Cimaglia Leads with New Avid ISIS 5000 Storage

Small, progressive enterprises are often the first to embrace the most useful and interesting innovations, and that's exactly the way Chicago-based Cimaglia Productions has assumed a leading position in the video production industry. Its recent purchase of an Avid ISIS 5000 sent this full-service, national production company to the head of the class, providing it with many of the high-end, highly-economical media storage capabilities usually reserved for major network broadcasters.

Always Ahead of the Curve

Positioned as a first-to-market trendsetter with some of the most advanced technology in the video production arena, Matthew Cimaglia, President and CEO, says the company does it "because our clients rely on us to always be ahead of the curve."

Two years ago, the company purchased an Avid Unity LANshare system and multiple Avid Media Composer editors to service high-profile clients like Allstate and OptionsXpress. The need for greater storage capacity subsequently led them to the ISIS 5000 purchase.

Unwavering Quality Commitment

An unwavering proponent of quality, Matthew has always been drawn to Avid solutions because of the standards the company maintains, and the acquisition of the ISIS 5000 was no exception. Two primary factors drove his decision to make the move.

First was storage space. The LANshare limited Cimaglia to 4TB, but the company was already averaging almost 4TB a month. Moving to the ISIS 5000 ballooned that number to 24TB. The second was legacy. LANshare was a maturing product and Cimaglia did not want to push the envelope on the potential need for replacement or repair.

Fulfilling their mandate to stay ahead of, rather than behind, the curve, the company has the storage capacity needed for both present and future projects. "As a fast-growing company," explains Matthew, "we need to be able to work on multiple projects simultaneously. We might have an (NBC) Dateline on the ISIS which takes up 2TB, then Allstate coming in with a major campaign that takes up another 2TB. We can drive them both without worrying whether the system is going to hold up."

Accommodating Client Diversity

Currently, Cimaglia works with a diversity of clients, ranging from larger staples such as Allstate, OptionsXpress, NBC Nightly News, and the Today Show to smaller organizations, such as charities, small businesses, and educational organizations like Wisconsin Lutheran College LEAD (Leadership Enhancing Accelerated Degree).

While Cimaglia has grown rapidly from 2 Media Composers and a LANshare to 5 Media Composer systems and an ISIS 5000, Matthew never wants to lose what he terms the personal touch. "Even though some of who we work with may be huge corporate clients," he declares, "I still know basically when their kids' birthdays are and what's going on in their personal lives."

Acknowledging that he would like to take on one or two more large enterprises, Matthew does not want the company to become unmanageable, and the new ISIS 5000 is helping to serve that purpose. Providing a significant increment in collaboration and flexibility, the new system enables contributors to expand their capabilities and play a wider range of roles in creating high-quality content quickly and efficiently. Producers, for instance, can go directly into the system to do basic layout work, then have an editor take over that project from there.

"I also think the way the ISIS web interface was created is brilliant," Matthew enthuses. "The design of it is really slick and it's all right in front of you. Then, there's the ability to monitor the bandwidth of what the system is using without even having to log into any sort of web GUI. I really applaud Avid on that, too."

What's Next

"Down the line," Matthew says, "I would like to see something like an Avid Interplay on the ISIS 5000 level, something for a smaller business where producers can just log or view clips that are on the ISIS."

He feels confident about keeping his position at the head of the curve with Avid. Even when there are challenges, Matthew feels Avid is always there to support him and his company.

"One of the greatest things Avid has going for it" he explains, "is the fact that you can call up anybody within Avid service and say, 'hey, this is my problem' and they'll know from start to finish where the problem might have occurred. It's a big part of what made me feel comfortable jumping in feet first with the new ISIS product."