The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) is a pioneering educational establishment in Africa. An internationally acclaimed institution, it is the only university of technology in the Western Cape and, with an enrolment of over 30,000 students, is the largest university in the region. The university has six faculties offering a wide range of accredited undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the fields of Applied Sciences, Business & Management Sciences, Education Engineering, Information & Design and Health & Wellness Sciences.
CPUT was in the market for a new digital signage solution that would be consistent with its innovative campus communications strategy. Despite looking at numerous other platforms nothing was flexible enough to provide them exactly what they needed, except Tripleplay.
“We have two large campuses at the university and needed a communication channel that would ensure uniformed communication messages across all campuses and not require students to actively seek out information. We wanted to target students passively in the high traffic areas at the university and needed a system that could be instantly updated and would allow us the flexibility of communicating both general information to all students and localised faculty specific information,” commented Derek Stocken, SDO Student Communication.
“I was introduced to Tripleplay by Dimension Data, at the time we were looking at a digital signage solution,” continued Stocken. Dimension Data, an authorised Tripleplay partner, worked closely with CPUT to ensure a seamless integration which included 83 screens of Tripleplay Digital Signage that spans over the two main campuses and student residences. The system is a mix of Amino Set Top Boxes with standard screens and the newer Samsung SSP System on Chip (SOC) screens and is used to communicate to over 33,000 students and faculty members.
CPUT desired to move away from traditional paper poster displays and use digital signage as their main promotional tool as Stocken explains, “Students get bombarded with messages on campus; from posters to emails it is an information overload. Traditional printed posters on campus were often out of date and an eyesore on noticeboards and walls. A digital signage system has helped us cut through this clutter and deliver targeted, relevant and up-to-date messages to students.”
Another very important requirement was the need to broadcast live institutional events such as graduations and announcements. This is where the Tripleplay system really excelled. Stocken continued, “Tripleplay complements our existing live streaming project, which is hugely popular and allows us to show live streams of events on all our digital signage screens. Students don’t have to use expensive mobile data or find a computer to watch institutional events and the screens set up provide ‘overflow’ areas for big institutional events. I have several video stream encoders for our streaming project and the Tripleplay encoder is by far my favourite, it is so reliable, once setup it just keeps on encoding video.”
After Tripleplay was installed, staff and students could see a notable difference. Much better student communication led to increased student involvement in activities advertised through the digital signage solution.
Another benefit of the Tripleplay solution is the diagnostics and screen management tools on the TripleCare platform as Stocken explains, “With the campuses being geographically separate, it was important for me to be able to remotely control, diagnose and configure screens at other locations. We do not have enough staff to be continuously travelling to the various sites to fix problems. The Tripleplay platform enables that remote diagnostics process and has saved significant time and effort for myself and my team.”
This feature ensures continuity of services, system confidence and that communications are relevant and up-to-date, no matter where you are on campus and can all be managed, remotely, from a very functional and user-friendly management portal.
CPUT understand that there is so much more they can achieve with the Tripleplay solution. “In the future, I would like to roll out screens to our remote campuses and possibly expand the system to include an IPTV service to the university. Tripleplay continues to release new features and we can upgrade our system to incorporate those through upgrades in the future. Going forward we have standardised on SOC for any new deployment, this means a simpler, ‘cleaner’ install with fewer points of failure” said Stocken.
As a specialist technology university in South Africa, CPUT needed to ensure they were setting a high standard with the technology infrastructure deployed across campus; the Tripleplay solution allowed them to do this, whilst having the added benefits of improving morale and streamlining campus communications.
Derek Stocken summarised, “We are very pleased, Tripleplay has been reliable and has performed exceptionally well. It has also been well received by the university community. When I started this project there were many sceptics, but once the screens were up and functioning, attitudes started to change and the solution has become a part of everyday working practice.”