Stewardship at the forefront

 

By Sean Busby

Odds are you have never heard of the company DigitalGlue or its award-winning video storage creative.space. That’s because DigitalGlue planned to officially launch creative.space at the NAB show in April 2020. 
Well, we all know what happened in March of 2020 — COVID and lockdowns.

So, DigitalGlue began working with specific organizations to gain valuable feedback from creatives who interact with storage on a daily basis. After two years of listening and improving, DigitalGlue officially launched its creative.space platform at NAB 2022, where it won Product of the Year award in the Cloud Computing and Storage category. 

Today, creative.space storage is being used by houses of worship of all sizes, including Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tenn.; Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa; Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan.; and Passion City Church in Atlanta, Ga.

Why this particular platform?

Too often, we see churches “save” money on their video storage only to see it take an unusually large amount of wasted time to produce the content they are tasked with creating. We see churches purchase inexpensive portable drives that are passed along from person to person or using a cloud-based service — like Dropbox or OneDrive — and waiting for content to upload (and then download) to be able to work on it. In doing so, they have just done the opposite of saving money, since wasted time equals unproductive payroll and benefits, which are usually the largest expenses for any church. 

Hence, churches haven’t been the best stewards of some of their church’s critical assets: money, time, and staff productivity.

Seeing the need for a solution that’s budget-friendly, easy to use and secure, DigitalGlue developed creative.space, the first-ever on-premise managed storage as a service. DigitalGlue’s creative.space is not like cloud storage where all of your data is kept in some datacenter — location unknown — leaving you with no real control. Unlike the cloud, a creative.space server lives at the location that is best for your church’s workflow and uses your local area network with the added benefit of still being remotely accessible with the click of a button. Basically, it has all the great aspects of cloud without any of the negatives.

How to save your video team an hour a day

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But to say the solution is “just storage” is like saying your iPhone or Android is “just a phone.” Yes, creative.space is both an operating and file system on a network-attached storage server, but it’s also a very powerful platform designed specifically for creatives with software so intuitive that an IT team isn’t required to manage it. DigitalGlue’s creative.space empowers production teams by providing an efficient, stress-free workflow that saves users at least an hour a day (including IT staff). Multiple creative.space customers have even made the comment that they were saving so much money previously spent on wasted time, it felt like they were getting the storage for free. 

Unfortunately, no, it’s not actually free — but it is a fraction of the cost of storing your data in the cloud.

Take, for instance, the entry-level //ROGUE PRO with around 60TB of usable storage compared to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Over a three-year period, the total cost of ownership for AWS is close to $80,000 ($26,667 a year) whereas the //ROGUE PRO only costs $23,365 ($7,788 a year). Not to mention that the AWS price above doesn’t include the “break-up fee” — the $100 or so price per TB it charges to get your content off of their servers.

If your church has gone through the process of purchasing and setting up shared storage, you know it is not a set-it-and-forget-it experience. They can cost anywhere from tens of thousands to well beyond $100,000 with mandatory annual service agreements that are 10% to 15% of the purchase price and provide the bare minimum customer support. DigitalGlue refers to this as reactive support because the call is made after the system breaks, which usually means the system will be down for hours, if not days or weeks. 

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You remember that $7,788 a year price for the //ROGUE PRO above? It includes an on-site spare hard drive and power supply, along with 24/7 proactive monitoring and support. Advanced monitoring tracks more than 3,000 metrics per second, alerting the DigitalGlue team when the system shows signs that it might be failing soon. Examples include a single bad sector on a hard drive (a drive can lose dozens of sectors before it ever goes bad) or the CPU getting unexpectedly warm off-hours because the air-conditioning system has failed and the data room is going thermal. (True story: our proactive service saved a customer from having their equipment literally melt.) This proactive monitoring has been compared to “having an IT department inside the box.”

Keeping stewardship front-and-center

Church leaders strive, always, to be good stewards of the assets which God has entrusted to them. To this end, it’s worth reiterating that creative.space helps production teams practice the best possible stewardship of their time and the church’s financial resources — and in turn, they’re able to better serve their congregations by producing more content than ever before. 

So, if your church has a production team (even if it’s only a few people), it pays to schedule a demo at www.creative.space and see firsthand how creative.space will save each person on the team at least an hour a day. That hour translates to greater productivity in generating inspiring video
content that drives your ministries’ outreach, volunteerism, weekly giving,
donations, and so much more.


Sean Busby is president of DigitalGlue, a provider of equipment, integration, and software development for the production and distribution of digital video. 

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