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AV Interview: Francesco Ziliani, Spinetix

Digital signage specialists, Spinetix, continue to innovate. We sit down with CEO, Francesco Ziliani, to hear about the latest.

By

21 June 2024

Interview:/ Christopher Holder

Spinetix is a digital signage thoroughbred. Its integrated hardware/software offering is some of the best in the business. CEO, Francesco Ziliani, founded the company back in 2006. He spent some time with us at Infocomm24 for this interview.

AV: Can we start with an overview of Spinetix’s hardware offering and how it integrates with your software solutions?

Francesco Ziliani: Spinetix offers a total solution to our digital signage customers, encompassing both hardware and a content management system (CMS). Our philosophy is to simplify the daily tasks of end-users, who have numerous responsibilities. We continuously add functionalities to ease their workload. For instance, our new integration with the iBX440, a 4 x 4K media player capable of driving up to four screens in a video wall format, ensures that content is perfectly synchronised. The beauty of this integration is its simplicity; a wizard guides users through setting up various video wall configurations with just a few clicks, making content publishing as straightforward as if it were a single screen.

We also focus on making life easier for our system integrators. Digital signage sometimes requires specialised skills, so we invest heavily in training. Our dedicated software, Elementi, enables the creation of apps and templates for ARYA, our CMS, which can then be uploaded to a user’s account to expand its capabilities. This approach is central to our strategy and has earned us the trust of many customers.

AV: Monitoring and control in the cloud is a significant trend at this year’s Infocomm show. Spinetix was a pioneer in this area. What has been your experience with introducing cloud monitoring to your clients?

Francesco Ziliani: When we first proposed cloud-based deployment, some customers were hesitant. The key issue is a misunderstanding of what cloud deployment entails. Often, there’s a belief that all sensitive data must be uploaded to an external server, which isn’t necessary. For instance, with ARYA, our interface allows control of what the players display while the data itself can remain on a local network. This means the content is not uploaded elsewhere, addressing security concerns.

Education is crucial here. We offer numerous webinars and are always ready to help our customers understand the benefits and workings of cloud technology. If you’re unsure, we can provide a training program to get you up to speed.

AV: Where the cloud-based platform is hosted is another crucial question. Is it a properly managed cloud service or just a remote computer?

Francesco Ziliani: That’s an excellent point. Beyond just the application running on a secure server, the infrastructure itself must have robust disaster recovery processes. We’ve encountered situations where a CMS running on a single location was lost due to an accident, like a fire, because there was no backup. Ensuring data security and reliable infrastructure is vital. Not all providers offer this level of service, so it’s important to choose wisely.

AV: Digital signage has an extra layer of sensitivity due to potential reputational damage if a network is hijacked. How do you address these security concerns?

Francesco Ziliani: Large customers, such as corporations and government institutions, are very concerned about the impact of a compromised network. Security by design is essential; it must be an integral part of the solution’s architecture, encompassing hardware, operating systems, applications, and networks. Certifications like ISO 27001 are critical as they ensure we maintain the highest security standards and continuously update our processes to provide the best protection.

AV: Regarding a recent announcement: why is the Q-SYS integration such a big deal for Spinetix?

Francesco Ziliani: I admire the Q-SYS team for their innovative and refreshing approach. Our customers frequently request automation features that change audience experiences based on sensors or interactivity. Typically, programming these scenarios is complex and expensive, requiring specialised engineering. Q-SYS simplifies this with certified plugins, making system integrators’ lives easier and reducing costs.

AV: There’s no point in reinventing the wheel if something already exists that works well, right?

Francesco Ziliani: Exactly. Q-SYS isn’t the only system we integrate with; we’re also compatible with AMX, Crestron, and others. However, Q-SYS’s approach is particularly refreshing. So, if you’re a fan of Q-SYS, you’ll be pleased to know that Spinetix is integrated and ready to enhance your digital signage experience.

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We’ve encountered situations where a CMS running on a single location was lost due to an accident, like a fire, because there was no backup. Ensuring data security and reliable infrastructure is vital

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