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How the Pivot to Remote Work Changed Corporate Communications

Learn more about enterprise streaming at Streaming Media East 2022.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Andy Howard: Melissa, I know that at Deloitte, at one point, everybody went remote. How did you guys pivot very quickly to be able to enable that for you and keep communications--which you obviously needed--going at Deloitte?

Melissa Dale: That's a really good question. So we basically flipped the firm to fully remote--both US and globally--in 48 hours. And during a time when information was spread all over the place, all over the internet, the firm needed to have a very solid, secure way of delivering its messages to very large audiences. But a bigger piece of that was how we were going to get our responses back from people that were watching while some of these messages needed to be one-to-many. We needed to a way of downsizing that into bite-sized collaborative conversations. So, using a number of platforms that were readily available to us, we jumped in some of those bandwagons to say, "Okay, let's roll this technology out firm-wide, and let's get these messages out." Utilizing tools like Zoom and Teams, taking webcams essentially and turning them into our video intake and pushing those through our larger platforms, which is what a lot of people were doing.

But something that we would've frowned upon six months before that--"My God using your webcam, we can't do that." But there was, there was no option, and we essentially turned CEOs all over the US and all over the world, we turned their home offices into small production studios and used that as our method to get the messages out as quickly as possible. And it was bumpy. We were talking during our pre-call about having to tell CEOs, "I need your kid to stop streaming right now because I need every ounce of bandwidth." You have ISPs all over the country who were needing to figure this out as well. And what we learned is that we had to release a lot of control. As we all know in this industry, we want to control every single possible variable we can--light, sound, any sort of interaction. And we had to lose all of that, yet be held to the same standards that we had previously of rock-solid, rockstar production value. And so it was a tough couple of months, but my team did an incredible job of learning from each of those hiccups and leveraging our partners, our partnerships with vendors such as NewTek to get on board, what we needed to make this experience as consistent as possible. Hopefully that answered your question.

Andy Howard: No, that's great. And sometimes you have dogs going crazy in the background too, so you have to deal with that.

Chris Burgos: Andy, that's a good point, though. I think one of the things that we kind of took away on all of our respective positions is the environment also humanized a lot of this stuff. In a production environment, we aim for this sort of ultra-high standard of near-perfection and precision timing and clocking all this stuff. But this is a human endeavor. There are people at home, they have kids, they have parents, they're taking care of stuff. We have pets. I'm in an apartment. Sometimes, my neighbor's having a bad day and I gotta give a demo still. But I think, if anything, this has humanized a lot of these productions in a way that maybe we were afraid to do for a while--"We have to be video professionals, and this is the delivery mechanism, and everything has to aim for this ultra-high broadcast marks"

All the points are still there, but the truth is we now have that real democratized video in this way that we never thought would happen because it's just the environment, like Melissa said. It is trying to tell somebody, "Hey, if it would be possible, could your kid stop streaming to Twitch just for the hour?" That's a real human issue. That is something that we didn't consider before, because it wasn't as a necessity. And now we're here. I actually like that because--maybe this is a little high-minded--but the beauty in all this is that, "Hey, everyone's really at home trying to make this happen. and it is a person just like you." I think the video broadcast industry often had that high professional watermark. And now you can say, "Well, I've watched this thing happen. I've watched my boss be on a call. I could be on a call like that. Those fears are lowered significantly, 'cause it's just turning on the webcam, and the professionals and the vaccines will do the rest of the heavy lifting.


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