Making the Right Argument for New Storage and Automation Systems

At Chesapeake Systems, we’re constantly showing editors, producers and other creatives the benefits of investing in infrastructure such as hardware, software, storage, workflow automation systems, or more.

We know that for those in the trenches, the need for this investment can be quite evident.

But how do you go about convincing the higher-ups, the decision-makers, that this is a justified expenditure for the company?

Framing your Argument
Making a financial investment to the tune of anywhere from $50,000 to $750,000 is significant.

Your first inclination might be to show how this new infrastructure will make your life better. But the decision maker (DM) already knows the inherent value of the technology. What they want you to tell them is how this purchase will contribute to the company’s bottom line. Will it save money? Will it help the company generate money? How much money?

The DM wants to know “What is the Return on Investment that will be derived from making this investment?”

For example, if you think your company would benefit from a shared storage system, research the following before approaching the DM:

What are you currently spending on a non-shared system?
How much data are you currently responsible for warehousing?
How much data are you generating daily/quarterly/annually on average?
How quickly is your storage requirement growing?
How much time is each department member spending in post production for a project?
How much time do they spend editing?
How much time is spent searching for uncatalogued files?

Addressing efficiencies is important – but make sure to talk about how working in a much more efficient environment can free up (insert amount) of hours. With this extra time, the current manpower will be able to complete (insert amount) additional projects, resulting in (insert amount) dollars in revenue for the company.

Here’s What Your Argument Doesn’t Look Like
“Having this shared storage system will be so convenient and make my life so much easier. I won’t have to waste time searching for files or waiting for files to open. It will improve my work life tremendously!”

What It Does Look Like
A shared storage system would be an excellent investment for our organization. We’re currently spending (insert appropriate amount) of dollars on a non-shared storage system. We’re paying (insert amount) annually for or team of employees. We estimate between A and Z hours are lost per quarter because we don’t have a shared storage system. We are responsible for warehousing (insert appropriate amount) of data. Every day we’re generating (insert appropriate amount) more data. Three years from now we will likely be generating (insert appropriate amount) of data. A shared storage system can cost anywhere from A to B. Losing any of the data we currently maintain could cause us to lose a customer. It could potentially cost our company anywhere from (insert appropriate range here) dollars. We’ve calculated we’re spending (insert amount) of money per month in searching for files. If we could recover that time, we could take on an extra project per quarter with our current manpower, which could boost our profit margin by (insert amount).

It’s really all about the right approach. You need to show where efficiencies will be gained. You need to illustrate your cost structure to date, and project what future costs may be. Generating metrics is important because it starts to create a frame of reference for how people can look at a complex set of activities and workflows and relate it to the bottom line. Creating a “best case, worst case” scenario is also suggested. Don’t worry if you don’t have exact details and amounts – plug in realistic figures or a range of time, dollars, etc. If you explain that in the best case scenario you could lose 5% of production time searching for files and in the worst case, you lose 25%, it starts to create a narrative for why it makes sense to invest in new infrastructure. It paints a bigger picture perspective for those who don’t understand the day-to-day reality.

Another Solid Approach
In addition to ROI, our friends at AVPreserve have also given us another option for framing an argument for why new infrastructure will benefit your company. Chris Lacinak, principal of the data management consulting and software development firm, likes to focus on the Cost of Inaction (COI). How much will it cost the organization if you don’t change things up?

Here’s what the hypothetical COI might look like
You have 20 desktop hard drives with (insert amount) of data on them. You know that over the span of five years, at a minimum, one of those drives will fail and the content won’t be recoverable. The COI for not backing up your data will vary depending on which drive you lose. Be sure to present a low figure and a high figure for the cost of data recovery, to represent the less costly drive and the most costly. This will begin to illustrate a concrete monetary argument for what your exposure could be and show how investing in a storage system can shield your organization from this exposure.

Still have some questions about crafting your argument?
Chesapeake Systems loves the opportunity to consult with current or potential clients to develop talking points and help structure these conversations and arguments. We’re so confident in the efficiencies to be gained, the savings to be gained, and the additional revenue opportunities, that we’re happy to be a part of any conversation to identify solutions or provide you with the tools you need to present your argument to management.

Visit us at or call us at 410-752-7729.


In an Ever-Changing Environment, Service is Key

Remember when you were a child and your teacher was trying to teach you the concept of infinity? It seemed pretty crazy to think that there was no end to numbers – that you could count forever and there was simply no boundary.

The same can be said, in a way, about our work at Chesapeake Systems. When it comes to helping our clients develop workflows and utilize the latest and most efficient technology to store and access large quantities of media, there really is no end to what you can do and how you can apply the technology.

There is always a new idea to try, a new software in which to invest, a new way to deliver content more efficiently.

And that’s invigorating for our staff at Chesapeake. It’s fun for us to consult with clients and help them get to that next level. We’re constantly challenged and, as a result, we’re constantly helping them grow their return on investment.

As we take this journey with clients, service remains a central focus.

From the very make up of our team (we have a dedicated customer care advocate, for example) to the way we handle project management, customer service is at the core of our approach as we work to help our clients grow and stay relevant.

So what does our approach to service look like?

We loosely base our approach on the well-known ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) standard, which helps align IT services with the needs of a business.

Our approach is typically divided into four areas:
1. The make up of our team
2. How we track incidents
3. Focusing on continuity and change management
4. Providing 24/7 on-call support and Project Management

Having the right team in place is essential. In addition to our customer care advocate who has a background in ITIL and works with dozens of clients, we also have on staff a tenured engineer who handles our internal research and development. By taking this proactive approach, we ensure we can accommodate our clients’ needs so they can stay up and running.

At Chesapeake, we carefully track, monitor and analyze incidents. We immediately jump on the case to ensure service is restored to clients as quickly as possible and they can continue to deliver their content. If we see a repetition of incidents among customers or with the same customer, we’ll assign a higher level parent case in our system to one of our expert-level engineers. Our goal is to analyze the bandaids so, eventually, we never have to make those types of repairs again.

When it comes to continuity and change management, it’s not just a matter of being reactive, but being proactive as well. With our Maintenance and Support Agreement, we conduct onsite proactive walkthroughs to make sure things are going well. Our goal is for our customers to experience no downtime or hiccups. As a service provider, we also conduct remote checks, monitoring logs and performance. By applying our expertise, we can help clients reduce the risk of a disaster.

Whenever we do incorporate a change for clients, we always follow through. We make sure the client understands the change and can adopt it.

The reason we take such a detailed approach to customer service is because every day, we work to become better. We strive to change our clients’ environments for the better.

Interested in working with a trusted partner? Give us a call at 410-752-7729 or visit


The IT Explosion – Why Video and Storage Systems Need to Keep Up

My fascination with video emerged back in my elementary school days. In the mid-to-late 1980s, my neighborhood friend Charlie and I would haul around his family’s klunky old video camera creating our own home movies. I remember there was a mode where you could capture one frame at a time, so we would build 30 frames of video to create our own stop motion animation. I’m not afraid to admit my nerd status back then or to acknowledge that it continued through junior high and college.

Back then or even 15 years ago, I don’t know that those in the industry would have predicted that one day people would have the ability to create high definition video on their cell phone. Or that they could essentially beam that content to anyone who had Internet access. But they did see change coming. They were aware that equipment was becoming more advanced and was going to become more readily available and affordable.

When IT explodes in any industry or the technology itself develops, it inherently leads to a rapid state of change. And challenging though it might be to plan your business around these changes, companies must have the scalability in place to move forward with the times.

So how does a company scale?

Step 1. Be Aware of the Trends.
Use resources like Chesapeake Systems. Listen to episodes of our podcast, The Workflow Show, or sign up for our newsletter. We like to think that as consultants who have been immersed in this industry for many years, we are always staying abreast of these changes. 

Attend industry trade shows, conventions and talks. Our best advice is to make sure you put some time and energy into understanding what’s coming.

So what IS trending?
Camera manufacturers tend to drive a lot of change, with the new technology having downstream ramifications. While it may have taken some 50 years for television to transition from SD to HD, the move from HD to 4K is happening at a much quicker clip. Camera manufacturers began incorporating 4K capable censors into their equipment, which appealed to those in the industry. Shooting with 4K cameras means producing 4K files. There is already talk of 8K and even 16K possibilities. Offering 4 to 16 times the resolution impacts everything from software to storage requirements to performance level. This uptick in requirements all comes at a cost. Throw in the trending 360-degree environment and things become even more complex.

So how do these trends affect your scalability?

This brings us to Step 2.

Step 2. Incorporate Scalability Into How You Build Out Your Technological Infrastructure

There is no simple answer or quick fix for scalability, but when considering your technological infrastructure, you must think beyond your immediate needs. It can basically be guaranteed, most likely no more than five years from now, that external factors enabled by technology are going to force you to reinvest in your infrastructure – in your storage system.

If you’re making an investment in a data storage system for your video, whether it’s shorter- term stuff you’re actively editing and doing post production on, or it’s the longer-term stuff, you need to look at a system that can fulfill your needs five years out. Make sure you have a good sense of its ability to keep up during its lifetime.

The reality is, technology is a beast, and it’s going to do, in my opinion, what it’s going to do. It’s akin to a force of nature. So you have to align yourself with the right resources and partners and evolve around the evolution of technology.

Like what you’re seeing and want to know more? Sign up for our newsletter or connect with us at 410-752-7729.


NAB Show 2016 – What We Saw Trending

NAB Show 2016 – What We Saw Trending

Among the world’s largest annual conventions, The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas is one of the most engaging, stimulating events you can imagine. Exhibit halls are packed with the newest products, and there is tremendous opportunity for productive conversations and networking with vendors and clients from around the world. The 2016 NAB Show was no exception. The event drew an estimated attendance of 103,000 people, featured 1,874 companies and spanned more than a million net square feet of exhibit space.

At Chesapeake Systems, we were excited to be in this sphere with vendors, clients, and even competitors, checking out the newest products and technologies.

We’d like to share a couple of emerging products and trends presented by the video and electronics industry that we think will be of genuine interest to consumers.

#1 Going Virtual

There is a real buzz around virtual reality. But to fully describe just how cool VR headsets really are, we’re going to take you far from the exhibit halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center and instead plunge you 30-100 feet deep beneath the ocean’s surface. Here you’re going to swim with the world’s largest predators (sperm whales) that are the length of a school bus and communicate with a cracking sound that will vibrate your chest.

While real-life free divers are actually making this journey into the depths of the ocean to study the clicking communication of sperm whales, which make the loudest animal sounds on the planet, it is the consumer who can experience “The Click Effect,” thanks to the latest innovations in virtual reality technology.

“There is this 360-degree video, or what I like to call immersive video, where you set a camera down, but really it might be made of six to 12 cameras pointing in different directions,” said Nick Gold, Chief Revenue Officer and Solutions Consultant for Chesapeake Systems. “Because of the angles of the cameras in the 360-degree rig, you can now turn your head in all directions and feel as though you’re in the video as opposed to watching it through a tiny window. That’s huge.”

The New York Times has created a VR app that lets consumers dive underwater to swim with sperm whales, which happen to have the largest brains ever known – about six times the size of the human brain.

“If you slide your iPhone in Google Cardboard viewers, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the flipping ocean with these whales that are supposed to be vicious and predatory and are instead getting along marvelously with these divers,” Gold said. “It just goes so beyond watching it on a screen — it’s difficult to even put into words.”

To learn more about “The Click Effect,” and to try out the New York Times’ app, click here.

#2 Drone On

“The energy around drones has really been building, and this year it hit its stride,” Gold said.  “Camera operators are having to learn to be pilots, and there is a lot taking place in the legal realm that will make it easier for companies to use the devices for commercial purposes.”

Drones are rapidly becoming advanced and more affordable. You can even map out routes on your iPhone where you would like the drone to fly. And, drone manufacturers are also starting to look at the possibilities involving the 360-degree video experience.

“It blows my mind how quickly that has started to mature, and we’re still in the early days of it,” Gold noted. “It’s some amazing stuff.”

We left the NAB Show feeling there are real, exciting and genuinely novel advanced technologies that are really allowing us to do compelling new things. And people are very excited about it. At Chesapeake Systems, we look forward to re-initiating our Podcast, “The Workflow Show,” to talk about these innovations and trends and how we can help our clients stay ahead of the curve. Visit our recently redesigned website, to follow our podcast, our blog and to sign up for our e-newsletter.


What Drives Chesapeake Systems – A New Look Helps Tell the Story

To help showcase and celebrate our new focus, Chesapeake has launched a fresh logo and engaging website.

When you think about the person you were 10-15 years ago, you were probably quite different.

Maybe you moved, changed careers, shed a few pounds, launched a business or started a family. People change, grow and evolve over time.

The same can be said about Chesapeake Systems.

Our small, Baltimore-based company began 26 years ago as a shop that serviced Macintosh computers and we have reinvented ourselves as a national company that designs the infrastructure and intelligent workflow solutions that help major media outlets, musical performers, national figures and NFL teams work more efficiently.

Perhaps it sounds simple, but optimizing a workflow of collaboration between people, technology, media formats, editing and distribution is a complex process that requires a level of systems knowledge that we at Chesapeake Systems are among the select few that have the privilege of claiming.

“We’ve always been good at taking all the pieces and putting them together,” points our president, Mark Dent. “We take the best in class of all these different pieces and make them sing together.”

To help showcase and celebrate our new focus, Chesapeake is launching a fresh logo and engaging website to more accurately tell the story of who we are and what we do.

“It does it more creatively. It does it in a more contemporary way,” our chief technology officer, Jason Paquin, says. “And that’s what our client base expects, because that’s what we do for them. We creatively enable them to do their jobs by developing robust, modern systems and workflows.”

Simple with clean lines and an artistic pop of color, the logo reflects the rich media world that is central to our business. The sleek new site is packed with resources to educate customers about the edge Chesapeake Systems has when it comes to determining our clients’ needs, designing a system that can fulfill those needs and actually deploying the robust infrastructure and technology solutions our customers need to perform their jobs faster and more efficiently.

“Chesapeake Systems looks at what comes in and what needs to go out and how can we enhance, automate, rectify, improve workflow and help our clients become more efficient,” Paquin explains. “We want to design and implement a system that allows our clients to achieve their mission – that’s our goal.”

When it comes to the ever-changing world of software and technology, Chesapeake Systems is forward-thinking and strives to be ahead of the curve.

“Our world changes not by decades or years, it changes on a dime,” Dent says. “So not only are we constantly morphing into the next thing, but we’re taking a bigger step up the ladder each time, with more interesting solutions.”

To stay up-to-date with what’s happening at Chesapeake Systems, follow us at


NAB – The Big Reveal

The NAB Show April 16-21 in Las Vegas is pretty much the Super Bowl of the digital media/broadcasting world. It’s is an opportunity to unveil the latest cutting-edge, out-of-the-box inspiring and innovative technologies and attractions. More than 100,000 media professionals from more than 160 countries are expected to attend the event hosted by the NAB, which is the premier trade association for television and radio broadcasters.

So why does Chesapeake Systems attend and what do we hope to get out of it?

Mark Dent, President

“NAB is like the exclamation point at the end of a sentence,” Dent explains. “Companies stop releasing anything new as NAB approaches, so everyone is waiting to see what’s released. When you walk out onto the floor, the energy is palpable and you can really see how healthy the industry is.”

Jason Paquin, Chief Technology Officer

“It’s our chance to meet with our vendors, our distributors, our partners and resellers and spend some dedicated time with them beyond a phone call,” Paquin says. “We try to walk around and talk to the people behind the products so we can see what their vision is and what they think the true capabilities are from their mindset. We want to know what we can expect to do with these products.”

“It’s also exciting to walk around and look at these products with our clients and see what piques their interest. A lot of times our clients and ourselves don’t think of new ideas until we’re walking around the show floor.”

Nick Gold, Chief Revenue Officer and Solutions Consultant

“People from every corner of the planet converge on Las Vegas for one of its’ biggest annual conventions,” Gold explains. “We’ve developed many close relationships with our vendors who are located all over the world, in places such as Austria and Munich. We might only get to see them once or twice a year and they make a lot of the key technologies we bring into our customers. NAB is a very good place to get face time and bond.”

“It’s fun to be in the midst of an environment like that with our clientele. We can introduce them to vendors and get face time with them and mingle with potential clients. You get to have a lot of fun with the people you work with, which has value in and of itself.”

Want to meet up with us at NAB? Shoot us an email at


Mac for your business?

Top three reasons for Mac in the enterprise.

1. Productivity
2. Productivity
3. Productivity


With 250 new features in OS X Lion—including Multi-Touch® gestures, Auto Save, and full-screen apps—now’s the time to leverage the powerful productivity of Mac® for your team.

Contact us to discuss how your organization can get more done with Mac.

Chesapeake Systems
Apple Value Added Reseller
Baltimore, MD 21211

Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, MacBook, Mac OS, and Multi-Touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.