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ScreenCloud & Custom App Integrations: Everyday’s Friday at Sweetwater 

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But, it’s not always been a sweet ride.

While we would love to delve into the romantic historics of the touring musician-turned-retail-titan, we’re here for something much more rock ‘n’ roll: employee engagement. And how hacking the Friday app and integrating it with ScreenCloud helped Sweetwater achieve their internal communication dreams. (Don’t smash your guitar up just yet.)

Sweetwater & ScreenCloud

As a case study, Sweetwater are what we’d call an ideal customer.

When talking with Michael McNees – Sweetwater’s IT Delivery Specialist – during our Reboot Hackathon, he validated our existence; he and his team had built Sweetwater’s own digital signage system, albeit one where he would create Keynote files and distribute them via a cable TV system. This came with a host of headache-inducing issues:

  • It was a challenge to maintain
  • Boxes would crash
  • Cables had poor connection

And most importantly: it was no fun at 8 am on a Saturday morning when a screen would go down.

The other issues faced by the team was what content to put on the screens themselves. They had customer-facing screens, screens for employees, and then screens for both. Each screen required different files to be created and uploaded into different boxes, with no centralized system. (Time to smash that guitar – from frustration.)

The digital signage solution 

Spoiler alert: Sweetwater joined ScreenCloud. 

But aside from the obvious problem solving our digital signage software provided, we wanted to make even sweeter music with Sweetwater.

The Hackathon

Part of the Reboot event (read more about it here) was the Hackathon. We learnt from Michael that he had just implemented an internal comms app called Friday to enhance employee engagement across multiple teams in different locations; monthly in-person ‘stand-ups’ just weren't viable anymore. But he didn’t have a scalable way of sharing Friday’s content.

Enter ScreenCloud. 

Together we built a custom app integration for Friday so that Sweetwater could implement it effectively within their digital signage strategy, and share its content across specific - and multi-location – screens. Everyone likes a pat on the back, but we like it a whole lot more when this praise can be seen throughout the company in real-time. 

How to build a custom app integration 

If you’d like to see how to build your own custom app to integrate with your ScreenCloud account, get started here

Otherwise, here's process Sweetwater followed to build the Friday integration:

  • The app was built as a web application hosted in Firebase.
  • Then, a Firebase cloud function was created as a proxy to fetch data from Friday. This proxy is to mitigate exposing sensitive data such as the API Key to the frontend application. Data can then be mapped here from the responses to the format that is required to be sent to the front end.
  • When the app is being shown on screen, the player fetches the hosted web application from the Firebase cloud function proxy, based on the configuration received. 
  • The Firebase cloud function proxy will be periodically called upon by the web app to receive more up-to-date information from the Friday API.

Try it for free

If you’d like to see whether ScreenCloud is for you, give it a go with zero commitment. We’re offering a 14-day free trial with no need to enter any card details. You don’t even need a screen to get started.

Photo credit: Matt Jones / Unsplash

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