If your studio works with non-local creative talent, you already know that there are opportunities and challenges associated with distributed production and post production. Bridging the distance not only allows you to find the best talent for the job anywhere in the world, it creates the potential for a diverse and globally-minded workforce that boosts the creativity and vision of your entire company.
However, while standard web-based collaboration tools — from Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint and Slack — function wonderfully in most industries, they lack a foundational technology necessary for most media projects: the ability to quickly and reliably transfer large files over the Internet. For that, you need file acceleration along with other enterprise capabilities to support the unique conditions of distributed work, such as defense-in-depth security, flexible user administration, powerful reporting, super intuitive user interface design, storage options, metadata entry and pre-transfer file validation. Let’s look at some of these a bit more in depth.
File acceleration technology is basically an Internet protocol developed specifically for large file transfers over distance. Different companies have proprietary protocols that improve on standard TCP (transport layer protocol)-based transfers such as FTP (file transfer protocol) and HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol). When developed well, file acceleration should improve transfer speeds up to 200-fold by taking advantage of high-bandwidth networks while counteracting the impact of latency (caused by distance) and playing nicely with other network traffic.
Considering the size of files dealt with in media including sometimes Terabytes of dailies coming and hundreds of gig individual files for VFX, sound and color editing, file acceleration should be the core of any tool enabling remote talent. But that’s just the software engine so to speak, everything else wrapped around it should support your collaboration, not work against it.
Layers of Security
Cyber security is far more top of mind than years past, yet it’s surprising how many companies still rely on FTP. A 2015 study conducted by the University of Michigan called “FTP: The Forgotten Cloud” revealed more than 13 million FTP servers in use, with 1 million configured to allow anonymous access, exposing sensitive files and network access. Just last year, HBO, Netflix and Disney dealt with security breaches that can likely be traced to hackers exploiting FTP used by third-party post-production companies.
Many across the industry are pushing for higher security standards. In Europe, the DPP is one example of a regulatory agency that is taking on the problem. And it’s more than just securing or replacing FTP. The most secure software employs defense-in-depth security practices that have layers of security in place as well as 24/7 monitoring and regular third-party audits.
Storage and Folder Access
Storage choice sounds rather mundane, but it also means storage stays under your control so that you can either utilize storage you already have or switch according to business need, whether it’s on-prem or cloud storage. Many companies have invested in on-premises storage systems, including organizing folder structures and want to allow secure access to certain folders by remote talent or teams. Others want to use cloud storage as an extension of on-prem or for particular projects. File acceleration software that supports multiple storage choices and secure folder access by remote talent offers the best of both worlds.
Easy UI, Branding and Language Support
File acceleration software should ultimately provide a central hub for all of your media files, and the best solutions are the simplest to use while supporting the most critical needs. Browser-based portal interfaces that require zero training allow you to get remote talent working instantly, and portals that can be configured to match native languages can make all the difference in not only showing respect for your talent, but getting a job done and delivered on time.
Lastly, we all know that branding is central. Being able to provide cleanly branded interfaces for sending, sharing and submitting content for different projects and different teams can really set your business apart, not only impressing your remote talent but your clients as well.
Media Shuttle: The file transfer solution for today’s distributed workforce
From big broadcast companies to small post houses, the need to quickly and easily send large files is only getting greater. Companies currently using FTP or standard web-based collaboration tools have two options — replace existing systems with a modern file transfer solution or augment their systems with a single solution that provides increased speed, reliability, ease of use and security. Signiant’s Media Shuttle can do both while providing all of the core capabilities described above and more.
With over 400,000 users in over 25,000 businesses moving petabytes of data every month, Signiant’s Media Shuttle has become the trusted solution across the global Media & Entertainment industry. A true cloud-native SaaS solution with the scalability and rapid innovation that is making SaaS a foundation for modern businesses, Media Shuttle fits the needs of companies large and small. Learn more about Media Shuttle and Signiant’s Emmy award-winning technology here.
Signiant’s intelligent file movement software helps the world’s top content creators and distributors ensure fast, secure delivery of large files over public and private networks. Built on patented acceleration technology, the company’s on-premises software and cloud-native SaaS solutions allow businesses of every size to optimize mission-critical file transfers between users, data centers, and the cloud. For more information, please visit www.signiant.com.