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Y Cloud: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Y Cloud?

Y Cloud is the overall ecosystem that delivers optimal solutions to YMCAs by providing a secure, cost-effective, plug-and-play, pay-as-you-go digital platform that focuses on the member experience.

  • Virtual Y: A hosted, Open Y based website, allowing YMCAs to provided gated on demand video, streaming video, and other digital content to their members.
  • Universal mobile app: A universal mobile app that will allow YMCA members from across the movement to access their association's mobile app through a single, universal app available in their device's app store.
  • Association Websites: Utilizing Open Y technologies, Y Cloud may host an association's website leveraging all the offerings currently available in the Open Y platform.
What is currently available within the Y Cloud ecosystem?

The Y Cloud ecosystem is constantly and rapidly evolving.  Currently Y Cloud supports hosting association Virtual Y websites and Association websites.  Virtual Y websites provide gated on demand video, streaming video, and other digital content to their members. Association websites built upon Open Y serve as an association's main website with all the information typically found, such as branch location information, program schedules, and membership pricing.

If you are interested in the Y Cloud hosting your Virtual Y website, please fill out our intake form.

 

Virtual Y: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Virtual Y Platform?

Virtual Y is a digital space to provide content, programming, and resources to your members in a gated, secure area.

  • Available to all YMCAs as a stand alone website.
  • Easily connects to your main website.
  • Access to content is granted for authorized users.
  • Supports Live Streams, On-Demand Video, Virtual Events, and Written Content.
  • YMCAs control their website and content.
  • The Y Cloud team provides the platform and hosting of Virtual Y.
I'm interested in Virtual Y. How do I sign up?

Wonderful!  To start your Y Cloud journey with a Virtual Y website, please fill out the Y Cloud intake form.  This will trigger the work flow to get your association setup with Virtual Y.

Click here to start!

What is the process to setup a Virtual Y site?

The process is simple.  The Y Cloud team will take care all the technical setup, hosting, and support of the site allowing your association to focus on content setup.  The overall setup process from the Y Cloud team's point of view can typically be completed within 5 business days.  Generally speaking the entire process can be completed within a couple of calendar weeks, schedules permitting.  The timeline is ultimately up to what works for your association.

The general process to setup the Virtual Y site with Y Cloud is as follows

  1. The association indicates intent to utilize Y Cloud for their Virtual Y site by filling out the simple intake form found here.
    1. The Y Cloud team gets to work on building out your base site.  This will take no longer than 2 to 3 business days.
    2. The Y Cloud team shares onboarding materials with the association to review.
  2. The association meets with the Y Cloud team to discuss questions they may have, review expectations, and walk through their configured Virtual Y site.
    1. At this time the association is clear to configure their site to their expectation, load content, etc.
    2. The Y Cloud team will then work with the association to finalize the setup of gated content.
  3. Finally, when ready, the Y Cloud team will assist your association to bring your site live for your members.
How Long Does it Take to Setup A Virtual Y Website?

Not long!  The Y Cloud team can turn around a new Virtual Y website in a few business days.  As such, we are able to move as quickly as fits your schedule.

Typically, a new setup will take place over the course of one to two calendar weeks.  During this time the Y Cloud team will perform onboarding meetings to answer any questions you have, build out you association's Virtual Y site, perform a hand-off of the built out website, and work with you to implement one of the gated content options available.

What Virtual Y features & support are provided by Y Cloud?

The Y Cloud team provides the below items as part of the basic offering.

  • Standalone web site hosted in the Y Cloud.  Y Cloud will take care of the hardware, software, infrastructure, etc. 
  • Universal user experience optimized for any device 
  • Ability to use a custom Virtual Y sub-domain to access the site 
  • Ability to create and edit content pages ranging from landing pages, to those supporting the digital content shared with members 
  • Ability to create digital content taxonomy.  Associations may specify levels, categories, and equipment required to fully realize the virtual experience. 
  • Ability to add videos, live streams, links to meetings, and blog content for members to utilize 
  • Ability to track site usage with Google Analytics
  • Maintenance and support for the Virtual Y site 
    • Feature sets will be kept current with base offerings from the Open Y distribution 
    • Security updates will be kept current with base offerings from Open Y and the underlying Drupal platform 
  • Regular and routine backups of the website and database 
  • Training sessions and post-launch support 

Additionally, the Y Cloud team provides the following configurations at no additional cost

  • Assistance configuring gated access including 
    • Uploading member lists for access and optionally requiring member email confirmation 
    • Integration with supported CRMs for member logins.  Current supported Custom Management Systems: Personify and Daxko.  Daxko supports a sign in option or bar code validation. 
  • Setting Google Analytics reporting up inside the Virtual Y site 
  • Configuring one of 3 standard themes: Carnation, Lily, or Rose
  • Configuring one of 5 standard color schemes, if the Lily or Rose theme was selected 
  • Setting up initial landing pages, general branding, and menu items 
  • Creating initial categories and taxonomy for digital content shared with members 

The Y Cloud team is happy to assist with additional items outside the above scope for an additional fee.

What is expected from YMCA associations regarding the Virtual Y website?

The associations are expected to provide the following

  • The images, copy, and content to load and be shared with members. 
  • Licenses and technologies necessary to leverage streaming features or meetings, if desired.  
  • Setup and maintenance of blog content.
  • Creation of on demand videos loaded to a video hosting provider such as Vimeo or YouTube. 
  • A Google Analytics ID for analytic tracking. 
  • Updates to marketing materials, the association website, etc. to link to or embed the Virtual Y site, as necessary. 
Where may I see upcoming features for Virtual Y?

The Virtual Y roadmap, as maintained by the Open Y team, may be viewed here: https://trello.com/b/0mogmd7N/virtual-ymca-product-roadmap

What gated options are available within Virtual Y?

The options available to associations to gate their content is dependent on their Customer Management System.  Currently the following options may be used to gate content within the Virtual Y website.

  • Personify (1 option)
    • Single Sign On: You may require members to log into their account within the Personify CRM system.
  • Daxko (2 options)
    • Single Sign On: You may require members to log into their account within the Daxko CRM system.
      • Note, Daxko API access is required.  Daxko charges an API usage fee.
    • Barcode Validation:You may require members to enter their bar code before accessing the site.  Virtual Y will validate the barcode with Daxko prior to granting access.
  • ReClique (1 option)
    • Single Sign On: You may require members to log into their account within the ReClique CORE CRM system.
  • CSV File Uploads (2 options)
    • CSV Upload without email verification: An association may upload a membership CSV file indicating what members may access the gated content.  Members provide their email address and the Virtual Y site will validate a match before granting access.
    • CSV Upload with email verification: An association may upload a membership CSV file indicating what members may access the gated content.  Members provide their email address and the Virtual Y site will require members access their email and click a link to gain access to the gated content.
Can my YMCA track Virtual Y usage? Will there be a way to capture check-ins and user activity?

Yes!  Virtual Y supports Google Analytics.  Site usage may be recorded and sent to your Google Analytics account.

Virtual Y also captures user activity within the site.  A log is available in the Virtual Y site that allows you to see what content a user views, with timestamps.  This log may be filtered and sorted by user, content type and specific video.  Virtual Y currently does not monitor duration spent on a page.

What platforms may I use to host my content for Virtual Y?

Virtual Y supports the following platforms

  • YouTube: hosted and livestreams
  • Vimeo: hosted and livestream
    • Note, for livestreaming via Vimeo the Premium Level is required.
  • Zoom: livestream
  • Zoom, GoToMeeting and Teams: video conferencing
  • Blogs: Content managed within Virtual Y

*Note: “Works with” means technically functional. Each video provider service, such as YouTube, manages their their own terms of use, which will guide what’s okay and what’s not.

What Video Hosting Platform is Recommended?

There are two providers we recommend: Vimeo or You Tube.

Vimeo>

Vimeo is our top choice as it provides domain-level privacy.  You may setup your account to only allow videos to be streamed from your Virtual Y website.  This ensures your content is protected.

Vimeo has 4 pricing levels with various features available in each.  Any level is compatible with Virtual Y, but please note only the top level supports live streaming.  More information may be viewed on the Vimeo site https://vimeo.com/upgrade

YouTube

YouTube is also a recommended option.  It is free to use, however it is not as secure.  Within YouTube you may set your videos to be unlisted.  This will prevent the videos from being discoverable online.  However, anyone with a direct link to the video may still view it.

How does the Zoom embed feature work with Virtual Y? Does it bring the video feed directly into the site?

Yes.  Zoom embed integration allows for both livestream and virtual meetings to be pulled directly into the Virtual Y site through an iframe.  The Zoom menu header will show when members first login.  For a more seamless experience the individual may change the view to full screen mode to suppress the menu from displaying.

I have questions about livestreaming and music licensing, can you help?

Yes!  The wonderful folks at Open Y have put together a great knowledge base and set of frequently asked questions to help out.  Please see all the great information below.

May YMCA members view other YMCA’s content?

Yes!  A recent release of the Virtual Y platform has added the ability to share content between YMCAs.  Read more about it in this Open Y post.

The Y Cloud team will be pulling this feature into our hosted Virtual Y sites in the coming weeks.

If our association pays dues to Y-USA for music licensing, are we covered for content made available within Virtual Y?

Unfortunately, licensing is not s simple solution.  Currently the licensing offered through Y-USA does not cover distributed or streaming videos such as those that would be used by Virtual Y.

If you have experience in this area and can provide insights, please let us know and we’ll help disseminate the information.  You may email us at [email protected] or fill out the contact form located here.

What Additional Resources Are Available About Open Y?

The Open Y community is robust and full of support, whether it be directly from the Open Y team, the Y Cloud team, or other associations utilizing Open Y technologies.

Open Y Basics

Guides and Documentation

How often is the Virtual Y platform updated?

The Y Cloud team strives to keep the latest and greatest feature set available.  Therefore, we target a platform update to occur approximately every two weeks.

The Y Cloud team will curate features specific to Y Cloud as well as those supported by the Open Y team.

Updates will occur during off hours so as not to disrupt your Virtual Y site and will be communicated to you ahead of time.  You may stay current on happenings within Y Cloud by visiting the announcements page.

What Browsers are Supported with Virtual Y?

Virtual Y supports evergreen, modern browsers such as Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera.

Older versions of Edge (versions from prior to 2019) and Internet Explorer are not supported.

What Image Sizes Should be Used within Virtual Y?

Virtual Y works with many image sizes and generally attempts to display the image as best as possible for its usage.  As such, there is not a true specific image dimension or size requirement within the Virtual Y site.

That being said, not all images work the best depending on the situation.  Therefore please keep the the following in mind:

  • Use high quality images, but try not to exceed 2 MB in size.
  • Landscape images work best.  Attempt to maintain a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio depending on usage.  For example, category thumbnails and header images respectively
  • Please try to center faces or the focal point of the image in the vertical center 

You can read a bit more about guidance here.