Executive Spotlight: A Talk with Paramount’s Anthony Guarino

Welcome to the second week of ETC’s Executive Spotlight series, in which we interview execs from our member companies about how they are adapting business operations during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Today we have Anthony Guarino, EVP of Worldwide Technical Operations at Paramount Pictures, who explained that his studio had the necessary infrastructure and processes in place to smoothly transition their global archive, mastering and content distribution operations when social distancing went into effect. From the start of the safer-at-home orders, Paramount’s Tech Ops team has effectively worked from home since most of their operating processes utilize software systems that are web enabled.

“Our archive is now digitized so we can remotely manage workflows from ingest to distribution fairly well,” said Guarino. He reported that even with the increased volume and accelerated timing of distribution to their digital platform partners, they are getting their content deliveries out the door up to spec and on time.

His globally distributed team is successfully using video conference technology to stay connected. In fact, Guarino has found that the disruption to their normal work practices and the increased use of the virtual conference room resources has actually led to more communication among the people on his Tech Ops team.

Shortly after moving to the work-from-home environment, they immediately began testing and making small improvements to the workflow. For example, they found that setting up dual monitor environments in their operators’ homes has helped avoid productivity dips. “We are closely tracking operating metrics to monitor the productivity of our operations in a remote environment,” he said.

We asked Guarino what he thought will be the positive long-term effects of the changes his organization has undergone. In other words, what will be the “wins” coming out of this COVID-19 experience?

“One of the most interesting outcomes is that it has tested the work-from-home capabilities,” he said. “We are considering a form of a hybrid work from home with regular office check-ins going forward.” They have already begun working on implementing a policy around this before everyone returns to the office en masse.