MESA Members Go Remote, Offer Free Product Access in Response to COVID-19

With the continued spread of the coronavirus, members of the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) have responded with free offerings of their top products, moves to facilitate remote working for both their customers and employees, and offered business continuity plans to help weather the COVID-19 storm.

Veritone March 18 shared that it will extend free access to its top applications — Veritone Essentials, Attribute and Digital Media Hub — for 60 days, to help media and entertainment customers maintain business continuity. The cloud-based solutions an be accessed by staff from any home office.

“The coronavirus (COVID-19) has adversely impacted many communities and businesses across the globe. In an effort to stem further spread of the disease, and in consideration of the health and well-being of employees and their families, growing numbers of organizations have asked their employees to work remotely,” the company said.

Adobe and Akamai are also opening up access to their services and products, to help ease the burden of the remote reality that’s come about.

Through May 31, Adobe is offering free access to its Creative Cloud tools to both higher education and K-12 institutional customers worldwide, as well as free 90-day access to Adobe Connect, the company’s web conferencing solution, through July 1, for any organization that asks.

“As our education customers work to ensure both safety and learning continuity in their communities, it is our goal to help them with the tools they need to move through these uncertain times,” Adobe said. “Our commitment to do so in a seamless way continues to be unwavering.”

Akamai, meanwhile — which has seen web traffic double during the spread of COVID-19 — offering a Business Continuity Assistance Program that includes complimentary 60-day usage of its Enterprise Application Access solution. The edge-based, cloud-based service serves as an alternative to legacy access solutions, and is designed to be deployed quickly and scale for remote workers.

“Many organizations are experiencing a significant challenge, facing a sudden increase in remote users, because traditional remote access solutions were largely scoped with the expectation of only a limited number of people, across a global workforce, working off-site at any one time,” Akamai said. “This is in sharp contrast to today’s reality, which for many companies requires being prepared to immediately enable large employee populations to work remotely and effectively.”

Anthony Miles, CEO and co-founder of digital content protection solutions firm Fortium Technologies, announced that his company would be making its MediaSeal SecurePlayer and SecureViewer software free for the next 30 days, while IBM Security is making a host of remote-work security solutions available free of charge, including Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) through MaaS360, SSO and MFA through Cloud Identity, and end-user web-based threat defense through Quad9. “… Security can be ramped up to address the following issues: an influx of new device connections, a flurry of requests for remote access to sensitive information, and the looming threat of phishing and other web-based attacks as users hit rogue sites,” IBM Security said in a blog post.

Salesforce has announced it’s donating to COVID-19 research, will continue to pay hourly workers employed by vendors, and is encouraging all of its employees around the world to work from home, with office closures in North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) through at least April 15.

“… Even as we deal with this pandemic, our 50,000-person team at Salesforce remains laser-focused on your success,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff wrote in a blog post. “While all our businesses are in uncharted territory, Salesforce was built to handle moments like this, and our relentless commitment to your success is stronger than ever. Our company was founded on core values — trust, customer success, innovation, and equality — and our values are unwavering and continue to guide everything we do.”

Convergent Risks shared March 17 that it will offer further support and advice for business continuity during the pandemic for the media and entertainment supply chain, with additional information on secure home working, remote security assessments and assumed breach testing.

“The value and importance of how to assess the immediate and future risks to content at various stages of production within the supply chain such as mapping where content resides at all times and how it is protected in the context of changes to the workflow is key.” said Convergent CEO Chris Johnson. “Implementing risk-based assessment procedures to mitigate risk and ensure that business objectives, are met, while keeping safe, is paramount at this time.”

Deluxe announced earlier in the month it suspended all non-essential business travel for its workforce, and had put protocols in place for all employees returning from personal travel to impacted areas. That’s in addition to opening up remote work options wherever operationally possible for its employees.

ZOO Digital shared it’s proceeding with a work-from-home program across all locations to ensure business continuity for customers, employees and partners, in both Los Angeles and the U.K, with dubbing and translator work both being facilitated in the cloud.

“For post and QC functions that require office working, we will adopt an approach that enables our employees to work from the office while maintaining a social distance,” the company announced. “This will include staggered working patterns, split working teams and greater than one meter separation in our production facilities. These measures will enable us to continue all office-based functions without disruption.”

Iyuno Media Group provided a coronavirus update that noted the closure of its of Iyuno Italy, Iyuno Hilversum (Holland), and Iyuno Philippines offices, with more expected to be impacted. Operations such as subtitling are being run virtually and the company’s cloud-based project management platform, MSX, permits teams to continue to work remotely.

“Iyuno Media Group continues to monitor this situation daily and prioritize your localization and business needs while keeping our employees and freelance talent safe,” the company said. “Our large team of staff is working around the clock globally to monitor the current and ever-changing conditions. We are continuously collecting data to allow for timely and decisive actions.”

SAP announced it established a Global Pandemic Task force — working with local crisis teams and health authorities — to coordinate efforts around the COVID-19, and to provide guidance to SAP staff. SAP’s business, support and cloud delivery teams have all developed business continuity plans, and a majority of company teams are working remotely.

“We realize these are uncertain times as the world navigates this pandemic,” Steve Shute, COO of SAP Customer Success, wrote. “SAP is fully committed to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our employees. This is our top priority in order to maintain the business continuity needed to provide the support and service our more than 440,000 customers rely on from SAP.”

IT firm Softtek has been providing regular updates on its COVID-19 Action Plan — including having most employees working remotely — and localization provider VSI has begun recording remotely with numerous clients, and is also offering regular updates to its customers.

Digital solutions agency Diamond shared in an email that its occasional Diamond and CTO Mixers would resurface as digital experiences down the line. And in a blog post, Box shared its plan in place to ensure delivery of “security, uptime, resiliency, and availability” for its customers.

“We have long recognized the potential risks associated with service interruptions due to adverse events, such as an earthquake, power outage or a public health crisis like COVID-19, affecting our strategic, operational, stakeholder and customer obligations,” the company said. “This is why we have had a Business Continuity program in place to provide the policies and plans necessary for protecting Box’s operations and critical business functions.”

If your company has COVID-19 news to share, contact Chris Tribbey at [email protected]