EMC² Corporation Takes Marketing Communications to a New High with In-House TV Production
EMC TV and EMC Educational Services are the respective television arms of the Marketing and Training departments at EMC Corporation. To be successful, they must communicate consistently and effectively with tens of thousands of customers, partners and employees in remote locations around the world. For EMC, streaming live and recorded multi-camera video content over the Internet has proven to be by far the most powerful, efficient and cost-effective medium to inform, engage and motivate key audiences. To keep audiences tuned in, the challenge for EMC TV and Educational Services is to produce consistently high quality, network TV-style content without a typical TV studio crew or budget––in a short amount of time.
Headquartered in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, EMC enables businesses of any size to store, manage, protect, and analyze mission-critical data. EMC serves a wide variety of markets with technologies that are dynamic and constantly evolving. Keeping customers, partners and more than 60,000 employees worldwide up to speed and informed in a rapidly changing environment is essential to business success.
EMC TV produces everything from customer testimonial and executive talking head videos, up to multi-location, multi-crew live event productions. They have grown from two to more than a dozen employees with two teams that stream live corporate events, product launches, user conferences and more. At the hub of EMC TV today are TriCaster™ multi-camera video production systems from NewTek™ that are used at company locations in Massachusetts, California, Ireland, and on the road.
“TriCaster really gives you broadcast television results without costing hundreds of thousands of dollars that you’d normally have to spend,” said David Ross, senior manager and original producer at EMC TV. “The other important thing about TriCaster is that we can achieve TV quality with a very limited crew.”
EMC Educational Services provides technical and product training to thousands of employees, partners and customers. A large segment of this audience is Sales related where meeting time-to-market goals and keeping everyone on message in a highly fluid environment is the biggest challenge. The team may have a few weeks from start to finish on a large project. Getting it right and looking good in a short amount of time is essential.
“From the first time we saw the TriCaster demonstration, it took everything we did to a new level,” said Shannon Tower, video team leader of EMC Educational Services. “We’ve doubled our volume over the last two years and we’re being asked to produce more higher quality content faster than ever.”
Video Streaming Saves Big Money and Generates Revenue for EMC EMC once hosted a week-long annual sales kickoff event in Las Vegas flying in personnel from around the world. It was an expensive undertaking costing in excess of ten million dollars yet produced the tangible benefit of everyone hearing the same message at the same time that EMC didn’t want to lose. A decision was made to host local events where staff could travel to a location within driving distance, network with colleagues and receive the same simultaneous message from headquarters via live stream that they would normally hear in an expensive Las Vegas ballroom. Plus everyone could go home to their families at night. By live streaming, EMC maintains the ability to deliver a single, unified message in front of a large, key audience and save seventy-five percent of the cost of gathering everyone in the same location––savings that go straight to the bottom line.
EMC continues to produce a single, traditional, on-location product launch every year but they now also live stream this marquee event. What they quickly discovered is that new orders come in with no other marketing effort than the live stream influencing customers––before the event is even finished.
In addition to its annual “mega-launch,” EMC stages several second and third tier product launches every year. Traditionally these were conducted in a major city where site rental and production costs were around $100,000 per second tier event. EMC TV now regularly streams product launches over the Internet from its Southborough, MA studio with no hard costs realized. They typically shoot “live to (hard) drive,” edit and polish their final presentation, then stream it as part of a broader marketing effort at time of launch. In 2014, EMC TV produced six second tier launch events saving an estimated half million dollars in traditional production costs.
Training Is Fast And Easy One big benefit is how easily staff can be trained to operate a TriCaster. “We were using the system within an hour of taking it out of the box,” said Ross. “What helps increase our productivity is that virtually everyone on our team can run a TriCaster. And it gets a lot of use. It’s really opened up what we can do in house.”
“I think the real value of TriCaster is having everything I need for our productions in one unit, that I can operate myself,” said Glenn DiTommaso, technical director at EMC TV. “TriCaster is a true ‘studio-in-a-box’ that saves us money by not needing a host of separate machines and not having to pay people to run them. We can operate with a very small crew and still produce a very professional, polished broadcast.”
TriCaster Adds Value And Productivity At the end of the day, TriCaster’s full suite of integrated production tools (computer-generated graphics, production switcher, audio mixer, robotic camera control, virtual sets, etc.) provide cost and time savings they can’t get with other video production and live streaming technology.
“Whether it’s a virtual set show or a product launch or a full-scale remote broadcast, we run with a lean crew,” added Ross. “By having all the tools we need built into one box, TriCaster enables us to produce live programs with virtual sets that look as good on screen as anything you’ll see from a national network. It’s become the centerpiece of everything we do, in terms of video.”
“With TriCaster, having the ability to do a line cut live saves us huge amounts of time, enabling us to schedule more shoots instead of needing that time for post production,” said DiTommaso. “Sometimes the line cut doesn’t always turn out, but with the IsoCorder multiple camera recording in our TriCaster, we can quickly edit in a shot from any of the cameras and move on.”
TriCaster Covers EMC World User Conference In May 2014, EMC’s annual EMC World conference in Las Vegas attracted 12,000 attendees. The team produced 8-10 hours per day of live content over four days using TriCaster with 10 HD cameras. Due to the portability of the system, Ross’ team set up a TriCaster on the show floor complete with a 20x40 control room and multiple stages and broadcast for the entire week. Live TV programming consisted of keynotes, product demos, live executive and customer interviews, breakout sessions and more.
Using TriCaster, the live stream was distributed on screens throughout the convention center and streamed live on the company’s website. EMC also maintains an internal multicast network, so employees around the world can view content from their PC’s and mobile (iOS and Android) platforms.
“We’ve seen a huge evolution from when we started,” said Ross. “Now virtually everyone at EMC understands the role of video and the power it gives us to educate customers, third-party vendors, and employees. To EMC Corporation, the use of video gets more important every day.”
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