Category Archives: Blog
Webinar: What’s new in Studio Suite Xi, this Thursday @ 1pm PDT
Join AlterMedia CEO Joel Stoner as he gives a webinar on the newest features of Studio Suite Xi. Register Here: https://www1.
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April 2, 2014
Burbank, CA – AlterMedia announces Studio Suite Xi, the latest update to its leading studio management software. Xi provides users global access to mission-critical information via web browser and iOS devices.
AlterMedia is showcasing this latest development at NAB in Las Vegas, April 7-10, booth SL7424, and expects to be available for purchase within Q2.
“The release of FileMaker 13 and its WebDirect technology allows us to provide a convenient browser interface to our proven & established workflows,” says AlterMedia CEO Joel Stoner. “We’ve incorporated many additional features into Xi, focusing on ease-of-use and extended functionality to a greater number of devices. With this increased accessibility and great new features, we’re looking at significant growth in second and third quarter sales.”
Studio Suite Xi new feature-set includes:
- Access to view, edit, and create data via web browser.
- Completely rebuilt, faster calendar.
- Vastly improved media asset management, including automatic storage of media assets on a shared server, linked to Projects, accessible from anywhere, etc.
- New light & modern appearance.
- Major enhancements to Production Budgeting & Reporting, especially for AICE and AICP Budget templates.
- New “Project Groups” feature allows cross-grouping of related Projects for budgeting and actualizing purposes. Includes Summary reports for Internal and Client use.
- Includes all AICE & AICP items with Summary Codes, and now corresponding Rates.
- Exports AICE & AICP sheets to Excel.
- Call sheets.
- Ability to edit Project-Event items ‘in-line’ without opening the Edit Event window (ie., edit Event dates, times, status directly from Projects).
- Operators added to Project Event Resources are:
a. Shown in Projects as Resource ( Operator ).
b. Included in Calendar Views under their own row.
c. Included in Personnel Reports.
- Rebuilt QuickLog module makes it easier to quickly add multiple items to multiple Projects.
- Projects contain calculated (based on actual bookings) and human defined Start and End dates, offering flexibility and accuracy.
- Projects contains a “Price Target” field, which allows a calculation showing how close the existing Project line items get to the Target, and what the Target Difference is.
- Project and Task Notifications via email.
- Revised “Also-Books” functionality allows non-Bookable items to be added to Equipment Packages and Collections.
- Faster / easier way to create Rates for Equipment without changing screens, and also a way to create Rates based on the value of the equipment (great for when you are initially entering a bunch of equipment).
- Check-in/out of equipment via barcode on iOS devices.
- Notifications for Equipment Maintenance issues.
- Flexible filtering on Rate screens allows users to apply Rates from different Categories (ie, a Rate from the Category “Shoot Crew” can be applied to a Contact who is in the Category of “People” or “Camera Operators”.
- More Sorting options in Projects allow you to also sort Events by Budget Code, Status, and Price.
- More Filtering options in Projects allow you to filter by Sub-Category and Status.
- Added ability to globally change the Start or End Date of filtered Events in Projects, similar to the “Slide” feature in Projects and the Set Start/End Times.
- “Capture to PDF” in Project Budgets allows users to save a snapshot of a budget at any time. These PDFs are automatically saved on the Attach tab within each Project.
- New “Link Existing Contact” easily stitches together related records in Contacts.
- In Contacts List Tab, the “Variable Field” menus will now retain selection values from session to session, and also includes more options (and also works better for those that imported data from earlier version of SSX).
- Main Menu Dashboard filters by Project.
- Improved Web Glancer Calendar.
- Addition of QuickLog module to Web Glancer.
- Improved Web Request.
- Faster Event “Multiply” picker.
Studio Suite Xi is a powerful, completely customizable business management tool, crafted for the needs of cutting-edge production facilities that consistently produce a high-volume of content on time and on budget. It tracks and manages contacts, budgeting, scheduling, projects, invoicing, library & labels, media assets, equipment & media inventories, communications, maintenance, and more.
Studio Suite Xi integrates with Final Cut, Avid, Pro Tools, QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, MYOB & AccountEdge, Address Book, iCal, Outlook, etc..
Solo, Pro, Network versions available. Internet and iOS access available on Network installs.
To learn more about this update, please contact:
Alex Ballar, Media Relations
3727 W. Magnolia Blvd., #830
Burbank, CA 91505
Office: (818) 955-9550 x105
Fax: (818) 955-9660
An increasing amount of ‘non-media’ businesses are becoming more self-sufficient on the media frontier. First, we saw this trend happen with computers. Companies that had one or two computers would outsource their maintenance and repair jobs to outside contractors, but gradually IT departments started springing up in every business.
Now many of the companies of varying sizes have their own in-house team to produce video content for a variety of purposes. These videos can range from marketing, training, corporate communications, to full on advertising, depending on the company. According to Forest Bronzan at Video Aptitude, “Zappos (an online shoe retailer) is a great example of a company needing tens of thousands of product videos and taking the plunge to fulfill this on their own.”(http://bit.ly/1hbO7zY) And in an article written for the Style section of The Washington Post, Paul Farhi stated, “Dozens of companies, including Boeing, General Electric, Pepsi, American Express and Verizon Wireless, are becoming their own publishers, creating and distributing “content” — articles, videos, photos — that would be right at home in a traditional newspaper, magazine or TV program.” (http://wapo.st/1bMNLPv)
This trend greatly affects the post-production industry and knowing a bit more about it can help those businesses modify their marketing strategy.
- Companies are more media-centric now
If the Internet has taught us anything, it’s that everyone is watching. Any marketing person worth their salt takes advantage of that. All companies need to have a media presence to control the message about them that is bound to be out there.
- Because they can
Video production equipment is cheaper and more people know how to use it, companies can hire folks for a variety of tasks including a little video filming and editing on the side. Some companies have a full-time staff to take care of their production needs and some use their marketing staff. They just don’t need to shop the jobs out anymore.
- Their needs are faster
The Internet and social media have made the production timeline of marketing content much shorter. The cycle of news moves at a much faster rate than in the past, partly due to 24-hour news channels and partly to do with the ever-increasing globalization of the business world. Turn around is quick and being able to shorten production time by doing it themselves just makes sense.
- It’s cheaper
Not only is it cheaper, it’s easier to project how much money they will spend on production because it will just be the salary of their in-house production staff. Even if there is a last minute project, they are paying their production team what they would be paying them anyway, as opposed to paying a high fee for a rush job from a company that specializes in this kind of work. Having someone on staff that can take care of all of your production needs can be cheaper and faster than relying on an outside expert. Sure, the quality may be lower, but then again it may not be.
It’s not all bad news for the independent post-production facilities out there. Some ways to combat this trend are:
- Some independent production companies have actually been acquired by a larger business to become their ‘in house’ production facility. Maybe this is an option for you?
- Consider marketing your services to larger companies specifically as their ‘in-house’ facility, with a retainer style agreement instead of billing by the hour, day, or project. Depending on needs, this could cost them less than developing department their own internally. This would likely require a commitment to be ‘on call’, but also could guarantee a regular income. A definite change in business style, but something to think about!
- Try the above with smaller companies that clearly don’t have the need to have a full time in-house team. It could be as simple as adding to the list of ways you market your company.
- Partner with a complimentary service (if you do VFX, work with a sound mixing facility, etc) and offer packages to your clients to keep a competitive edge.
This trend is certainly affecting companies that offer products and services for video production. “When I started to develop Studio Suite, our leading studio management software for audio/video production facilities 18 years ago, I never imagined our customer-base would eventually grow to include multiple government organizations, airlines, several branches of the military, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, major retailers, top advertising companies, technology companies, major TV networks, schools…” says AlterMedia Founder/CEO Joel Stoner. “The good news is that this trend is contributing to the overall growth of many facets of the media production industry.”
A rising tide floats most boats. The key is: pick a good boat, and row, row, row!
All businesses need to run efficiently and sustain a high level of profitability or they will die. In the ever-changing entertainment industry this is true on so many levels. The competition is stiff and if your studio isn’t up to snuff, you will be quickly replaced by one who is. The following are some tips that are true for all kinds of studios: from post-production, production, music, vfx, to sound mixing, and on, the principal is the same.
Continue reading “Five Tips for Increasing Studio Efficiency and Profitability” »
In conjunction with NAMM, and following up on the release of Studio Suite X 10.1, AlterMedia Inc announces Studio Suite SOLO, the latest version of their leading Studio Management Software. SOLO is aimed at freelancers, home studios, hobbyists & students that desire a full-featured studio management software that they can grow into, at a price they can afford.
Continue reading “January 24, 2014 – Studio Suite X SOLO Now Available!” »
Burbank, CA December 16, 2013[separator top=”40″]
AlterMedia, Inc. announces a significant update to Studio Suite X (v10.1). Extending upon its established workflows for audio/visual post-production management, this release supports the needs of production companies by bringing into focus production budgeting and AICE/AICP templates that role up into actualized summary reporting, then out to invoices.