EditShare Package Drives Efficiency for Transportation Company

For the past 15 years, Pittsburgh-based communications agency Mind Over Media has worked with a global transportation group to produce a number of video programs, covering a variety of subjects including corporate information, initiatives and employee success stories.

“We are the primary external production facility for all the company’s internal programs, although we also work directly with its freelance crews to receive the footage from all over North America,” explains Nathan Wadding, director of post production at Mind Over Media.

Mind Over Media was founded in 1982 as a boutique agency with a focus on communications strategy and video production. In 1999, the firm added interactive and Web capabilities for its growing list of clients.

Efficiency: the key to upgrading assets

With an ever-increasing amount of video content being generated, the transportation company made a decision during 2012 that a tapeless asset management system and integrated, tiered storage platform were required. At the same time, an agreement was reached that outsourcing that function would be a more efficient method of handling the existing in-house activity. And since Mind Over Media had been involved with that footage for so long, it was natural that the agency should take charge of that responsibility.

“The goal of this management solution was to create a secure online environment for all the group’s video assets,” explains Wadding. “Alongside our production activities, we took on the responsibility of collecting, logging, tracking, and distributing video assets.”

For the new asset management/tiered storage contract, Mind Over Media purchased EditShare’s fully integrated tapeless solution: EditShare Flow (asset management), Ark Tape with an LTO (Linear Tape-Open) tape library and an additional 16TB Energy Expansion Server (the company had an existing EditShare shared storage server).

Wadding says that the benefits of the integrated system include the efficient fulfillment of footage requests, a secure archiving process, and online access to a searchable database with video reference files.

“The knowledge we have at Mind Over Media for managing assets, creating taxonomy, designing digital workflows, and working in an asset management/tiered storage environment were crucial factors,” reveals Wadding. “We’ve been logging, tagging and tracking client assets for 30 years – but that type of information was always disconnected or separate from the asset itself. EditShare now allows us to connect all of that information in one repository for easy reference and use.”

That investment in EditShare was not the first for Mind Over Media. “We had been using EditShare for shared storage and project sharing since 2010 and were familiar with the excellent capabilities of such a system.”

EditShare reduces capital costs

He continues, “When we purchased the EditShare it was to replace an existing fibre-based SAN using fibre connection that had been in place for nearly 10 years. Three years ago, we needed both more flexibility and additional capacity for our storage and editing, but with the existing setup we were looking at $5k per seat. However, EditShare’s ability to add more seats over our existing Cat 6 infrastructure was a huge benefit in terms of cost and quality. As a result, we now run 13 workstations – covering, editing, design and file management.” 

 “We did look at other vendors, but EditShare’s complete beginning-to-end solution was the main reason for our decision. To have one product and one company for ingest, logging, storage, archive and retrieval was key.”

EditShare Flow allows users to ingest media from SDI or file-based sources, scan existing media files that are already on shared storage, generate proxy files without third-party transcoding engines; view, log and tag assets, and then search the database. In addition, simple rough-cut editing can be carried out and the sequences dragged into the preferred Non-Linear Editing system.

The benefit of customization

"I see a real benefit in having all of my footage tagged with keywords in categories that are customized for each client, and being able to search quickly that material for exactly the shots I need. Flow enables me to meet those objectives."

Mind Over Media’s senior editor and project manager, Ryan Stegman, is the point of contact for all the interaction with the client. He was responsible for developing the entire taxonomy structure for the project, and then worked with the group to develop a systematic approach to how all assets would be tagged, tracked and available in a central repository. 

Wadding opted for the EditShare Ark Tape solution for archive storage. “For our operation, we decided that LTO was the preferred solution – rather than the disk alternative – because of the cost and the reliability of tape.” 

Whenever media files are sent to Ark Tape, a proxy file is automatically created for later viewing in Flow Browse. When material needs restoring from Ark Tape, either the exact files are selected using the Flow Browse interface or the entire EditShare Spaces are reinstated to the precise state from any date when the job was previously run. 

Total solution – complete satisfaction

With the asset management infrastructure in place and operating successfully, Nathan Wadding recounts the challenges that have been overcome – and how EditShare presented the effective solution for both now and the longer term. 

“Providing the appropriate strategy to our client was our biggest challenge. We wanted to innovate and expand our service offerings by leveraging EditShare, but we didn’t have a model on which to base our thoughts. So, after some strategic thinking about what would work for the client – not only today, but also years down the road – we developed a three-pronged approach to begin the asset management process. First, we created a unique taxonomy for all of their footage. Secondly, we defined protocols for asset intake, processing and retrieval. And finally, we brought forward into the new system 13 years of archived footage. It took a patient business mind to see the essential benefits for embarking on this type of offering for both our client and Mind Over Media, but our CEO, Cecil Foster, provided that insight. And now, this solution will allow us to open the door for similar opportunities with existing and future clients.”

Wadding concludes, “Beyond that, the EditShare solution brought it all together. I have to say that EditShare’s support is awesome. To be able to call them and have them remotely access our system and provide help when required is such a comfort. But to have the total solution from just one vendor and at a price point that could not be matched is truly outstanding.”