After the pandemic accelerated the migration of workflows, companies, and everything to the cloud, Chief Technology Officers at many organizations had to grapple with new, pressing concerns. Not the least among these were which tools to quickly deploy to mitigate disruptions in day-to-day operations (and the bottom line).
CTOs in sectors such as media and entertainment, for example, had to think on their feet as work was restricted by global lockdowns. All of a sudden, media companies that firmly believed nothing could ever replace on-prem or in-studio localization work were forced to rethink their approach.
Moreover, faced with the plethora of media-loc tools that have flooded the market, and no time for trial and error, CTOs and their organizations had to make quick decisions. It was against this evolving, highly volatile environment that media-loc software developer and provider, OOONA, stepped up its suite of tools to serve the growing demand.
Writing in Deep Focus, the newsletter of the American Translators Association, OOONA Product Manager, Alex Yoffe, highlighted the decision-making dilemma around one aspect of media localization: subtitles.
“While there are plenty of tools to choose from that can provide one with the ability to create subtitles, few offer the full set of functionalities required by seasoned subtitlers,” Yoffe said.
He noted how certain features that subtitlers “have come to love in desktop subtitling editors are not easily found in most online ones,” such as sophisticated QA and automated fixes, a lot of customization, conversion to any of the myriad file formats used in the subtitling industry, and so on.
These are just a few of the many requirements OOONA has had to meet in the course of serving thousands of users in more than 100 countries. Crucially, OOONA has also made it a mission to deploy such tools through a system that is mostly automated, completely web-based, 100% secure, fully certified, always available, and highly scalable.
The Choice of Amazon Web Services
To better serve its growing, demanding client base, OOONA successfully addressed that other extremely critical CTO concern: security.
Yoffe mentioned in the same newsletter what a security checklist might look like for media content owners looking to onboard potential vendors. The bare minimum would include “multi-factor authentication, video watermarking, cyber security certifications, continuous pen-testing, and 24/7/365 technical support.”
In light of such requirements and following a rigorous evaluation process, OOONA decided to partner with Amazon Web Services (AWS) a few years ago. According to Wayne Garb, CEO and Co-founder of OOONA, “We wanted our growing user base to be confident of the security and stability of our system, so we decided to go with AWS. This was a strategic decision for us, as scalability was a must if we were to execute on our growth strategy.”
Security Interwoven With Scalability
To achieve a high level of scalability, the OOONA platform leverages AWS Auto Scaling groups, which ensure service interruptions are avoided for OOONA clients during peaks of use and for instant disaster recovery purposes in case of a failure, with servers located in different availability zones. In the event of a physical disaster in one zone, the other zones stay active, providing the OOONA system with both scalability and stability.
Moreover, each application deployed by OOONA uses a separate Elastic Load Balancer on a high-performance server, as well as Amazon CloudFront as a proxy to provide faster response times all over the world.
As an added security / stability layer, OOONA developed a proprietary health-checking mechanism and applied it to each server, reducing the chances of downtime to a minimum.
The entire OOONA infrastructure is managed using Terraform, which allows the system to quickly adjust to changing environments while avoiding issues caused by human error.
Client data on the OOONA platform is backed up continuously; and the operational health of the production environment is monitored by a highly responsive 24×7 support team, which can help OOONA clients resolve any issues as they arise.
Additionally, the entire OOONA infrastructure undergoes periodic security audits, qualitative analysis, and database admin reviews.
As Adam Tal, Software Architect at OOONA, pointed out, “Security can no longer be something you check at the end of the process, it is the core foundation upon which the system is built, checked, and rechecked at every step and turn during the development process.”
A 100% Smooth Experience
In a recent InBroadcast interview, CEO Garb explained, “Security is indispensable for growth, as no major content owner will trust or be willing to work with vendors that do not satisfy this condition. So we spent an entire year carrying out multiple penetration tests, we got our ISO 27001 certification and we’ve recently passed a number of security audits from major streaming platforms too.”
Garb disclosed in the same interview that OOONA works with Automat-IT, an AWS partner, to provide 24/7/365 support. This ensures a smooth user experience 100% of the time — and, Garb quipped, “It helps me sleep better at night.”
OOONA is trusted by media localization providers such as, to name a few, the new Stockholm-based subtitling and dubbing company of serial media entrepreneur Björn Lifvergren, LinQ Media Group; Minneapolis-headquartered captioning, localization, and transcription provider Captionmax; and Netflix Preferred Fulfillment Partner, iTunes Preferred Plus encoding house, and Google Play technical partner, Visual Data Media Services, based in Burbank, California.
On why they chose OOONA, Simon Constable, SVP of Global Language Services at Visual Data Media Services, explained: “We set out to find a secure cloud-based toolset that we could integrate with our existing production management system. OOONA ticked all the boxes we needed for our captioning, scripting, and subtitling workflows — and we have never regretted our decision to partner with them.
“When we need security updates or product updates, the development team moves quickly, which is crucial for success in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of media and entertainment. Our team loves working with OOONA.”