By Jack Wyrick, Business Development, Chesapeake Systems –
Coffee: check! Power cable plugged in: check! Favorite home-office chair: check! Remote access to media: check?
While COVID-19 is testing the flexibility and preparedness of media teams around the world, enabling and empowering the remote employee has been a core tenet of production and media-IT pros for years. Media and entertainment has proudly stayed ahead of the curve for enabling field production partners, freelancers, and relocated employees to continue meeting critical deadlines. However, even the most tenured media-IT professionals are asking themselves, “Did we architect a system that will meet the demand?”
Whether you’ve been planning for such an eventuality or employee demand has increased remote access requests, the end result will look roughly the same. But, what does a well-designed media environment that can handle heavy demand look like? Setting aside the nuances of each unique environment, here is our checklist for the foundational elements to support your remote team members:
WAN: an obvious starting point, its importance cannot be overstated.
VPN: enhanced security, remote control, increased performance, reduced cost.
Remote Desktop Software: often goes hand in hand with a VPN and is vital to empowering employees to complete their specific tasks on time.
Media Asset Management (MAM) system: centralized, extensible, browser-based access, and fast. This is where the rubber meets the road for most teams. Users gain immediate access to the data they need in the resolutions they require. Many MAM systems enable workflows that include transcoding and access to new resolution options as well. This is the editor-turns-superhero utility belt (username and password required).
From here, with thoughtful attention to the design of your workflows, the machine should be humming along nicely.
It’ll be easy to forget that what you’ve architected will fundamentally change the way your media teams operate moving forward and this can be a scary proposition to embrace.
As the possibility of a fully remote team becomes a demand, what are the attendant benefits? There are headline answers: improved productivity, time and expense saving, and now, safety. What is the benefit for the media production environment?
When consumer demand for content spikes, as it surely will in the coming weeks, or deadlines simply cannot be moved, the team is ready and equipped to deliver regardless of any limitation and lack of access to their office environment.
Production team leads can easily delegate or reassign projects to team members that can meet the deadline, regardless of location.
File size becomes a non-issue. MAM systems enable access and manipulation of your media by way of smaller, friendlier proxy files. Simply said: close proximity to the SAN or NAS is no longer a requirement.
Speed, efficiency, and adaptability. These are real business benefits; benefits that can be tied directly back to monetization and consumer satisfaction.
Putting these pieces in place can take many thoughtful discussions, and should. Working from home is a practice in trust. Trust works best when it’s supported, encouraged, and allowed to operate as designed and learning from your user base will give you direction for what enables the team to be most productive.
Wyrick leads Chesapeake Systems’ sales and consultation offerings in the Northeast, bringing more than 15 years of tested sales leadership to his role. His interest in viewer consumption habits within media and entertainment arose naturally as he began his technology sales career just at the launch of the first generation of iPhones.