One other key consideration is that the big US broadcast and media companies are leading the transition to cloud and are probably a year ahead of the rest of the world. However, the global reach of the US media enterprises means all the main geographies will be impacted by cloud adoption in the not-too-distant future. So, not unsurprisingly, we have cloud-enabled our major products, which inherently improves both efficiency and infrastructure utilisation. Our ‘extra-special sauce’ is being able to easily bolt together hybrid cloud workflows with legacy infrastructure.
NAB 2018 was a great show for us; not only was booth traffic up but the quality of contacts was very high, with 50% of all visitors being new contacts. Every year, companies like ours count the cost of attending a major tradeshow like NAB and try to estimate its value. One thing is undeniable: that packing a lot of serious and detailed conversations about customer needs into such a brief period of time is incredibly valuable. We get direct feedback on our offerings and clear guidance about how well these meet prevalent customer needs. This year, they centred around collaboration and cloud working.
An example of this was Delta Parking, a feature of Project Parking. Delta Parking makes it possible to share an Avid project archive between multiple sites. By creating a cloud-based archive, other collaborators can access the project and media from remote locations. They can then modify the project and update the archive with a new version. The great thing is that, when uploading or downloading, we only transfer the new project metadata and any additional media – just the ‘deltas’, in other words. This resonated with a lot of customers who are actively looking for ways to share Avid projects right now. One example was a post facility that was looking to share an edit in London with colour grading in New York.
Another example of collaborative working was a request to be able to sync NEXIS at distance. We have been shipping Workspace Sync for a couple of years and it is in daily operation to provide a business continuity solution for Avid shared storage users. At NAB, we had requests for far more remote synchronisation of Avid shared storage, so expect to see news of this in the near future.
We also showed two new products for the first time at NAB this year and both were very well received. The first was our Interplay Metadata Export Tool (IMET) that provides Avid Interplay PAM users with a way to export metadata from Interplay but in an easily-browsable and searchable format. Built for one of the large LA studios, who wanted to reduce the size of its Interplay database to improve performance, IMET exports selected folders of metadata to an internal website, which production staff can use to search and browse the metadata from projects whose media were archived several years ago. It’s an ideal tool for anyone who has a large Interplay database, since scaling down will improve performance.
The second new product was Premiere Parking for Adobe Premiere Pro CC. This provides the ability to move an entire Adobe project to a new folder so that it can be easily transferred to a different location or tier of storage. It moves all the media referenced by the project together with all its sequences, and then the project itself, but modifying this so that it now refers to the new location. Premiere Parking makes Premiere Pro CC easily portable; when used along with our Edit Bridge software, it’s also possible to edit Interplay content directly in Premiere Pro or After Effects.