- Inc. Technology - http://technology.inc.com -
Tech Talk: Cloud Computing Lifts Acting School
Posted By Elizabeth Wasserman On August 1, 2008 @ 12:00 am In Cloud Computing | No Comments
As one of Hollywood’s premier acting schools, Lesly Kahn & Company has been teaching the art of drama and comedy to stars for a dozen years now. The school’s staff suffered a series of computer problems — servers crashing, application woes, backup problems, etc. — until they moved to cloud computing and migrated their applications to a managed data center, office manager Suzy Henschel tells IncTechnology.com.
Elizabeth Wasserman: What does an acting school do with technology?
Suzy Henschel: We’re big on communication and tracking our actors’ progress. We’re almost scientific about it. We’re really thorough with the note-taking process by our staff on every actor’s progress every week to track their growth. We have 20 different people logging into our system to add notes and levels on a daily basis. There’s also so much scheduling involved in actor coaching all day long and we hold classes day and night. It’s a lot of work scheduling so many people on the computer systems.
Wasserman: What drove you to consider cloud computing?
Henschel: We were always crashed. Our server was always going down. We’re not necessarily the most tech savvy people in the world. We’re all actors and artists. But the computer problems meant we were always in crisis mode. At one point we all had paper notebooks. Our computers were down so much that we were taking notes by hand and then transcribing them later into the computer system. The company was growing so much and we were having so many problems that we needed to move onto a larger firm that could help us grow. For one thing, we wanted a resource that we could go to with all of our issues, which we didn’t have before. Now, Cloudworks is our one-stop for every issue we have. No matter how serious. And accessibility has become a non-issue because we can all log in from anywhere and at any time. If someone is out on a movie set or somebody is at home or it’s 3 a.m. and a teacher wants to type in notes, we can all log in. In the past, people were having to drive in here from the Valley or wherever to post their notes or do their scheduling.
Wasserman: What did you end up doing?
Henschel: We got rid of our servers. Our software applications are now Web-hosted. Our employees can access our applications through a Web interface, which presents to them a virtual desktop. So if I were to launch this in full screen mode, you wouldn’t know that it wasn’t based on the computer. It looks like Windows XP. We still have desktops but we can purchase less expensive ones that don’t need to have as much horsepower. And that day to day maintenance has simply gone away.
Wasserman: What kind of results have you seen?
Henschel: The office is 1,000 times more efficient. The most basic tasks used to be problematic — scheduling, and even our e-mail system. We all used one giant e-mail box. Staff didn’t have their own e-mail addresses before. Now, we all have individual e-mail addresses. We’re saving an enormous amount of time. We’re saving money, too, as far as paying people hourly rates to type in notes into computers that kept crashing. The teachers are happier and the office staff are much happier. With a user name and ID we can all get on the system and we can all be logged in at the same time.
Article printed from Inc. Technology: http://technology.inc.com
URL to article: http://technology.inc.com/2008/08/01/tech-talk-cloud-computing-lifts-acting-school/
Copyright © 2011 Inc Technology. All rights reserved.