Originally posted on 31 Jul 2012
Mary Kay* broadcasts targeted messages to employees and visitors using the OpenService* solution running on Intel® processors
“We essentially created our own TV station, called ‘Inside MK TV’, which shares content from our corporate intranet.” Leigh Harrison, Manager of Employee Communications and Recognition, Mary Kay, Inc.
- Deliver impactful, targeted messages: Send tailored information to intern
al employees and job applicants.
- Minimize IT department responsibility: Deploy a solution that wouldn’t create more work for IT.
- OpenService: The digital signage solution provides an easy way to create and deliver different content to various audiences, without requiring dedicated support staff.
- Remote management: Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT), ₁ enables the media players and displays to be securely maintained and supported offsite by OpenService*.
Mary Kay* is one of the world’s largest direct selling companies with more than $3 billion in annual wholesale sales worldwide. Mary Kay was founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash with the goal of helping women achieve personal growth and financial success. Mary Kay remains committed to enriching women’s lives, and today more than 2.4 million people of all backgrounds are enjoying the advantages of being Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants. Mary Kay’s high-quality skin care and color cosmetic products are sold in more than 35 countries around the world.
Mary Kay sought a simple way to communicate with employees and job applicants at its two large facilities in the Dallas, Texas area. Their goal was to tailor information for different audiences, such as safety, culture and company news messages to employees; and company values, culture and information to job applicants. Having relied primarily on paper, intranet and email to communicate messages, the company was turning to digital signage to extend their communication reach and speed up their time-to-message. For instance, they wanted to issue timely warnings, such as bad weather, fire or safety concerns, and connect with employees who didn’t have computer access and with “meeting warriors” – those who go from meeting to meeting and have limited desk time to read emails. Due to the many different factors, the digital signage solution had to be hosted offsite. The IT department supported this option and worked with OpenService to ensure the solution fully met Mary Kay’s stringent technical standards.
Mary Kay selected OpenService because it was a one-stop digital signage solution that satisfied all their needs. This included content creation and management software, media players and displays, offsite hosting and remote management.
High performance, yet compact media players
The OpenService solution employs AOpen* DE67-HA media players to render multi-zone content on high definition (HD) displays. AOpen DE67-HA, pictured in Figure 2, is one of the world’s smallest media players, yet it is built with high performance, mobile 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors designed with power saving features. The processors integrate Intel® HD Graphics, which satisfies the growing demand for dynamic interactive apps such as video conferencing, social media, interactive menu boards, kiosks, HD movies, and many more powerful, content-heavy applications.
The AOpen DE67-HA lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO) for digital signage through the use of Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT). This key ingredient enables OpenService, to diagnose and repair Mary Kay signage systems remotely, thus maximizing uptime and lowering support costs by reducing the number of expensive on-site repairs, Intel® AMT can also be used to automatically power systems on/off during off hours to minimize overall power consumption or to track hardware asset information without physical interaction, even in a powered-off state. The advanced management capabilities of Intel® AMT enabled OpenService to offer the only solution that could be expanded internationally, where Mary Kay has operations in 29 countries.
OpenService also made software changes to accommodate special requests. Security was a huge concern; and there, content encryption was implemented as specified by the IT department. Mary Kay also requested the number of time slots be increases from three to four, allowing them to have more granular control over turning off the systems during non-peak time to reduce power consumption.
Mary Kay’s global manufacturing plant in Dallas operates 24/6 and produces a good portion of the products needed to meet worldwide demand. For the corporate employee communications group, manufacturing was the ‘last mile of employees’, meaning they weren’t getting essential information from the company intranet, revamped print media, and email blasts. As a result, a digital signage pilot was started with seven systems, three of which were placed in the global manufacturing plant: in the break room, main cafeteria and a gathering place called the coffee hall, as shown in Figure 3. The remaining systems were located at the global headquarters’ facility in three of the elevator lobbies and the HR lobby in view of job applicants.
A major portion of the project was content creation, for which OpenService worked together with Mary Kay to develop forty screen templates that automated the production and playback of content. According to Leigh Harrison, OpenService was the only vendor capable of providing content direction through all facets of the project. Consultants guided the process of setting up the templates, suggesting how long content should sit, how much content should on the screen and how to organize the enormous amount of content. “OpenService* brought a vast amount of knowledge to help us understand what we were getting into” said Leigh Harrison.
SUSTAINABLE AND GREEN
Knowing its actions today will affect the quality of life for future generations, Mary Kay continuously seeks opportunities to improve their environmental performance. The company is proud of its many sustainability programs, including tree planning, the use of renewable materials and efforts to be classified as Zero Landfill at the manufacturing and distribution facilities, among many others.
ALREADY PAYING DIVIDENDS
In a short time, the digital signage solution is having a positive impact. Employee participation is increasing at corporate events, including volunteer activities, and manufacturing workers seem to have a better understanding of what’s happening in the organization. The displays convey important safety messages, track progress on minimizing safety incidents and communicate expected behavior.
ONE-STOP DIGITAL SIGNAGE SOLUTION
OpenService* is an alliance of hardware, software, installation and content creation partners seeking to minimize the challenges associated with digital signage deployments. The alliance addresses system architecture, content creation, hardware and networking, content hosting and system management. Today, many small and medium sized businesses deploying digital signage are overwhelmed by the complexity and are typically unable to achieve their original objectives.
OpenService* end to end services include:
- Consulting Services: A consulting team will facilitate the process of creating a customized solution and developing a long-term strategy to meet business needs.
- Remote Management: Advanced Intel® technologies are used to update, maintain and repair systems remotely, lowering the overall total cost of ownership.
- Content Management: Unique and customized content can be developed by OpenService to keep messages fresh and viewers engaged.
- Analytical Services: The effectiveness of digital signage can be measured using Intel® audience Impression metrics Suite (Intel® AIM Suite).
For more information about Intel in digital signage, visit www.intel.com/retail