Cloud-based software continues to centralise and simplify how higher education campuses manage digital signage, including at the University of Wisconsin where Visix’s AxisTV Signage Suite has streamlined signage across multiple departments. Successful implementations across several locations at UW–Madison has now inspired a transition to the Visix platform throughout iconic, high-traffic buildings managed by the Wisconsin Union.
The Memorial Union and Union South buildings at one of the world’s top universities uniquely serve as a place for out-of-classroom learning as well as popular tourist destinations, conference and event centres and dining locations. The versatility of AxisTV Signage Suite enables digital media solutions that nimbly meet the many needs of the buildings’ patrons.
Close collaboration with the Wisconsin Union team to implement the software also helped to establish best practices and standards in the use of the digital signage system moving forward across multiple college campuses in Wisconsin.
Launched in fall 2022, the Wisconsin Union digital signage network offers 15 channels of dynamic content on 41 screens across Memorial Union and Union South. The signage spans multiple floors and provides visitors with up-to-date transportation schedules; theatre, lecture, film and music events; building operations information and more. Jason Powers, Wisconsin Union organisational strategist, and the UW-Madison information technology team worked closely with Visix to implement the software, determine the locations of displays and media players, and tailor the software’s workflows for 15 unique channels of information.
The Visix team also developed multiple screen designs with data-mapping for custom XML, RSS and event management feeds within the AxisTV Signage Suite software, ensuring that the right content consistently flows to the right screens.
“The University of Wisconsin–Madison has always been self-sufficient with digital signage, from creating content to setting up channels to configuring media players,” said Alan Harper, executive account manager for AVI Systems, a systems design and integration company that consulted on the Wisconsin Union project.
“They are very departmentally focused on how they use digital signage, but one common theme is that Visix handles data sets for all departments, whether that’s leveraging the event management system (EMS) to pull room scheduling information, custom-scripting RSS feeds, or pulling in live weather and up-to-date bus schedules,” he continued. “When the Wisconsin Union decided to transition digital signage operations to the cloud, pointing them to Visix made sense as it would bring the same benefits to these buildings while unifying digital signage in the cloud for IT across all departments.”
Visix also worked closely with Powers and the Wisconsin Union marketing, membership, and communications teams to establish visual and brand unity across all 41 Wisconsin Union screens.
“The content is customised to our colours and brands throughout seven Memorial Union floors and four Union South floors,” Powers said. “At the same time, we have a variety of niche systems throughout the two buildings that require careful planning as to how we relay information to each audience. Visix makes it very easy for our marketing department to update marketing content and designs, and to disseminate new information targeted for specific screens.”
Powers added that he worked with his colleagues to build a digital signage directory that tells network administrators where and when to target and schedule content. He adds that the EMS integration is particularly useful.
“The event management system integration populates our schedules for all of our meeting rooms throughout the building,” he explained. “People know where to go and when. That goes for larger events such as theater performances, film festivals and graduations, along with displaying daily bus schedules.”
Powers concluded that he and his IT colleague, Scott Hubing, deployed the Axis TV Signage Suite software and installed hardware while following initial guidance from Visix, as well as valuable input from AVI Systems. “We have three very outstanding layers of support between Visix, AVI Systems and our own IT technicians,” he said. “We can handle most support issues internally, and Visix and AVI will quickly step in to troubleshoot when necessary. Best of all, we now have outstanding consistency across campus when it comes to digital signage.”