Denise MacDonell Exclusive Interview

Geny Caloisi

She’s only been with Harris 18 months, but since joining as director and general manager, digital signage, Denise MacDonell has been growing the company’s presence in the Digital Signage space.

Denise Macdonell and Geny Caloisi, ISE 2011

MacDonell is an entrepreneurial lady who loves taking a new business and helping it grow.

Before working for Harris she had a rich experience at Corel – the digital video play back and software company, that gave us programmes such as Corel Draw. “Working with Corel was great to understand how the B2C industry works and, in a way, this is what digital signage is about,” MacDonell points out.

At #iseurope, Harris announced the latest upgrades to its comprehensive digital out-of-home (DOOH) solution, to support key vertical markets including retail, transport, leisure, corporate, and stadia/sports and live event venues.

The company launched InfoCaster version 4.2 and Punctuate version 4.2, the InfoCaster DS550 player, and a new, more rugged version of the InfoCaster DS1100 player for use in transport environments. Users can ingest, create, schedule, manage and distribute highly dynamic and targeted content using its powerful and intuitive toolkit.

MacDonell explains, “When I joined the company, Harris was very well known as a high end technology enterprise. Its main area was broadcasting. Now the Digital Signage side of the business is steadily growing and we offer complete solutions tailored to the vertical market. One size does not fit all and that’s why we have a specific UK and US team working for the European and US market respectively. I head the US and Ian Collis heads Europe.”

An example of how tailored DS offerings can work, is Harris’ ‘moments of exclusivity.’ “The way this works,” MacDonell explains, “is by providing advertisers with the opportunity to take a prominent space on a Digital Signage environment at one specific point. So for instance, suppose you buy some advertising in a Stadium and you want your content to be displayed across it at a specific time – say when someone scores a goal. Our ‘moment of exclusivity’ gives you that opportunity.”

Harris has implemented this system at the Amway centre in Orlando, Florida. The arena has 800 screens and as the areas in the stadium are used in different ways – eating areas, transit areas, private boxes – each have a different path of travel and therefore the content is packaged accordingly. Still all screens can also sync on a ‘moment of exclusivity’ for maximum sponsor exposure.

“The DOOH industry has gained solid momentum this year, with significant interest coming from a variety of vertical markets   such as retail outlets, leisure venues and sports stadia and arenas — where we have completed a number of successful projects,” said Ian Collis, European director of marketing for Harris Broadcast Communications. “Digital signage is about enhancing the customer and fan experience and maximizing a business’ return on investment. By tailoring our DOOH solutions to the individual needs of a specific market, we’re better able to deliver on those objectives.”

One Response to “Denise MacDonell Exclusive Interview”

  1. Ito Yokadooh Says:

    How’s that 7Eleven network going Denise? Geny wouldn’t want to embarrass an advertiser, so we have to ask here. Does the vertical strategy include buying business? Feeling good about this one?

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