If your studio works with remote 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 like Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint and Slack — function wonderfully in most industries, they lack the most basic 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-level” capabilities to support the unique requirements of distributed work, such as flexible user administration, powerful reporting, super intuitive user interface design, storage options, metadata entry and pre-transfer file validation. And of course, defense-in-depth security. Let’s look at some of these in a bit more detail.
File acceleration technology is 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 can, and should, improve transfer speeds up to 200-fold by taking advantage of high-bandwidth networks while counteracting the impact of latency (delay caused by distance) and playing nicely with other network traffic.
Every day, it’s not unusual to see terabytes of dailies coming and going, and hundreds of gigabytes of individual files for VFX, sound and color editing. So file acceleration should be the core of any tool enabling remote talent. But that’s just the software engine: everything else wrapped around it should support your collaboration, not work against it.
Layers of Security
Cyber security is more important than ever,, 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 in 2017, 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
Decisions about storage can seem mundane, but you need to ensure that it stays under your control - whether it’s on-premises, or in the cloud. Many companies have invested in on-premises storage systems, and have organized folder structures to allow secure access to certain folders by remote talent or other work associates. Others want to use cloud storage as an extension of on-premises drives 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 should be simple, while supporting your most critical needs.
Browser-based portals simplify access and reduce training. They allow remote talent to start immediately, working productively from the start. And portals should allow localized customization, with new interfaces for each project, team or even language.
Lastly, branding is important.. 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 ever going to increase.
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 solution that provides increased speed, reliability, ease of use and security for their largest and most critical assets. 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 (Software as a Service) solution that is fully scalable and constantly updated with the latest releases. SaaS is a foundation for modern businesses, and 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.