Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro: Meeting Local Needs

With offices and plants scattered all over Canada’s easternmost province, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro needed a way to connect all their employees and unify their message. A web-based corporate digital signage solution like AxisTV seemed to be the solution they were looking for.

“The corporate communications group wanted a digital signage system to cover this geographically diverse area – something modern and more than just emails and physical bulletin boards,” says Kim Brent, Area Office Clerk at the company’s Deer Lake branch. “It had to be easy to use, eye-catching and visible.” Shane LaCour, Manager of Network Services at the main office in St. John’s, adds, “Sure, it had to be a visually-appealing way to deliver head office messages, but also needed the ability for people in the remote offices to add their own personal ideas. So, we needed a system that was centrally managed yet flexible.”

“We actually searched the internet to see what was available and what functionality we could get. Visix stood out because of their website, which was well organized and had a good selection of player options,” LaCour says. “We contacted them, and their staff was very helpful right from the first phone call; they arranged an online demo so we could get a better idea of how AxisTV works.” A visit to the Visix booth at InfoComm expanded their understanding of Visix’s flagship product.

With such a large, spread-out area to cover, the head office decided to create a democratized system for area offices. Corporate creates content that is relevant to the company as a whole, and makes it available to everyone. “I can choose what is applicable to us,” says Brent. “There’s a folder for managing my content, a folder from the administrator, which is shared among all of us, and I choose which messages I want to display at a specific time. In addition, each office has the ability to create and publish whatever content they want that is locally relevant. I can create things for our group, convert to jpegs, and add them to the mix of content from corporate. Because the system is dynamically updated, once you’ve chosen and scheduled your content, you don’t really have to do anything else.”

Up-to-date weather information is crucial in a place like Newfoundland Labrador, where winter temperatures can drop well below freezing. “Staff arrive at the office or go into the lunchroom to get coffee in the mornings, and can check out the weather conditions before heading out,” says Brent. “Most of the people here travel long distances to get to the work site, so having accurate information is crucial. Rather than each person having to search for the forecast on the internet, they can see it on the screens and discuss safety concerns with the group before they leave the office. Now they can gear up and be properly prepared.” There’s also a live feed from local traffic cameras in one content block, so employees know what to expect when they go out into the field. Safety is goal number one at Hydro and they use their digital signage to post safety reminders and get the message out there. But it isn’t all business. “We put up staff pictures and event messages – like information about a charity event or employee sports game,” says Brent.

LaCour gives us corporate’s perspective: “It works very well for us – it is laid out very logically and is pretty easy to use, so lots of different skill levels can get the job done. Our different offices know what they need, and AxisTV’s flexibility lets them tailor their content to local conditions. Visix has been great to work with – friendly staff, effective training on the system and great support.”