DOOH At Syncrude: Like A University Campus

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Use of digital out-of-home media is spreading across many types of venues, and Syncrude, one of the largest producers of crude oil from Canada’s oil sands, is a business that recognized the digital medium’s potential as a communications means to reach its employees.

Syncrude, one of the largest private sector employers in Alberta with more than 5,000 direct employees, operates 24/7 out of its Fort McMurray corporate headquarters. The company needed to keep the steady flow of employees up-to-date on current mine site news and conditions, and special emphasis was placed on the ability to display automated hyper-local weather and traffic updates to inform heavy equipment drivers of current conditions at the start of their shift.

A 15-screen digital signage network powered by Audience software and installed by Capital Networks Ltd., Markham, Ont., was deployed throughout Syncrude’s offices in the driver-ready rooms and other common areas. Capital’s Audience solution was chosen based on its advanced content management capabilities and ability to support a wide range of automated data feeds.

The screens, 40” and 52”, carry only Syncrude-related messaging, and not only is the company planning to expand its network, but another division of Syncrude corporate has also purchased Audience for corporate/office messaging, says Blake Reeves, North American channel manager, Capital Networks.

While Capital can and does offer a hosted SAAS service for many clients such as Kraft Canada, Syncrude chose to run and centrally control its own network.

“Our focus lately has been on ‘campus-based environments and universities and colleges have been very hot for us over the past two years,” says Reeves. “Syncrude, while not a university, is campus-based, meaning multiple separate buildings within a controlled corporate region.

“Anyone can get a single message to a single screen or building at one time. The hard part is to let the individual building or department control a total independent look and feel and message 98% of the time, while leaving preemptive control to a central administration or security for universal emergency messages, or corporate announcements.

“This is how Syncrude operates. Another example of our campus- based experience is in the U.S. Military. We also have work with a large number of US Marine, Navy and Army bases.”

Reeves says that Capital is more then just a Digital Signage software company. “We are a communications consultancy with the experience to keep projects on time and on budget,” he says. “Our after-sales service makes a project successful, and Syncrude identified that CNL’s Audience software solution and support was the best value.”

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