Posts Tagged ‘Graham Sharp’

Impressions of IBC 2012: M&A, Cloud, Multi-Platform, 4K, Efficient Operations, CiaB, and the “Return of Grass Valley”

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, content delivery, market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 20 2012

A previous version of this article appeared in the “Tech Thursday” Spotlight Section of TVNewsCheck

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Against the backdrop of the ongoing European debt crisis and the afterglow of the 2012 Olympics, nearly 51,000 visitors made their way to Amsterdam for the annual IBC trade show. Major themes of the five-day broadcast technology jamboree included vendor consolidation, buzz about new technologies for multi-screen content delivery and social TV, futuristic technology demonstrations, and several important new product introductions.

The broadcast vendor community got a little less fragmented on the first morning of IBC, with a merger announcement by two Norway-based video transport technology providers — Nevion and T-VIPS

Although no additional deals were unveiled at the show, vendor consolidation was one of the most discussed themes at IBC, and according to statements made by some of the leading vendors, there is potentially a lot more consolidation on the way.   

Newly acquired Miranda technologies made its debut as a “Belden brand” at IBC, and Belden EVP Denis Suggs was on hand at the show to meet customers and explain his company’s vision for the broadcast industry, and why they decided to buy Miranda in one of the largest broadcast technology M&A deals in recent years. 

In a nutshell, Belden saw the opportunity to acquire a cash-generating company with a top-class management team that’s growing faster than the overall market and jumped at it. Including Miranda, Belden now generates approximately $450 million a year in broadcast-related revenue, making it one of the industry’s largest players, and it appears they are not done doing deals in this space. 

Suggs said Belden views Miranda as a platform from which is can further expand its broadcast industry operations, and that it intends to support Miranda’s existing plan for further acquisitions.

Grass Valley CEO Alain Andreoli echoed a similar sentiment at his company’s press conference. He said that Francisco Partners, the private equity firm that owns Grass Valley, has a $3 billion fund behind it and will support Grass Valley’s efforts to become an industry consolidators.

When the dust settles, he said, Grass Valley may not be the largest player, but it will certainly be in the top three. Last year, Grass Valley bought PubliTronic, a provider of channel-in-a-box (CiaB) technology, to gain a larger foothold in the playout market. Expect to see Grass Valley and other players making additional strategic moves that help them enter attractive new market spaces.

But most IBC M&A talk centered on Harris Broadcast, which is currently being divested by its parent company. Although rumors were flying at the show about who might buy the division, its executives were tight-lipped. Harris Broadcast President Harris Morris would only say that the deal is progressing according to plan, and is on track to be completed as soon as the end of 2012.

New products and services based on cloud technology, multi-platform content delivery and social TV services dominated many demonstration and hallway conversations at IBC, particularly in the “Connected World” pavilion, where dozens of new and established firms displayed a host of products aimed at securing a place in this emerging ecosystem.

Despite the enthusiasm of vendors, many buyers publicly and privately expressed caution about the technology.

Critics of cloud technology cited immature technology, bandwidth limitations, security, and an unproven business case as barriers to its adoption. Likewise, broadcasters and content owners expressed concern over the “disconnect” between the desire of end-users to receive and consume video content on an ever-increasing number personal devices, and the ability of broadcasters to create sustainable and profitable multi-platform business models.

Cloud-based discussions at IBC ranged from real-world case studies of how EVS helped broadcasters set up private clouds to facilitate remote production of the Euro 2012 soccer championships and London Olympics, to practical solutions from Signiant and Aspera for managing the delivery of file-based content over IP-enabled and cloud-based infrastructure, to new solutions for cloud-based video production.

Cloud-based production is an emerging trend, but initiatives such as the ‘Adobe Anywhere’ initiative will prove to be a catalyst in this area. Taking cloud-based production to the “next level” are new firms like VC-backed start-up A-Frame, which is building from the ground-up a complete cloud-based video production environment that marries the experience of broadcast and post-production experts with forward-thinking IT-based software experts. 

On the multi-screen front, Ericsson introduced its first encoder based on HEVC/H.265 compression technology. The company says that its HEVC implementation offers the potential for users to reduce bandwidth by up to 50%, thereby enabling more efficient delivery of content over multiple platforms, including mobile networks.

Harmonic unveiled a new version of its ProMedia transcoder, aimed at enabling its customers to deliver an integrated multi-screen experience to their subscribers. Harmonic also introduced new members of its senior management team: CMO Peter Alexander, and CTO Krish Padmanabhan, who recently joined the company from Cisco and NetApp, respectively.

Noticeable by their absence on the Harmonic booth at IBC were the familiar Omneon and Rhozet brand names, which have now been absorbed into Harmonic. “Harmonic is a branded house, not a house of brands, and our singular focus is delivering excellent video quality to consumers everywhere,” said Alexander.

The Sony/SES Astra demonstration of live delivery of 4K images over satellite drew a lot of attention.

For many years, 4K images have been trade show “eye candy” for visitors, but at IBC 2012 Sony and SES showed that technology exists today to transmit high quality 4K images over satellite at a manageable 50mbit/s using h.264 compression technology.  The stunning live video images were delivered via an SES satellite to an 84-inch Sony Bravia 4K display.

The demo prompted speculation that 4K will be the “next HD” in terms of consumer adoption and broadcast infrastructure upgrades. Other observers took a more practical approach, saying that the industry might see 4K being used as a high-end production format in near to mid term, but that it will be a long time before broadcasters who have already spent millions on the transition to HDTV decide to upgrade again to 4K.

Indeed, when it comes to broadcast infrastructure upgrades it is operational efficiency, not higher resolution, which appears to be the primary demand of broadcasters. Thus, many vendors at IBC were promoting solutions designed to help broadcasters transition their operations to file-based and IT-oriented workflows. 

One of the ongoing initiatives in this area has been the development by a large number of vendors of integrated IT-based playout technologies, more commonly known as channel-in-a-box (CiaB).  These systems offer the promise of increased operational efficiency and significant cost savings through the integration of previously disparate playout and master control functionality into a single IT-based platform. Over the past several years, major vendors including Grass Valley, Miranda, Snell, Harmonic, and Evertz have offered products.

At IBC 2012, Harris became the latest entrant into the market with the launch of Versio, a CiaB system based on several of the company’s existing technology platforms including the Nexio server family, ADC automation, and Inscriber graphics. 

When describing the new Versio product at the company IBC press conference, Harris Morris said the No. 1 requirement for automated IT-based playout systems is reliability, and that this is an area where Harris Broadcast excels. Morris also emphasized that CiaB platforms rely heavily on automation technology, where Harris Broadcast is an established leader, making the company a natural choice for broadcasters considering integrated IT-based playout.

Although Harris Broadcast touted the fact that their Versio platform is based on the company’s existing technology platforms, it stopped well short of saying that the new system is a direct replacement for its current products, particularly its popular Nexio server family.

Instead the company described Versio as a robust cost-effective way for broadcasters to quickly add new services and digital subchannels channels, and to provide backup in emergencies.

“Channel-in-a-box should be about opening up new possibilities rather than limiting how a broadcaster can operate across multiple on-air scenarios,” said Andrew Warman, senior product manager at Harris Broadcast. “It’s limiting to look at channel-in-a-box as a system replacement for servers, automation, and other play-to-air systems. Broadcasters need freedom to build appropriate workflows for their operations, including external components.”

However, other vendors clearly see the CiaB market differently, and have taken a very different approach than Harris Broadcast, especially those firms that do not have an existing playout server business to protect. 

Snell Chief Architect Neil Maycock said that his company’s ICE platform is not only “ready for prime-time,” it is on the air today delivering high value content for major broadcasters.  Maycock also said that ICE has a unique architecture that enables it to scale from a single channel implementation, through a multi-location centralcasting model, to a large multi-channel playout environment.

PlayBox CEO Vassil Lefterov said he has built his entire business on disrupting the traditional server-based playout market. “We believe our singular focus on this application is a key advantage,” he said.  “Playbox has thousands of live channels on the air today and is working to re-define playout operations for many of our customers.”

Grass Valley, which like Harris has a significant video server business, took a more pragmatic approach.  SVP and CMO Graham Sharp said that “it’s likely CiaB and other IT-based playout systems may ultimately impact everyone’s server business, so we’ve taken the decision to cannibalize our own products where necessary by embracing IT technology, because if we don’t do it to ourselves someone else will.” 

Grass Valley was among the vendors with significant new products. Introductions included a new LDX camera platform that scales from a basic model to a high-end super-slow motion system; a new video server family, and brand new electronics for the Kayenne and Karrera production switchers.  Grass Valley said all its new products feature native 1080p processing, and provide straightforward upgrades via software.

Grass Valley also made bold claims about its future product plans, stating that by 2014 it will have replaced its entire portfolio with all new 1080p, IT-focused products. 

GV’s Sharp also hinted at a major NAB 2013 announcement from Grass Valley: “Next year we will introduce a completely new integrated IP-based platform that is totally format agnostic.” he said.  “We believe this new platform will enable a new way of working that we call non-linear production….”

All Grass Valley products, including those launched at IBC 2012, will be compatible with the new architecture, he said.

Sharp concluded GV press conference by saying: “If there is one take-away from this presentation about Grass Valley, it’s this: We’re back.”

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© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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Sales & Marketing Power Shift at “Profitable, Independent” Grass Valley

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 20 2012

Grass Valley announced a reorganization of its sales and marketing leadership today, appointing three regional presidents and a chief marketing officer.

The company also slipped into the announcement the statement that it “is now a profitable independent company,” but did not provide any further details or financial metrics.

Grass Valley, which was acquired from Technicolor by private equity firm Francisco Partners in January 2011, says it has now completed the first phase of its corporate transformation by unifying its product line, modernizing its service offering, and improving supply chain management. The company says that the executive re-alignment signifies the next phase of its strategic plan, and will focus the company on better serving its customer base.

 

The following appointments were announced today.

 

  • Mike Oldham, who was the CEO of automation and channel-in-a-box provider OmniBus prior to its sale to Miranda in September 2010, has joined Grass Valley as region president, Americas

 

  • Alan Wright has been promoted to region president, EMEA

 

  • Andrew Sedek has been promoted to region president Asia Pacific

 

 

All four will report to Grass Valley president and CEO Alain Andreoli.

Grass Valley also said that longtime executive Jeff Rosica, the current EVP and chief sales & marketing officer, will leave the company near the end of the year.  Rosica, who ran Grass Valley when it was owned by Technicolor and oversaw the sale of Grass Valley to Francisco Partners, will serve as a strategic advisor to Andreoli until late November.

“Having re-aligned our product groups and streamlined our operations it’s now all about getting closer to our customers, becoming their trusted advisors and delighting them with the Grass Valley experience,” said Andreoli. “We are creating more strength in our regions and will now have three regional presidents reporting directly to me, as well as a newly created chief marketing officer role, bringing an even stronger voice of the customer to the executive team. Grass Valley is a strong global brand, with a balanced worldwide presence. We understand that customers in each region have unique needs and we want them to have a strong presence at the executive table.”

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Related Content:

Press Release: Grass Valley Re-Organizes its Sales and Marketing Organization

Press Release: Grass Valley Names Graham Sharp to Guide Corporate Development

Grass Valley Names New CEO, Management Team

Technicolor Completes Sale of Grass Valley

More Broadcast M&A – Miranda Buys OmniBus for C$48.7m

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© Devoncroft Partners.  All Rights Reserved.

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Reminder — Media Technology: Strategy & Valuation Conference at NAB 2012

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, Broadcast technology channel strategy, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, Broadcast Vendor M&A, Broadcaster Financial Results, Devoncroft Digest, Top Broadcast Vendor Brands | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 13 2012

If you are attending the 2012 NAB show you might want to consider setting aside some time to attend a new half-day conference called “Media Technology: Strategy and Valuation.

We are excited to be co-producing this event along with the NAB Show and Silverwood Partners.

This session is being held in room N237 of the Las Vegas Convention Center on Sunday April 15th from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and it’s free for all registered attendees of the 2012 NAB show.

This conference will address industry-specific factors driving the valuations of companies including changing market dynamics, new technology, and evolving customer requirements. It is intended for industry technology executives, private equity investors, and venture capital investors in the media technology sector.

You’ll hear from experts from the financial community, broadcast industry technology buyers, leading service providers, and media technology market research analysts.

Download full agenda and speaker bios here

 

MEDIA TECHNOLOGY: STRATEGY & VALUATION

Presented by:

  

 

April 15, 2012

Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N237

 

1:30-2:00pm       Registration

 

2:00-2:25pm       Strategic Implications of Transitioning to Cloud and SaaS Platforms for the Media Industry

Presented by David Peto, CEO, Aframe

What is the reality of becoming a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business?

  • Opportunities and challenges with the business model from the SaaS provider perspective
  • Lessons learned from providing SaaS services to large media companies
  • Key customer variables for deciding to use SaaS services

 

2:25-2:55pm       The Broadcast & Media Technology Industry in 2012

Presented by Joe Zaller, President, Devoncroft Partners

  • Summary of key data derived from the newly published 2012 Big Broadcast Survey, the largest and most comprehensive study of the broadcast industry. Overview of the latest research from the IABM will also be provided.
  • Does brand perception impact valuation? Using data from the annual Big Broadcast Survey, color commentary and market research data will be provided to show how brand perception impacts both customer loyalty and Company valuation, and what vendors can do to change their brand perception for the positive.

      

2:55-3:25pm       Strategic Industry Analysis: Valuations, M & A, and Equity Financing

Presented by Jonathan Hodson-Walker, Managing Partner and Joshua Stinehour, Senior Vice President, Silverwood Partners

Analysis of strategic industry trends and the specific factors that affect company valuations:

  • Review of transaction activity and valuations
  • Technology shifting from a supporting role to a strategic role
  • Business opportunities and models evolving rapidly
  • What businesses are buyers targeting and why?
  • Analysis of Software, SaaS vs. hardware valuation and reasons for differentials

 

3:25-3:50pm       Online Video: Threat, Opportunity, or Both?

Presented by Andrew Taylor, VP Business Development, Grab Media

  • Expert insight on the business models of new media and multiplatform distribution.
  • Commentary on developments in online video, advertising technology, and new distribution and syndication models.

 

 

3:50-4:00             Break

 

 4:00-4:20pm       Technology Transition: Software, File-based, Cloud

Presented by Bernt Kåre Johannessen, Chief Development Officer, Vizrt

  • The business implications of file-based workflows, cloud computing, and multi-platform content delivery for both broadcasters and technology vendors. 
  • Efficiencies for the customer, business model implications, business and technology implementation challenges, revenue models, and required technologies.

 

 4:20-4:40pm       Executing the Strategic Plan: Suggestions and Recommendations for Executives

Presented by Graham Sharp, Director of Media Asset Capital

  • Understanding value and differentiation of business offering to customers
  • Unlocking strategic value of business
  • Tactical implementation of the strategic plan to fully realize value

 

 4:40-5:00pm       The Broadcast Buyer Perspective

Presented by Pat Sullivan, President and CEO, Game Creek Video

  • Game Creek is one of largest Outside Broadcast Truck providers in the US with a client list that reads like the who’s who of Broadcast: ABC, CBS, ESPN, FOX, HBO, NBC, MLB, NBA, and the NFL to name a few!
  • With an annual multi-million US$ budget being spent with Broadcast Equipment vendors, what do GCV want from their suppliers and what could they do better?

 

5:00-6:00pm       Cocktail and Networking Reception

 

Announcing the “Media Technology: Strategy and Valuation Conference.” A Thought Provoking Kick-Off to the 2012 NAB Show.

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, Broadcast technology channel strategy, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, Broadcast Vendor M&A, content delivery, market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 04 2012

If you are attending the 2012 NAB show you might want to consider setting aside some time to attend a new half-day conference called “Media Technology: Strategy and Valuation,” which is being produced by Devoncroft, Silverwood Partners and the NAB Show

This event is being held in room N237 of the Las Vegas Convention Center on Sunday April 15th from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and it’s free for all registered attendees of the 2012 NAB show.

This conference will address industry-specific factors driving the valuations of companies including changing market dynamics, new technology, and evolving customer requirements. It is intended for industry technology executives, private equity investors, and venture capital investors in the media technology sector.

You’ll hear from experts from the financial community, broadcast industry technology buyers, leading service providers, and media technology market research analysts.

Here’s the current lineup of presenters:

David Peto CEO of A-Frame (who just raised $7m for a cloud-based broadcast production system) will discuss how SaaS business models will impact the broadcast production environment.

Joe Zaller from Devoncroft Partners will present a summary of the 2012 Big Broadcast Survey including a review of the most important industry trends, where money is being spent in the broadcast industry, the evolution of HD infrastructure and file-based workflows, and how a vendors brand can impact its valuation.

Jonathan Hodson-Walker and Josh Stinehour from specialist investment bankers, Silverwood Partners will present an in-depth analysis of strategic industry trends and the specific factors that affect company valuations such as technology, business models, and strategic positioning.

Andrew Taylor, VP of Business Development at Grab Media will provide an overview of multi-platform content delivery business models, including advertising technology, content delivery and content syndication.  This presentation will discuss the impact that multi-screen deployments may have on traditional media companies, and whether they present a threat or an opportunity for new business… or both.

Bernt Kåre Johannessen, Chief Development Officer at Vizrt will explain the business implications of file-based workflows, cloud computing, and multi-platform content delivery for both broadcasters and technology vendors.  This presentation will discuss efficiencies for the customer, business model implications, business and technology implementations challenges, revenue models, and what technologies are still needed.

Graham Sharp of Media Asset Capital will discuss how to effectively implement and execute a strategic change process.  This presentation will discuss unlocking strategic value of businesses, recommendations for execution, and understanding value and differentiation of business offering to customers.

Pat Sullivan, president of Game Creek Video, a leading sports production company, will provide the customer perspective on the dynamic evolution of the broadcast industry.  Sullivan will talk about what customers on the leading edge of technology are buying, how this has changed over time, how it might evolve in the future, and what they are looking for from broadcast technology providers.

 

 

To guarantee your place, please RSVP to nabstrategy@silverwoodpartners.com.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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Related Content:

NAB Media Technology: Strategy and Valuation Conference presented by Devoncroft, Silverwood and the NAB Show

TechCrunch Article: Aframe Goes After Avid With A Fresh $7m And A Very Big Cloud

Devoncroft – The 2012 Big Broadcast Survey

Silverwood Partners: NAB 2012 – Media Technology – Strategic Industry Analysis

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© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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