When it comes to video production, there’s very little that B-to-B software company CA Technologies doesn’t do. From product demos to town halls, video has become a bedrock of its internal communications strategies. Plus, the company still has everything it has ever shot, and with a library of in-house video content that dates back to the mid-’90s, that amounts to quite an archive.
Tim Kuhn, who runs the production department, confirms that CA Technologies has a long history of making video a priority, and he says the support they’ve received from VCA has been central to their success.
“What makes VCA unique is they’re very agnostic in their approach. They’ll talk to you first, they’ll understand what your situation is, they’ll understand where you want to go with your production workflow needs,” he says. “It’s not just one thing that they’re trying to sell; they’re a trusted advisor who custom-tailors solutions that are going to fit our needs.”
To that end, Kuhn has watched as the various Avid technologies that VCA has specified have evolved over the years, shifting from managing tape to 4K digital files. Even so, Kuhn says the speed of technological change hasn’t impacted the workflow of him or his staff, which includes two full-time employees and a number of freelancers.
“It’s the same kind of look and feel that it used to be a long time ago—I really appreciate that as the technology changed, it’s almost the same in the way it works,” he says. One important thing that has changed though is the space the equipment takes up. “The square footage has been drastically reduced, into a half rack of storage. It’s kind of mind blowing.”
Each of CA Technologies’ six edit suites feature Avid Media Composer, one of the benefits of which has been the ability to provide remote editing, and the company is currently looking at cloud services to enable that. With such a strong focus on the future of cloud computing, CA Technologies is looking at upgrading to the MediaCentral Platform, which provides a unified system for real-time access to all kinds of data, creating much smoother collaboration and project management capabilities.
“That could really help us out with the amount of projects that we have, in terms of organizing everything and critically finding content,” Kuhn says. “Having the right technology in place helps us get our projects completed faster. Which helps the business. With centralized storage and project sharing, you can begin to think about being strategic in terms of how you structure your workflows and collaboration. Having all of your media in one place allows for collaboration efficiencies in terms of both personnel power and machine power.”
Currently, an Avid ISIS system manages all of their shared storage and projects.
“I’ve always had a very good experience with support from Avid, specifically with the ISIS system,” he says. “If I ever had a problem, they were right on top of it. Other than that, it’s been bulletproof. It just works day in, day out. Maybe I restart it once a month, and that’s about as much maintenance as I need.”
Despite that resilience, or perhaps because of it, CA Technologies will look into replacing the ISIS system with Avid’s NEXIS platform, which will provide more streamlined storage management and the ability to upgrade capacity and bandwidth as their needs grow. When the time comes, Kuhn is confident that VCA will find the right solution for their needs.
“The other really cool thing about VCA is they’ll test everything,” he says. “They take all the hardware out for us, put it into an environment at their location, test everything out, and make sure it works even before it gets into my office, which is so great because I can’t afford to have anything go wrong. I need it to go up and running one hundred percent the first time.”
That speed at which his department is able to move from ideation to completed project is vital, and as they move onto new platforms, one thing Kuhn says he is keeping a keen eye on is how artificial intelligence develops in the video space.
“Just think about it,” he says. “Having AI able to aggregate all of your content, pull something together for you, like a first cut or a recap of something that you specify. We think that’s going to be a real game-changer in terms of turnaround times and being able to create content at the fastest pace possible.”
Technology helps streamline the workflow for video editors at CA Technologies, which feeds the success of its marketing, improving the company as a whole, Kuhn explains.
“Having a strong focus on corporate marketing helps create positive brand recognition, and brand recognition helps drive the decision-making process when someone is looking into purchasing,” he says. “A strong in internal corporate marketing presence helps glue together what is being done from a marketing perspective, both internally and externally.”