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Screen Subtitling Systems – Sasquatch SaaS Captioning System Case Study

Screen Systems’ products are in use 24×7 around the world, producing and transmitting a significant majority of the world’s broadcast TV subtitles.

Screen Systems works with broadcast networks, producers and service companies around the world, providing them with world-class subtitling and value-add information services across multiple devices and platforms.

IJYI and Screen Systems work collaboratively to create an innovative automatic captioning app for social media

The Project

Having worked in the subtitling and information services market since 1976, Screen Systems has evolved with this ever-changing market. The last 10 years have seen huge changes, not only in the technology used, but in how content is consumed and the needs of online publishers.

As more and more content is being consumed via video on social media and YouTube, Screen Systems was seeing an increased demand for subtitling services for smaller organisations, vloggers, companies and individuals, who are producing content, not for television or film, but for an online audience.

The Sasquatch project was born out of the need to provide these online publishers with a high quality subtitling platform.

The Process

Screen Systems and IJYI employed Agile processes, working collaboratively from requirement gathering through to build, test and deployment. IJYI took time to fully understand Screen Systems’ requirements and objectives for the project.

Screen Systems was keen to move from more traditional software development practices to an Iterative Agile Process. The Sasquatch project was to be used as a showcase to trial Agile methods and to test how it would work for Screen Systems across the business.

The Product Owner from Screen Systems worked incredibly closely with IJYI, not only in formal stand-up meetings, but also directly with the team on a daily basis. This took the form of regular calls and face-to-face meetings with the IJYI Business Analyst and Project Manager, to continually gather requirements and check progress. In addition, the Product Owner spent time in IJYI’s offices, sitting with the developers as they worked on the code. Regular demos were carried out to ensure that Screen Systems had full control over the process and could amend priorities and adapt requirements as necessary.

“Working with IJYI has been an exhilarating and enlightening journey. The Sasquatch project has clearly demonstrated the power of working within an agile process supported by the enthusiastic and effective team at IJYI. Using an agile management strategy allowed us to adjust the requirements as we moved through the project, without losing sight of the core rationale for the end product. As a result we achieved a balanced, branded and complete product in a very short timescale. thanks IJYI!”

John Birch, Strategy and Business Development Manager, Screen Systems

“Having a member of the screen systems software development team working with us was great for two reasons: one, was that the IJYI team was able to provide knowledge transfer into the Screen Systems team to help them better understand the iterative agile process. The second, was that it meant we could bridge the gap into our customers’ systems.”

Alan Jackson, Senior Project Manger, IJYI
Key Project Challenges
Integration with 3rd party systems

This can often be a challenge on projects and can sometimes prove to be a real stumbling block, creating a barrier between the software development team and the client. IJYI and Screen Systems adopted an innovative approach to this challenge. A developer from Screen Systems worked in the IJYI office, with the IJYI development team, for the entirety of the project.

3rd party partner not based in the UK

Part of the project was carried out by a subtitling specialist organisation based in Germany. It was necessary for IJYI to work closely with two developers from this organisation, so in order to overcome the issue of them not being co-located, they were fully integrated into the team by means of technology. IJYI uses Microsoft Teams to chat and share project files, as well as Skype for business to host calls and share screens.

Technologies

The Sasquatch platform was built on leading edge Azure Cloud technologies including Azure Web Functions and Web App Containers running Docker.
It implements the latest .NET Core Framework from Microsoft, providing cross-platform portability and superior performance. This means the platform can be scaled up as the user base grows, with Screen Systems only paying for the precise amount of resource required at any time. The UI is built using Angular JS, Signal R and bootstrap to provide a rich user experience that responds dynamically to run equally well across desktop, tablet and mobile devices.