This week Industrial Color Brands rolled out the release of its software division’s new website and branding, along with the industry’s most advanced mobile application. It’s a big change and will allow people to work in a new way. The division’s workflow software, globaledit, provides creative teams with the ability to move large volumes of digital assets from capture to market in the cloud instantly, while supporting complex collaborative processes, tight schedules and geographically distributed teams.
We spoke with Steve Kalalian, CEO, Geoff Brookins, CTO, and Mathieu Champigny, VP of Sales and Marketing, about both the rebranding and how globaledit impacts every aspect of creative production workflow.
ProVideo Coalition: Other than the website, what’s new with globaledit?
Steve Kalalian: Our team did an amazing job translating what we are as a high-tech software company through the look and feel of the new brand and website. The globaledit team has nearly doubled this past year so it’s a really exciting time.
We’ve always been Industrial Color Brands, which is a family of creative production companies that work together to provide a full range of creative production services. Customers love having a primary partner that can manage a wide range of creative services, from capture to the final product. On the new globaledit website, we wanted to show that globaledit was made by creative for creatives. Therefore we link to our sister brands to convey the concept that globaledit is part of this larger creative production group.
Geoff Brookins: In the past quarter, we’ve moved from a Waterfall development methodology to an Agile one. We’ve also added multiple production clusters that allow us to roll out globaledit to multiple environments internally so features can be viewed by sales and account management before releasing to our users.
One of the great benefits of these new production environments is that we can release new features with virtually no down-time. In the past, we would deploy on weekends and have pre-scheduled down-time. Now releases can happen as often as needed. With releases taking less time, the overall momentum of the team has increased, allowing us to deploy new features to customer faster than ever before.
Globaledit has always been a high-performance tool. In the past six months, we’ve increased the amount of collaboration that developers have with creatives by sending developers to specific shoots. This allows the development team to experience first-hand the benefits of globaledit and intimately understand the issues creative production teams deal with on a day-to-day basis — resulting in a better, more innovative product.
Mathieu Champigny: We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved in the last year on the development side to make the product move faster and smoother. On the brand side, we decided it was time for a face-lift for globaledit. We designed a new logo which you can see prominently on our new website. The logo really shows who we are as a company moving forward and articulates the acceleration of the product as well as the industry we serve.
The site is full of information for industry professionals who are looking to use globaledit and want to understand the benefits. But there is also plenty of information for existing users who want more details about how they can make the most of the system. We’re really proud of all of the fresh content on the new website. As you explore the site you will find dedicated videos to show the value of the product, how it works and show the new platforms such as the iOS7 mobile app for iPhone and iPad. The website doesn’t focus solely on features, but rather on the benefits.
It looks like you're putting a focus on how creative teams can work together and collaborate, regardless of where they're actually located. What else can you tell us about your focus moving forward?
Steve Kalalian: We’re continually focused on problem solving and identifying challenges in the creative production industry. Inefficiency has always bothered us – so we look for ways to leverage new technology to enhance a market or add value to a customer. We’re always experimenting with and testing new gear and we work with the top hardware and software manufacturers, like Apple and Microsoft and also the more targeted companies like Phase One and RED. We’re actively involved in the technical side of things, but we’re also involved as a creative production company on the product side. Our team is involved in high-end photo and video shoots, and everyday our teams manage challenging retouching, video post production and CGI work. And our bi-coastal reach gives us incredible exposure to how things work on all sides of the process. We’re able to identify opportunities to create great things. At our core, that’s what motivates us and keeps us at the forefront.
And let me just give you a quick background on why globaledit exists…In 2003 we were heavily involved in the photo industry transitioning from analog to digital. We had 20-25 techs on set every single day with major clients. Back then companies would shoot digitally, but then go into an analogue process of printing and reviewing images – which takes forever. So we said, look, “if we’re going to shoot digital let’s keep it digital.” Let's use this thing called “the internet” and create tools for our teams and clients so they can review and approve and shorten their production schedules. At that time most teams used dial-up, so we were a little ahead of our time in a sense, but it was kind of exciting because we were the only company that was providing this sort of tool to the heavy production users.
What’s unique about Industrial Color Brands is that we work with very high capacity clients. Victoria’s Secret might shoot 1,000 photo shoots a year with 3,000-4,000 frames per shoot, plus video, while dealing with a massive amount of raw and high-res digital assets. Multiply that by a traditional linear analogue process and you bottleneck like crazy. So part of what we’re about is enabling our clients to do what they need to do. – and fast.
Not only do we offer tools that allow them to handle these processes, but we also enable companies to scale and grow. Not long ago shooting a terabyte of data was something people couldn’t even conceive, but today we’re handing out two terabyte drives for practically every shoot. It has been great because we’ve really helped our clients develop and move their business forward. It’s a huge hidden competitive advantage for our clients because success is so often contingent on speed to market, and that's what globaledit is all about.
Your mobile application is one of the most advanced in the industry…how have you seen it impact a production or workflow?
Steve Kalalian: What’s happening with mobile is one of the most exciting things about the product. We love being at the forefront of technological changes, and mobile is clearly a game changer in how people work and interact with creative projects. Everyone has a smart phone. Not everyone is at his or her computer all day, but everyone constantly interacts with their mobile devices.
We’re carefully creating high-end production tools with globaledit, powering users to produce more in a much simpler way. We enable power processes in an easy manner. The big frontier is with mobile and video and we’ve got a host of video tools on the iPad and iPhone that are game changers. We’ve been excited because the market has exploded into needing things right now and right away. We worked very hard to improve both our technical infrastructure and our UI, and we know the new globaledit mobile tools are going to be real game-changers for the market.
Mathieu Champigny: When you’re talking about being mobile and allowing people to work from their mobile device, it’s all about how fast the creative people can respond and how fast you can push a final approved product to the market. This is really what mobile is for us.
With that in mind, we re-created our mobile app from scratch to optimize the process and make sure that the app is up to date with the latest iOS version so it can act as fast as people want it to act.
In terms of how this impacts production and workflows, it’s instrumental. In today’s world, so many productions are shooting in places like California, but the creative director is in New York, while the head of creative services is in Paris for a shoot. We see this every single day. Having a mobile app that allows you to look through photos and videos, insert comments, annotate, markup and collaborate instantaneously is key. Something that years ago or even months ago required you to sit in the same room can now be done live across the world using your iPhone or iPad. That means that what is being shot in California is being commented on a couple minutes later in New York and will be fully reviewed minutes later in Paris. So the next morning the video editors can start working and you’re going to be able to get that video out in a fraction of the time it would take previously. So this is not about technology after all, it is about speed and productivity.
We put a big emphasis on a simple and intuitive interface and focused on making it easy and natural for anyone to use the app. In the design phase we went to great lengths to ensure everything was intuitive so that whether you’re a video editor, executive, production assistant or anything else you’ll be able to know how to use it.
This kind of speed and usability is what the market has been asking for. Customers ask us every single day, “Can I do this on my phone?” or “Can I review this on the train?” Those requests come from the production folks but go all the way to the marketing and PR departments who ensure the digital libraries are always updated and accessible so they can manage and create their next campaign. It’s why we’ve gone to such great lengths to make sure everything is distributed live no matter where you are in the world.
How has the need and desire to work remotely changed the way people approach the creative process?
Steve Kalalian: Whenever there’s a tool that can do something better, even if it’s just a little bit better, people jump on it. These advancements make their way into the market very quickly. The primary assumption is that this new tool will make things better, easier or faster, and then those expectations are built into their outlook. That’s one of the reasons we’re focusing on mobile, because so many people are doing things on their phone, whether it’s banking, shopping or texting. Our thumbs have seemingly developed a need to communicate. There’s this expectation that everything should work on the go, and that has happened quickly. Change is happening faster and faster, which makes sense because the technology keeps on developing and improving.
Companies that aren’t able to keep up with this pace and these changes are at risk. Our customers expect to work off of their phones or when they’re away from their desks. We constantly need and want to keep up with these expectations.
Tell us how you've seen a production and/or workflow affected by poor decisions around collaboration.
Steve Kalalian: If you don’t have a system in place for efficient collaboration you’re looking at delays of days or even weeks, which can blow up a budget or completely tank a project. When you’re adding days to a production schedule you could be talking about millions of dollars. And that’s without even taking into account opportunity costs or the cost of time in certain instances since those things don’t show up on a spreadsheet. But you’ll feel these costs as well, one way or another.
Poor decisions around collaboration mean you end up shooting or reshooting what you already have, and you wouldn’t believe how often this happens. If you don’t know what you have, then you don’t know what you need to produce. I’ve heard from people who don’t have a digital library and they end up wasting countless dollars and massive amounts of time.
The fact that you can use globaledit to access all of your media from anywhere is one of the most powerful benefits of the tool. If you have a library of one million or ten million images, you can use globaledit to find the exact photo you need. Instead of burning hours or days to find, you can do a simple search and locate whatever you’re looking for instantly. Imagine that cost in terms of money and time across a year worth of projects without that seamless ability. Plus, remember that this allows you to eliminate the cost of shipping prints or other physical media from one side of the country to another.
A lot of companies don’t back things up either. People tend to have one copy of their vital brand assets, and that's it. With globaledit you know where assets are located and how they will be accessed. This ensures that you won't be spending money restoring or recreating the same photos or videos.
We also want to share the globaledit ROI whitepaper. It’s a powerful document that showcases the value of globaledit. By avoiding things like approving the wrong shot, downloading the wrong image for a campaign or releasing the wrong video to a feed, savings really add up fast. These things can be disastrous from a financial standpoint, and even from a legal one.
Mathieu Champigny: The cost of not using globaledit is what ends up standing out for clients, and that’s something that can be difficult to understand before they start using a system. Like Steve said, how many times is a marketing department going to request materials they need for a campaign but have no idea those things have already been created? Of course, if they aren’t able to find or locate those assets it’s the same as not having them at all. Resolving this one issue on a single shoot so that you don’t need to recreate what you already have can pay for the system for an entire year.
Not having a system like globaledit means that people might be redoing the same work, might be working off an incorrect version, might be releasing or using assets that have not been approved; all of those things have a huge cost at the end of the day. What we’ve seen and experienced is that the cost of not having this sort of system can outweigh what you may or may not see on a bottom line. The benefits are immediate because when you’re talking about having your entire library of digital assets available to everyone in a secure environment with specific rights and permissions built into the system, you’re already going to be seeing savings in terms of time and money.
Poor decisions often come from trying to do business without giving everyone you’re working with what they need at the right time. And as so often is the case in just about every work environment, people need access to pretty much everything most of the time.
Geoff Brookins: Security is something we pay a great deal of attention to within globaledit, and those are issues that can affect workflows in ways people don’t even want to think about. Every time you access an image or access a video it’s authenticating you and affirming you are who you are and that you have the right role and permissions. The system then serves up the asset just for you and your use.
We’ve heard about, and you’ve all seen security breaches for major companies like Target and others, so these sorts of things shouldn’t be taken lightly. They can impact a production and even the future of a company. That’s one of the natural benefits that you get with globaledit on the desktop and in iOS, and it’s not something most people are concerned with on a day-to-day basis – but is critical. It’s another reason why customers continue to come to us, because we do have our secure private cloud but also have a continued utmost attention to security.
Workflow and pre-production considerations are often the last thing that people want to deal with when they’re figuring out their schedules and considering their budgets. Can you talk through how taking these things into account can change the way production, post-production and even the final product can be affected by intelligent choices made in the beginning?
Mathieu Champigny: Making sure that everyone on a team and across departments is aware of what’s going on in the creative world is essential. If the team structure between pre-production, production and post-production is not aligned, things can get really costly for any creative department or company. By putting together that central repository and central location for all your digital assets, globaledit ensures that everyone is aware of what’s going on and what will be coming their way. That means before the production begins, the post-production team already knows what kind of assets they’ll be receiving and knows what will be expected of them. This allows them to get a head start on the process which can save time and money in post and even in production itself.
The awareness that comes out of this collaboration can change the outlook for an entire project and impacts the bottom line and how fast you can complete the project. When multiple teams are talking to each other about how a project will progress, it can change the cost and quality of the end product.
Steve Kalalian: No matter the industry, once clients start using globeldit, they make up their own use cases. It’s exciting because we see client grow and flourish within globaledit, as they continue to find ways to utilize and customize it. For example, with video production, one of the big tasks for pre-production is to go location scouting. Clients go out on a location scout and then can easily share with the team and make the best decision for the project. We’re currently working on a large build project for an architect and they used globaledit to take tons of field images of an existing space so that their architects, designers and engineers, who are located across the country, can refer back and to the building itself. And the details that they’re able to find and use are of course critical.
Getting back to video production, whether you’re dealing with visuals, images, text, sound or really any asset, you’ll be able to use globaledit to collaborate through every stage of the production pipeline. It can be especially relevant in post-production as we’ve got a really great video mark-up tool where you can easily mark frames and very quickly get that information to a video editor.
The entire production pipeline is able to take advantage of all the benefits that this sort of collaboration provides, and that happens before, during and after a production.
What's the best way to learn more about globaledit?
Mathieu Champigny: There are three ways to get in touch with globaledit.
1. To find out more about how globaledit works and the benefits, check out the new website www.globaledit.com. The site is full of end-use cases, case studies and how real companies actually use it everyday.
2. Contact our creative workflow specialists and ask questions that are applicable to you. We note only have experience dealing with small companies and post houses, but also big international companies that are uploading hundreds and thousands of assets into the system every single month, and everything in-between. Give us a call and we're here to help!
3. Sign up to receive the latest news. On the blog page, you can sign up to receive invites to our webinars, snackinars, feature releases, newsletters, and more. This is a great way to be kept in the loop and be the first to know about great things coming in the pipe with globaledit.