With over 14 million customers and over 600 shops in Germany, telephone services provider mobilcom-debitel has deployed a centralised digital signage network, driven by Scala technology, to support its change in strategic direction from service provider to digital lifestyle provider.

Quick facts

  • Roll out across 375 stores in Germany
  • Nearly 500 screens and players running on Scala
  • All stores run a single display at the cashier area and in 180 of the stores, an additional window touchscreen display is added
  • Components such as heating thermostat or motion detector can be operated by remote control using a Scala script
The Challenge

mobilcom-debitel previously ran a small-scale, in-house digital signage network in a small number of shops and wanted to expand the reach and capabilities of this particular channel to make it more professional and resilient.

The goal of the retailer was to create an eye-catching communications channel in-store. Any new digital signage network needed to support relevant marketing communications for products such as mobile phones. It also needed to be a useful tool to help staff with cross-selling and service provision in-store.

The retailer was seeking a partner who could provide country-wide deployment and support services. “We wanted potential partners to offer us a comprehensive care-free package,” explained Ingrid Thieme, mobilcom-debitel. “With this I mean flexible software solutions support and graphical content creation. TopRed Media was able to offer us all of that.”

The Solution

mobilcom-debitel approached 15 companies, before finally selecting a Scala solution delivered by partner TopRed Media. The solution was chosen for its flexibility and great capacity for future expansion. Working with TopRed Media and South African graphics company Ethniks Systems, mobilcom-debitel has rolled out a country-wide digital signage network, powered by Scala, across 375 of its stores across Germany.

Scala technology, including templates and a content management system, is used to drive nearly 500 displays and players. All stores run a single display at the cashier area and in 180 of the stores, an additional window touchscreen display, managed via Scala player software, has been added in the shop window to promote the retailer’s energy solutions.

Mirko Haaser, Managing Director of TopRed Media, explained: “For the shop window, we’ve developed a kiosk application that can be managed from the outside. Components can be operated by remote control using a Scala script. For instance, a heating thermostat or motion detector can be managed. It allows us to operate an IP camera, turn appliances on and off, or manage the light in the store.”

“Shops use the Scala software to update their opening hours or UPS delivery details and also, to control when the digital signage displays are running and when to switch them off. At night, they would typically be off from 10pm to 5am especially in shopping malls which are deserted. However on the pedestrian facing street, they can run 24/7” Joerg Mittermaier, managing director at TopRed Media.

Content playback is split into two channels that are displayed by the same player. “The content that is displayed in the shop window depends on opening times. Using digital consulting assistance, the shop employee can use a tablet to show information on the Smart Home screen,” he added.

All the content creation, centralised system management and technical support of the entire mobilcom-debitel digital signage network across Germany has been outsourced to TopRed Media and Ethniks Systems, who create and populate the Scala scripts on behalf of the retailer.

The Scala network connects to a centralised backend mobilcom-debitel system called Shop Database, which helps each shop to handle in-store retail space management and stock promotion.

“Shops use the Scala software to update their opening hours or UPS delivery details and also, to manage when the digital signage displays are running and when to switch them off,” said Joerg Mittermaier, Managing Director at TopRed Media. “At night, they would typically be off from 10pm to 5am especially in shopping malls which are deserted. However on the pedestrian facing street, they can run 24/7.” It also allows mobilcom-debitel to categorise shops and determine what type of advertising or content is tagged to go live at a particular store which may be accredited to sell energy solutions.

The Results

Digital signage has substantially increased the marketing space in the shops, according to Thieme. “Because we have multiple screens in the shop, we wanted to be able to connect them to one player with varying content,” she said. The solution has evolved over four years from a basic digital signage solution handling pictures and videos to take on a more interactive form. “The interactive window and the use of a tablet to manage the content on the display within the shop enables employees to explain information in a much clearer manner to customers and project more information on screen when necessary,” explained Mittermaier.

“Scala is the market leader in digital signage software,” concluded Mittermaier. “The system’s stability and reliability makes it possible for us as a partner to instantly react to customer requirements. The project started small but has expanded dramatically over the last year, to include the management of instore displays through tablets and the usage of touch displays in the shop window. Scala gives us the possibility to do everything we want. As a partner, we also have the unique ability to provide support over a large number of shops.”

Download the mobilcom-debitel case study

About mobilcom-debitel
mobilcom-debitel, a subsidiary of freenet Group is Germany’s biggest network-independent telecommunications provider. 600 stores and 6,000 sales agents offering a wide range of telecommunication products. The freenet Group offers its customers an extensive portfolio of services and products from the mobile voice and data services segment. In addition to its own network-independent services and
tariffs, the freenet Group also markets the original tariffs of German mobile communications network operators under its own name. Furthermore, the freenet Group offers a growing range of attractive products and services for the household and other areas of private customers’ lives relating to all aspects of mobile internet. For more information, visit: www.mobilcom-debitel.de.

About TopRed Media
Established in 2010 and headquartered in Fintel, Germany, TopRed Media provides full service digital signage solutions for retail, education and training, entertainment and the public sector. Typical applications include ad networks, corporate communications, digital billboards, digital menu displays, digital posters, advertising in hotel lobbies, outdoor advertising and interactive kiosks. For more information, visit: www.topred-media.com.

About Scala
Scala has a passion for creating intelligent digital signage solutions that move employees, consumers, and products. Driving more than 500,000 screens worldwide, our solutions increase sales, improve brand loyalty, optimize the customer experience, and reinforce business objectives.

Scala is known for its innovation and leveraging best-of-breed technologies such as mobile and predictive analytics to create award-winning solutions that are easy-to-use yet infinitely customizable to meet our clients’ unique needs. Our solutions can be found all over the globe across multiple industries. Our software powers the digital communications of companies like Rabobank, IKEA, Bloomberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Burger King, TMobile, Virgin Megastores, Disneyland Resort Paris, McDonald’s, Warner Bros., Mercedes-Benz, DNB, Hard Rock Hotel, Shell, Esso, Ericsson and IBC-13.

Scala is headquartered near Philadelphia, Pa., with multiple subsidiaries across Europe and Asia, and over 500 partners in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit: https://www.scala.com or their blog. Connect with Scala via Twitter and Facebook.