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Les Mills International: A global footprint

Divina Paredes | April 23, 2014
The cloud is redefining the concept of a global company like LMI, the largest provider of branded group fitness and training programs.

Online, these all come together to create a profile for the instructor.

Once instructors have passed the assessment, they are affiliated with a club to teach.

Through this portal, they can buy the quarterly release of fitness videos. They can download it or buy a DVD, and back order to build a catalogue. They can also book in the same portal to get further qualifications.

LMI has built an events engine in the cloud that allows us to manage all those training, he says. "It is really important for us that they could, on any device, bring up one page and see all the information they need for the event they are going into," says O'Brien. In the past, they would send the schedules in spreadsheets and via email.

Into the box

LMI is also using another service-based application, Box.com, for the production of its videos.

"We are primarily a production company," he says, referring to the high definition videos LMI films every three months and related marketing material around these.

"The fitness programs are filmed and from a technical point of view that is raw footage of 50 to 100 gigabytes of video in HD to be reviewed."

After filming, footage is turned into two products: A physical DVD and digital product that can be downloaded, he says.

The people who will review the video and marketing materials could be in other countries or are travelling. "So we need the ability for multiple parties to see it."

For this, LMI uses Box.com. "It enables us to keep the business moving forward while we are looking for longer-term solutions," he says.

Before using Box.com, staff accessed the video through the virtual private network. "It was horrible," he says. "If you are opening a network drive or VPN and you are in North America, it takes a long time.

"When we collaborate with third parties it is in Box. We have a petabyte, which is a reasonable amount of space, but we are looking at Azure and Amazon."

He says LMI has instructors across the globe and depending on where they are based, they can get the training videos as DVDs or in some territories, as a service to be downloaded every three months.

By providing it as a service, the instructors can get the latest material, and the company does not have to consume huge amounts of plastic and incur shipping costs.

"Slowly as we have more markets moving to the digital platform, we are reducing the amount of DVDs," says O'Brien, and this ticks another box of LMI's corporate principles.

"My CEO Phillip Mills] is incredibly environmentally conscious," he states, "and we have an environmental policy around all the hardware we buy."

He concludes: "What we have produced over the last three years, we could not have produced three years before that. We do have a legacy platform website that does some of that but not at the level we are doing now, no chance."

 

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