Enabling Remote Working for Comic Relief
To combat this, Comic Relief IT shipped the video teams edit workstations to the editors’ homes, so they continued to have access to high-performance workstations. However, there was a major problem whereby teams couldn’t collaborate on projects, share media or perform other day to day tasks which required access to their main edit storage and archive.
Comic Relief swiftly engaged Support Partners to provide options to address these issues, with the key aim of enabling teams to access their storage remotely and securely share and transfer assets. There was a clear deadline for the project – the Comic Relief team needed to collaborate and create content for the one-off fundraising event ‘The Big Night In’, scheduled for Thursday April 23rd 2020.
At a high level, the solution Support Partners proposed consisted of deploying a remote access tool, a synchronisation engine and the implementation of process automation.
Firstly, a remote access tool was configured to allow designated members of the Comic Relief team to remotely and securely access their on-premise infrastructure, allowing them to manage media and retrieve assets from their cloud-based archive. A series of transfer agents were deployed on each user’s workstation and on the edit storage at Comic Relief HQ, creating a bi-directional transfer and sync network between each agent. This meant that folders, projects and assets could be distributed to an individual or to a team.
To keep things manageable for the editors and media managers, the synchronisation both to and from their on-premise HQ was automated. This means that media managers can simply push a project to any number of in-house or freelance editors with a single mouse click. An event-based sync means that any subsequent changes to the shared assets are replicated and pushed out to the other transfer agents, effectively creating a virtual shared storage platform.
To minimise data transfer, the solution was configured so that only asset alterations are synchronised meaning that when a change is made to the timeline (clip length, let’s say) then only the changes to the project file will be transferred rather than re-transferring all assets related to the project. This resulted in near real-time reflection of changes to the projects regardless of home-internet speed.
Once the editors have finished working on a project, the media manager can simply remove user access and move the project back into the main edit volume.
Deborah Lasky, Comic Relief
“We approached Support Partners to help get our editors get up and working remotely as we know from years of working with Support Partners that they would guide us to the right solution, and that they would deliver on time. Given the tight deadline, we have been thoroughly impressed with the solution and service from Support Partners.”
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