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Meet the… SVP of worldwide channel partnering

Chyron's Olivier Cohen discusses the need for patience and flexibility in the media tech industry as well as being able to think ahead, and why you should never let yourself be discouraged

Olivier Cohen, SVP of worldwide channel partnering at Chyron
How would you describe your average day?

I deal with everything from a pipeline perspective to problem-solving with clients, delivery issues, support issues, strategic turnover, quotes and approval, commercial initiatives, and planning for the coming year. All of that is my day-to-day. It’s a classic role of SVP sales. I need to understand what the client needs — what they want and how they want it — and then I need to drive the sales force to provide support through the sale, and the services team to deliver so that the client is happy and stays happy. At the same time, I try to get perspective on where markets are heading and how we can respond to the direction they’re going.

How did you get started in media? And why did you choose broadcast media?

Oh, that’s a good question. I always thought that the broadcast network would change the way it provides content to people who are watching it. And I wrote my thesis, when I was a student, on media convergence. I was passionate about media convergence because I like content, I like creative ideas, and I like everything related to how information is transported to one point to another in different ways. I find it interesting that because broadcast has become more global, in part because of media convergence, a broadcaster — a Chyron customer — now can be a church, a corporation, a university, a government, and so on.

What training did you have before entering the industry?

Everything I know about broadcast technology and media, I’ve learned on my own, from experience. My formal training is in finance.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

I like all the creative ideas. I like the graphics, I like the production kits, and I like everything toward live content. I enjoy all the tools that help users to produce engaging visuals.

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

The piece of advice I give people thinking about a job like mine is that they need to be patient. In this role, you always need to think through everything that a client needs. Make sure that you understand the dynamics of deals and the dynamics of the market. Knowing where you can bridge yourself to sell products or not is very important, as well.

Because things don’t always turn out the way you hope or plan, you need to be adaptive and flexible. In addition to understanding the technologies involved in a sale or project, you need to be able to think ahead and consider everything that might happen — all the possibilities — so that you are prepared to respond. Finally, and most important, you need to stay positive. While there will be many challenging moments leading up to and during a project, do not let yourself be discouraged.