British American Tobacco is one of the world’s leading multinational companies, with brands sold in over 200 markets across the globe. British American Tobacco, South Africa (BAT SA) is the largest manufacturer of cigarettes in South Africa and, alongside their five world-class Trade Marketing Distribution Centres, has recently established a new head office located in Cape Town.
The head office move coincided with a drive for better internal communications and an upgrade to its existing digital signage and IPTV infrastructure that had dated and become an ongoing challenge. “We were moving into a brand new modern head office. The old digital signage solution was limited and outdated, the digital TV was proliferated and each department had a number of decoders on different contracts. We wanted the ability to perform effective real-time distribution of information via an easy to use system that could be flexible with any content format,” commented Deon Mostert, Senior IT Manager.
The system that they previously had was an archaic FTP solution running off PC’s that had to be individually connected to each screen. Not only was this inconvenient and difficult to manage the whole system had become hugely inefficient and even changing simple digital signage displays was an awkward and problematic task. With this in mind, there were a number of requirements BAT SA had when deciding on their digital signage and IPTV manufacturer. Working with Datacentrix, a principal ICT solutions provider in the region, they selected the Tripleplay platform.
It was vital that BAT SA was able to centrally control the system from an easy-to-use interface whilst also having a form of delegation control in place allowing the correct people to have the appropriate access to the right part of the system. This enables simple digital signage displays to be edited and changed, but no-one without proper technical knowledge or access permissions can make any significant alterations to the system.
With the Tripleplay solution, BAT SA has more dynamic end-point control, for example, being able to run live diagnostic reports so that any problems with any of the screens is identified immediately; this has resulted in virtually zero down-time, allowing the system to operate constantly and consistently.
Deon Mostert added, “Real time distribution of content was a key requirement for us. With Tripleplay’s Digital Signage & IPTV platform, we can display relevant information to staff and visitors; whether that is safety announcements, live video feeds or product information and updates on any screen, or group of screens, that is appropriate.”
BAT SA was keen to make sure that the content delivered was eye catching and that passers-by would want to take notice of the information. The fact that it could therefore push a range of content types in various formats to these endpoints was of paramount importance, and something the Tripleplay solution is perfectly suited.
Mostert continued, “This is just the start of what we are looking to do with Tripleplay. We are working closely together to evolve and adapt our solution. We want to draw more live data from the internet to display as part of our digital signage throughout the site. We also want to do more with the layouts of our digital signage and are hoping to take advantage of new features such as the 3Create Visual Editor tool, whereby we can create layouts and eye-catching digital signage in seconds.”
Ensuring BAT SA stays ahead of the technology curve is very important and so working with a partner who could provide a future proof solution was a key part the solution’s appeal. Deon Mostert said, “The fact that the Tripleplay solution is constantly evolving and can be upgraded means you are never left with an outdated system, you always have the option of installing the latest features and staying ahead of the curve in digital signage and IPTV technology. For us, as we pride ourselves on being a fast moving and adaptable organisation, this flexibility and scalability is extremely important.”
The relationships built between manufacturer, partner and client means that BAT SA has total faith in the partnership and Tripleplay solution. Mostert concluded, “Datacentrix delivered our project on time and in full, they were transparent and forthcoming throughout the process and were backed by professional technical staff and committed vendor support from Tripleplay.”