How Aframe helped UNICEF UK
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was founded in 1946 to help children in the aftermath of World War II. Now operating in more than 190 countries, it has saved more children than any other humanitarian organization. UNICEF advocates for the protection of children’s rights and provides services to help meet their basic needs.
UNICEF is not funded by the UN. Instead, it relies on voluntary donations to fund its work for children worldwide. Unicef UK raises funds for these programmes through donations, the sale of gifts, partnerships with companies and special events such as Soccer Aid.
Unicef UK creates and manages a wide variety of video footage including promotional content and corporate films. The videos are designed to educate as well as deliver powerful messages in aid of supporting fundraising campaigns.
A typical video project will include multiple formats, high volumes of data and multiple project stakeholders working remotely in various different locations. Pretty much all of these people need to see the content, and many need to access it locally. This leads to the same manual processes being carried out time and time again – whether that’s FTP’ing a file to somebody, or copying data to drives and having it couriered to another location. These manual actions eat up time that could be put to better use elsewhere, so a vendor that could unify their workflow for all partners and freelancers was essential.
When storing video Unicef UK relied on multiple external hard drives and RAID drives which meant there was no way to collaborate or share footage remotely. Adding further complexity - storage on these drives was at full capacity. To future proof content from any failure or corruption, Unicef UK looked to secure cloud storage alternatives.
By collapsing the process of delivering files to multiple locations into one simple drag and drop action, Aframe offered Unicef UK the ability to streamline their workflow, allowing them to focus on the quality of the end product.
The team began by ingesting clips into Aframe's secure cloud storage facility through Aframe’s automated UDP uploader - the team were able to centralize their video assets on a secure workspace that enabled visibility of the media for all of the international stakeholders - no dedicated hardware was required.
Ian Williamson, ICT Director at Unicef UK, commented, “Before we engaged Aframe, if we wanted to innovate or embrace new technologies we would have to replace the equipment we already had in place. Now we can innovate with Aframe and embrace the new functionality as and when it is rolled out. The cloud makes this so much easier for us.”
This isn’t just point-to-point media movement, though. All files are stored and made available within an online content library - so if another project stakeholder needed to access the files at UNICEF, they could do so independently by browsing the content online and pulling down the clips they needed as required.
All video metadata is included at ingest and is carried with the footage throughout the Aframe lifecycle and into editing, with the ability to add frame-accurate metadata to the timeline within Aframe’s web interface. This makes all of the footage discoverable and streamlines the editing process by displaying the team’s feedback as markers in the editing system.
Benefiting from Aframe’s scalable storage plan, Unicef UK didn’t have to worry about capacity after ingest had finished as Aframe is designed to scale up as much as you need – all automatically backed up in two separate locations ensuring maximum security. By overhauling the traditional complex world of sending and storing large creative files Unicef UK saved capital on costly physical backups and storage media.
“The use of Aframe has provided us with the ability to work more collaboratively with our external freelancers and video teams, as well as providing a lot more visibility for our internal teams. It has allowed us to remove the reliance we had on RAID drives and instead use the cloud to effectively store the footage that we need,” continued Ian.
Aframe’s intuitive functionality assisted Unicef UK to easily manage external contributors through dedicated permissions inside a project with a unique set of credentials. Freelancers are given upload only rights, while external agencies are restricted only to the content they require. This is all managed by a couple of administrators at Unicef UK - ensuring they had complete control over their IP.
The whole team were able to gain access to the footage far quicker than before resulting in a faster and less-stressful video project. The time savings this delivered enabled the team to focus on delivering creative, engaging content.
“Collaboration is really important within the team and for me that is the main benefit of using Aframe. The platform is making our processes more efficient, which will save time and money; but it’s also about giving us more time to produce interesting, innovative content that will support our fundraising and campaigning efforts,” continued Ian.