Avid Readies for a Brave New World

Creative COW by Kirk Arnold

When it comes to business strategy, you have to have a lot of insight and a little bit of luck. When Gary [Greenfield, CEO/president] and I arrived at Avid four years ago, we immersed ourselves in where our customers' businesses were going and how we could support them. It became pretty clear early on in our evaluations that the need to support an open system was a fundamental requirement. For our customers, it was a brave new world. The workflows were becoming increasingly complex and the requirements to have flexibility and agility to keep up with the rapidly changing business models demanded that we open up our system so our customers could adapt to technology changes and new distribution models.

This led us to realize that it wasn't just about opening up to other types of technologies and platforms. We also had to pull apart hardware and software to allow for different types of system configurations. We believe strongly in integrated workflows and the ability to optimize Avid's point-to-point connections in an open ecosystem. We'll always work to optimize the tightest integration between Avid's systems because that optimization creates efficiency and ease of use, but we also want to be open to customers' preferences.

With regard to the recent move of editors from Apple Final Cut Pro to Avid Media Composer, the reality is that Apple is a great partner of ours and we have a very strong commitment to support the Mac client as a primary client. We respect Apple as a competitor and partner. Our conversations with customers are not negatively infused; many of them remain committed to Apple workstations, phones and so on and we will continue to work closely with Apple on many fronts. Apple's recent changes to Final Cut Pro gave us a great opportunity to re-engage customers who perhaps hadn't had a chance to engage with us in the recent past. Customers recognized our clear commitment to the professional.

[Reality TV production company] Bunim/Murray is a wonderful example. They were ready to make a move and upgrade their platform and that coincided with an opportunity to re-engage with them. The fact that we're now an open platform that embraces the flexibility they want made a difference. A lot of these customers have opted to take advantage of that, and we're excited about that. But we're just as excited to engage these professionals about where we're headed. What's new is that they're really listening. Some aren't ready; they're happy where they are. They may have made a big investment and are amortizing it. Some are experimenting with part of the workflow. read more...

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