Carousel: University moves to the cloud with digital signage

Carousel Digital Signage is once again upgrading the University of Connecticut’s digital signage capacity. Recently, the US university upgraded its existing on-premises system, Carousel 7, to Carousel Cloud, simplifying the creation, scheduling and management of digital signage content across campus and regional locations.

There are a total of around 700 displays on the main campus and at six other locations that now receive content via the Carousel Cloud. According to estimates by Brien Woodaman, AV technician and digital signage service manager at the University of Connecticut, the number of screens will increase to around 800 by the end of the summer.

The content varies depending on the location of the display. (Photo: Carousel Digital Signage)

The university uses a combination of Brightsign and Apple TV players, as well as webOS functionality built into LG’s displays. She uses Jamf Now, a cloud-based MDM solution, to manage the Apple TV devices. Thanks to Carousel’s partnership with Jamf, these management capabilities could be extended to the digital signage system. “I set up a subgroup that manages the Apple TVs that run Signage,” says Brien Woodaman. “When a new device is purchased, I just add it to the Jamf subgroup and push the configuration, which is then loaded directly into Carousel Cloud.”

The location determines the content

Content varies by location: screens in front of seminar rooms show scheduling information, while department-specific displays announce scholarships, internships, and various job opportunities. Student groups also have access to some screens so they can advertise upcoming events or a roommate hunt. Carousel Cloud software offers the ability to use built-in digital signage templates or upload ready-made content.

The cloud system can also be integrated with the university’s mass notification system, so that in the event of an emergency, warnings can be played out immediately across the campus.

The content created by the students is managed via a portal on the university website. The completed forms generate tickets in the helpdesk system, and AV team reviews these requests to ensure they conform to the university’s style guide. Individual departments that publish and manage their own content use Carousel Cloud’s scheduling feature to distribute their messages.

Standardization since 2016

According to Brien Woodaman, the educational institution began standardizing its digital signage systems in 2016. At the time, each department was using its own solution, leading to inconsistencies in service offerings, scalability, hosting, and performance. “There was a lot of confusion, so there was a push for standardization,” he said.

To solve this problem, the university deployed Carousel 7, Carousel Digital Signage’s on-premises platform. This achieved the standardization the university was aiming for, and the platform also fulfilled the desire for a user-friendly user interface. “The people who dealt with the digital signage systems were not graphic designers or technicians, but administrators, lecturers or employees from different departments,” he said. “We needed something that was simple and easy to use, and that’s why we chose Carousel.”

The switch also resulted in a more intuitive, responsive user experience. Thanks to a mobile version, management during ongoing operations is also made easier.

Education: US university relies on Carousel

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