March of 2020, when much of the world went into quarantine, is a month most of us will not forget. For most businesses there was uncertainty and for many there was chaos as they scrambled to set up remote work environments and adapt quickly to new regulations without clarity on how long the situation would last. Since that time, the M&E industry has gone through immense change, and the disruption that the coronavirus pandemic caused has brought new workflows and, in many cases, accelerated changes that were already happening.
On March 12 — a few days before Signiant itself went remote — CEO Margaret Craig announced that Media Shuttle customers would be able to add unlimited users to their accounts at no extra cost, through the end of May. Remote work had become a necessity across the industry — at least for some period of time — and we were glad that our products played a role in helping with that transition for media and entertainment companies around the world. As Media Shuttle is the preferred tool by the industry to provide fast, secure access to media assets from any type of storage, our offer was very well received and, as a result, we’ve seen a massive surge in usage, beginning in March.
Continuing to provide resources to our customers, Signiant became determined to understand the climate of the industry during this period of upheaval and began talking to many companies and industry professionals to understand their perspective. Through these conversations, we launched Signiant’s Pandemic Series, to record the discussions and share insights and stories with the industry on how others were adapting.
While it often felt as though COVID-19 had put us all in a sort of deep freeze, the ironic reality was that this suspension caused rapid and unpredictable changes that organizations had to be able to adapt to on the fly. Stasis created dynamism, and — as it became less clear how long this would last — we received tremendous insights from those we spoke to, ensuring we could better serve the accumulating needs of a world where currently most work is remote.
As a SaaS business, transitioning to remote working was a relatively smooth process for us and we were able to continue to serve our customers and to innovate without disruption. For our customers, the challenges of transitioning to remote varied, but with every company trying to do more with fewer people together, workflows were changing quickly and Signiant solutions played a critical role in helping keep people and systems connected. We saw a huge surge in cloud adoption and with the return of live sports, we’ve seen a lot of new workflows emerge as broadcasters work to create captivating events with far fewer people on site. Incorporating new camera angles, new graphics and AR capabilities, and expanded use of pre-recorded content to fill the void of no fans in the stands, these events have showcased the innovation and resilience of M&E. It’s an exciting time in the industry and many of the changes being put in place look likely to stick for the long term.
While this has certainly been a challenging time for everyone, Signiant is proud of the role we’re playing to help companies adapt quickly and keep content moving. Although there is still uncertainty about when things might return to normal and what that new normal might be, having the speed and agility to address new challenges as they arise will be critical to success and that’s exactly what Signiant’s SaaS platform provides. Onward!