As workflows undergo radical changes, Avid stepped up to lead the way. Neal Romanek talked to Avid’s VP of sales international, Tom Cordiner (pictured), about the company’s new trajectory.
In 2012, after heading Technicolor’s media, broadcast and telecom sales in Europe and parts of Asia, Tom Cordiner moved to Avid. After a year of running Avid’s sales business in EMEA, he was asked to take on Avid’s Asia business as well and has been head of Avid’s international sales arm since.
What do you think are the major issues facing the industry now? And what impact has the increasing move to cloud and IP production affected Avid?
Media professionals are facing unprecedented challenges, including: the accelerated digitisation of media assets, the ‘consumerisation’ of content and distribution, and the relentless pressure for operational efficiency to structure their operations to take advantage of a ‘content anywhere, any time and on any device’ world. What a lot of companies are looking for is essentially one interconnected process. As an example: broadcasters and content owners want to syndicate content on multiple platforms, as well as create promos and advertising material for that new platform, and at the same time broadcast on linear TV, and make it all one seamless process. If you can put all of those toolsets and all those production distribution capabilities onto one platform – as we are going to be doing and are doing – it really starts to enhance how organisations reach their chosen audiences.
Our new direction takes us beyond the creative part of the business and links together the creative side with the business or monetisation part. One of the things we are seeing is that it’s a key priority for media companies to link these two parts together. Often the business end is starting to drive changes in how the creative process actually works. What we are building with our Avid Everywhere platform is a way to allow these two parts to come together and work in unison.
How did the arrival of Louis Hernandez change things at Avid? Have you seen a real change at Avid since he took over as CEO last year?
Yes, very much so. I had a year at Avid with one CEO structure and now I’ve had a year with Louis. The company is evolving, and Louis has built a very growth-minded team. He’s a very experienced technology and platform software executive and he has brought that attitude and thinking to Avid. It’s now a more focused company. He’s also developed our strategy and our vision for the future, Avid Everywhere and sees Avid as having a strong and shaping role in building an ecosystem that’s going to benefit all of us. It certainly feels very exciting and there’s a lot of energy in the company right now.
This month will be Avid Connect, the inaugural event of the Avid Customer Association. What has the response been to the ACA?
It’s been really positive. In certain markets it’s become almost overwhelming in terms of people wanting to get involved. We have an executive board that governs all of the various councils, with specific councils set up around strategy, around products, around service and delivery, around industry issues and obviously our partner and reseller networks too. We recently announced some key leadership: David Nash is in charge of the whole board of directors and executive chairmen. Richard Friedel, who’s the EVP at Fox Networks, and Dr. Andreas Bereczky of ZDF in Germany are the two vice chairs.
It seems like a real transformation of Avid, like you’re really approaching the industry in a completely new way and moving to become a service provider.
It feels very different, but really it’s an evolution of how the market is developing. We’re taking a leadership role within that to help our customers and partners make these transitions and deal with all of the change that’s going on inside the industry. I think the scope of markets that we serve have very different needs, so some markets are very ready for a much more service-oriented offering and a model that’s much more cloud or platform-based. Other markets will take a more cautious approach to adopting that. They’re a little more traditional in how they want to invest in technology. They prefer to own their own infrastructure and buy in a more traditional way. But we’re very happy to continue to drive growth in those markets too. There’s a lot of flexibility built in to how we’re going to work with our customers and partners
We view ourselves as being an open platform and an open partner to our customers and our resellers. We’re very excited about our new vision, and we’re looking forward to helping the industry move at the right pace in the right direction.