three areas, AGIS can not only inform its employees about the current Allianz share price, internal events, company meetings, the latest information about the company doctor, etc., but a second window on the screen plays videos and animated shows informing employees about AGIS. “We call it ‘AGIS at aglance’. We want to show employees how efficient the company is, and also enable them to identify more strongly with their work and with the company”, said Iris Thomas. AGIS uses the friendlyway service to update the presentations - if major changes have to be made, the data is sent to friendlyway, where their specialists create new presentations and then input them into the system.
As additional information for employees, the displays also present general news live within the third window. In order to do this, friendlyway integrated the Focus Online news tickerinto the system. Via the composer software, the RSS feed is adopted directly from the internet and played into the system. Another feature, welcoming important visitors, is planned for the near future: AGIS has developed its own program for welcoming visitors and AGIS employees will use this to enter names and the dates of visits. The composer will then collect this data from the program, via an interface developed by friendlyway, and display the data on the day of the visit. The visitor welcome message will be displayed as a fourth window on the digital-signage terminals.
It is impossible to miss the two displays, since they are placed at strategic points in the two entrance areas. One screen is near the lift and the other is near the time-registration system. “Colleagues sometimes have to stop and wait at both points, so many of them like to look at the screens”, explained Iris Thomas. “The information on the displays is animated and attractive – and all employees are always kept up to date.”
Friday, February 2, 2007