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How Systems Integrators Rank Broadcast Technology Vendors for “Great Customer Service”

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, market research, Top Broadcast Vendor Brands | Posted by Joe Zaller
Nov 30 2009

This is the third in a series of posts that discusses how a global sample of more than 325 systems integrators (SIs) who participated in the 2009 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS)* ranked broadcast technology vendors in a variety of measures. For information about how these results were collected, please see the bottom of this post**.

In an era when many broadcasters are shedding technology positions, SIs have become an extremely important part of the technology value chain.  Broadcasters now routinely outsource their project work to SIs, who are called in for their expertise and experience.  Thus the relationship that vendors have with their SI partners is very important to their business. 

Previously I have looked at How Systems Integrators Rank Broadcast Technology Vendors for Innovation; and How Systems Integrators Rank Broadcast Vendors for Quality.  This post looks at how the global sample of systems integrators ranked vendors for “great customer service.”

This is fourth time I have written about how broadcast technology vendors are perceived by the market for their customer service.  Previous posts on the subject include A Ranking of Broadcast Technology Vendors for “Great Customer Service”, which breaks out overall rankings by geography; and How broadcasters of different sizes rank technology vendors for great customer service. 

I have also touched on how the perception of customer service can be extremely varied in different regions.  I highlighted one such case in an article called Brand Schizophrenia? Regional/customer variations in perception of broadcast vendor brands.  

Customer service is a very important measure, and in many cases it is one of the key determining factors in purchase decisions. I would imagine that this is particularly true for systems integrators who must work simultaneously with many vendors while striving to complete a project on time and on budget.  

Yet from my research I’ve found that the customer service offerings of broadcast technology vendors is also something that is perceived by the market as not being as strong as other metrics such as innovation, reliability and quality. 

Indeed as I wrote in a previous post “respondents were harder on this metric [customer service] than any other… it’s worth noting that on an overall basis, respondents to the BBS were much stingier with their “grades” in this category compared to all the others.  Many companies received very high scores for metrics like “overall opinion,” “innovation,” “reliability” etc., but no company was ranked “off the charts” in terms of the perception of “great customer service.”

So having said all that, how did systems integrators rank broadcast technology vendors for “great customer service?”

The chart below shows the responses from more than 325 SIs.  It is broken out by geography to show the responses of the global sample of all SIs who participated in the study, as well as the responses of SIs in EMEA and the Americas.  Due to a small sample size, SI rankings for Asia-Pacific have not been included as a separate column.  For the sake of comparison, I have also included in this chart the rankings of all respondents (regardless for organization type, geography etc), and all broadcasters (regardless of size or geography), in the first and second columns respectively.

 

Please note that in all cases, these brands are shown in alphabetical order, NOT in the order of their ranking in the study

 

Question: How would you rate [Brand X] on the following attribute [Great Customer Service] where 1 = very poor and 10 = best in the market?

Customer Service -- by Systems Integrators

 

As always these findings are extremely interesting.  Here are a few observations about this table:

 

* There are 11 vendors on this list (out of 25 studied); meaning that great customer service is the most varied and least concentrated of any metric in this series of posts about perceptions of systems integrators. 

 

* This lack of vendor concentration is similar to customer service findings in other categories.  For example, the customer service rankings of the overall market and that of broadcasters broken down by size (both mentioned above) both show a similar profile.

 

* Out of the 11 vendors in this table, no vendor made the top 5 list for great customer service in all categories. 

 

* However, both Omneon and Snell & Wilcox did achieve this in all three systems integrator categories.

 

* The complete list of vendors in this table (in alphabetical order), and how many times they appear is as follows: Axon (3), Evertz (3), EVS (2), Harris (1), Miranda (1), Omneon (3), Pebble Beach (2), Snell & Wilcox (4), Sony (2), Sundance (1), Thomson / Grass Valley

 

* As with many other findings, there are interesting regional variations in the way vendors are perceived for great customer service

 

* 4 out of 5 in the EMEA SI list are European based – Axon, Network, Pebble Beach and Snell & Wilcox

 

* Likewise, the Americas SI list is dominated by North American players.  In the Americas SI list, 4 out of the 5 vendors are based in the region — Evertz, Harris, Miranda and Omneon.

 

* There are also some interesting differences in the rankings of vendors by SIs versus the rankings by other organization types such as broadcasters, and even the overall market.

 

* There are two pure-play automation players in the global SI list for great customer service.  This is a first for me — no pure-play automation vendors have appeared in any ranking I have published so far (global sample, broadcaster by geography sample and broadcaster by or size sample).  So what is it about SIs that result in two of their top five spots for great customer service are pure-play automation vendors?

 

* EVS, Sony and Thomson / Grass Valley all make the top 5 great customer service list for the global sample of all respondent and the all broadcasters.  However, none of these companies makes any of the SI lists.

 

* Axon appears three times.  The company makes the top 5 list for great customer service for all broadcasters, all systems integrators and EMEA systems integrators.  Like EVS, Axon is a company that has done very well in the various customer service posts I have written.  Although the company is relatively small when compared to some of the others on this list, it is clearly caught the attention of the market by making customer service a priority.

 

* Like Axon, Evertz also appears on this list three times, but in only one of the SI categories – the Americas.  This is consistent with other findings about Evertz in that they seem to do best in the Americas market.

 

* Another strong regional player is Miranda, who does well with SIs in the company’s home region.  The same is true of Harris, which appears once in this chart – in the SI list for the Americas.

 

* Like Miranda and Harris, Network (now Nevion) appears once in this table – in EMEA SI list only, another example of a local vendor doing well in their home region.

 

* EVS, which appeared in the top 5 list for great customer service for all geographies in a previous post, appears in the first two columns of this chart (global sample and all broadcasters).  However the company is absent from all three systems integrator categories

 

* Although they did not make the top 5 great customer service list for all respondents or all broadcasters, Omneon appears in all three categories of this list for systems integrators. The only other vendor to appear in the top 5 list for all three categories of systems integrators was Snell & Wilcox.

 

* Two companies appear in two of the SI categories – Axon and Pebble Beach. Both companies are based in EMEA, and they each appear in the top 5 for all SIs and SIs in EMEA.

 

As per my previous findings on this subject, the SI rankings for “great customer service” are extremely interesting.  There are strong regional variations and both small and large vendors have made the above table in one or more places.    

I continue to be convinced that despite the strong showings by some vendors, broadcast technology buyers generally perceive customer service as a weakness in the industry.  Therefore, as I said in a previous post, “it’s clear to me that there is a real opportunity for vendors to step up to the plate and differentiate themselves on the basis of great customer service.  Whoever does this will be rewarded by their customers with increased loyalty.”

 

 

 

* The annual Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) is the largest and most comprehensive studies of broadcast technology vendor brands and industry trends.  The BBS provides insight into market trends and the perceptions of leading broadcast industry vendor brands by practitioners across the world.  It also delivers vendor brand ranking “league tables” in a variety of product categories; all of which can be segmented by geography and customer type.

 

** Respondents to the BBS were asked to rank their opinion of twenty-five broadcast technology vendor brands in a variety of categories including awareness; overall opinion; change of opinion; recommendation; and a variety of brand attributes and brand drivers such as innovation, reliability, quality and great customer service.  The responses were then aggregated into a series of industry “league tables” that rank each broadcast technology vendor brand against the metrics mentioned above.

How Broadcasters of Different Sizes Rank Technology Vendors for “Great Customer Service”

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, Top Broadcast Vendor Brands | Posted by Joe Zaller
Nov 02 2009

This is the third in a series of articles about findings from the 2009 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS)* that shows how a global sample of more than 1,000 broadcasters of different sizes ranked broadcast technology vendors on a variety of metricsFor information about how these results were collected, please see the bottom of this post**.

 

Previously I’ve discussed how broadcasters of different sizes ranked broadcast technology vendors for innovation and reliability. Today I am going to look at how this group ranked vendors “great customer service.” 

But first it’s worth noting that “Great customer service” is something that I wrote about in a previous article.  That post talked about how broadcast technology vendors were ranked for “great customer service” by all types of buyers (including broadcasters, systems integrators, post production facilities, government etc), and broke out the data on a geographic basis, regardless of the size of the respondent’s organization. 

For a quick recap, here’s the chart from the previous post that shows the regional breakdown of the global sample. 

Please note that in all cases, these brands are shown in alphabetical order, NOT in the order of their ranking in the study

  

Question: How would you rate [Brand X] on the following attribute [Great Customer Service] where 1 = very poor and 10 = best in the market? 

Customer Service -- all respondents by geography

The above chart is shown here only for the purpose of comparison, and I am not going to be discussing it here.  However, I did put together some thoughts and analysis on these findings, and you can find them in the previous post.

 

 

Now let’s move on and look at the same question, but from a different perspective by taking the responses of just one customer type – broadcasters — and breaking the data out by the size of the respondent’s organization.

The chart below shows the responses from more than 1,000 broadcasters and is broken down by size of organization.  For the sake of comparison, I have also included the rankings of all respondents (regardless for organization type, geography etc), and all broadcasters (regardless of size or geography), in the first and second columns respectively.

 

Please note that in all cases, these brands are shown in alphabetical order, NOT in the order of their ranking in the study

Question: How would you rate [Brand X] on the following attribute [Great Customer Service] where 1 = very poor and 10 = best in the market? 

Customer Service by broadcaster by org size

When I first saw this chart I found it very interesting.  Here are some thoughts on these findings:

* There are 12 vendors in this chart, making customer service the most varied and least concentrated of all the factors I have explored.  Keep in mind that there were only 25 vendors in the entire study, so to find almost half of them in a single chart about one metric is significant.  This is an area of the broadcast market that does not appear to have clear global leaders, and as I mentioned in my previous post about customer service: “there is a real opportunity for vendors to step up to the plate and differentiate themselves on the basis of great customer service.” 

* However, not one of these 12 vendors makes the top five list for great customer service in all six categories.  Evertz came the closest with 5 appearances.  Both Sony and EVS made the top 5 list in all categories in the previous post (all respondents broken down by geography).

* Here’s how many times each company appears in the chart above: Axon (2), Evertz (5), EVS (4), Florical (1), Harris (3), Miranda (1), Network (now Nevion) (1), Nvision (now Miranda) (1), Ross Video (1), Snell & Wilcox (now Snell) (3), Sony (4), Thomson / Grass Valley (2), Utah Scientific (2)

* There’s an interesting mix of companies in this chart, including some that are very large and some that are not so large.  This reinforces the point I made above about there being an opportunity for vendors to differentiate themselves with customer service, and it also shows that customer service is not about size.

* Five different companies appear one time in this chart – Florical, Miranda, Network, Nvision and Ross – and they do so in a variety of different categories.  Miranda appears in the 50-100 employee list; Florical and Network (now Nevion) appear in the 101-500 employee list; Nvision (now part of Miranda) appears in the 501-1,000 employee list; and Ross appears in the 1,001-10,000 employee list.

* Despite their difference in size and product ranges Utah Scientific and Harris appear in the same categories –broadcasters with 51-100 and 101-500 employees.

* As mentioned above, Miranda appears only in the smallest category (51-100 employees), but Nvision, which was acquired by Miranda is also in the 501-1000 employee category.  When Miranda announced their Q3 results last week, said that said that they are moving the manufacturing of Nvision products from Grass Valley to Montreal, but that they are leaving some specialist positions in California.  Obviously this makes financial sense for them, and it will be interesting what impact it will have on the perception of their customer service.

* Does size matter? Some of the industry’s largest vendors did best with the smallest customers; while some of the industry’s smaller vendors (like Axon) did best with the largest customers.

* Axon, which appears twice on this chart makes the top five list for “all broadcasters” (regardless of size or geography) and also for the large broadcasters (1,001-10,000 employees)

* Along with Axon, Ross Video which appears once on the above chart also makes the top 5 list for the largest broadcasters (1,001-10,000 employees)

* Thomson / Grass Valley, one of the broadcast industry’s largest vendors, makes the top 5 customer service list for the overall market and for the smallest broadcasters (50-100 employees), but is absent from the top-five list for other broadcasters.

* Harris, another of the broadcast industry’s largest players made the top five customer service list for all broadcasters as well as for the small and medium (50-500 employees) broadcasters.

* EVS, Snell & Wilcox and Sony each appear in the top 5 lists of medium (501-1,000 employees) and large (1,000-10,000 employees) broadcasters.  All three companies also makes the top five customer service list for the overall market.  However only two of them (EVS and Sony) make the top 5 customer service list for all broadcasters.

* As mentioned above, Evertz make the most appearances in this chart (5).  In addition the of global sample, Evertz makes the top 5 customer service list for all broadcasters as well as for small and medium sized broadcasters (50-1,000 employees).   

 

 

 

 

 

* The annual Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) is the largest ever and most comprehensive studies of broadcast technology vendor brands and industry trends.  The BBS provides insight into market trends and the perceptions of leading broadcast industry vendor brands by practitioners across the world.  It also delivers vendor brand ranking in a variety of product categories; all of which can be segmented by geography and customer type.

 

  ** Respondents to the BBS were asked to rank their opinion of twenty-five broadcast technology vendor brands in a variety of categories including awareness; overall opinion; change of opinion; recommendation; and a variety of brand attributes and brand drivers such as innovation, reliability, quality and great customer service.  The responses were then aggregated into a series of industry “league tables” that rank each broadcast technology vendor brand against the metrics mentioned above.

How Broadcasters of Different Sizes Rank Innovation of Broadcast Technology Vendors

broadcast technology market research, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, Top Broadcast Vendor Brands | Posted by Joe Zaller
Oct 08 2009

I have recently been writing about how various broadcast technology vendor brands were ranked in the 2009 Big Broadcast Survey  (BBS)* on measures such as innovation, customer service, reliability and overall opinion.

For the most part, when I have discussed these results in previous posts I show the opinions of the all 4,000+ of BBS respondents, broken down globally and regionally in order to highlight geographic variation in opinions.

Of course this global list includes a wide variety of customer types such as broadcasters, systems integrators, cable/satellite/IPTV operators, government etc.  As a result, one of the questions I am frequently asked is how a particular brand was ranked by a single customer type (e.g. broadcaster) or buying group (e.g. multiviewer buyers).

To address this question I decided to look at how one customer type – broadcasters – ranked broadcast technology vendors in one category – innovation.

Rather than showing a breakdown by geography, I thought it would be more interesting to show variation by organization size rather then geography.

For information about how these results were collected, please see the bottom of this post**.

The table below shows the top 5 brands in the broadcast technology vendor league table for innovation, as ranked by broadcasters, broken down by organization size.  For the sake of comparison, I have also provided the global ranking (responses of all 4,000+ respondents from all organization types).

Please note that in all cases, these brands are shown in alphabetical order, NOT in the order of their ranking in the study

  

Question: How would you rate [Brand X] on the following attribute [Innovation] where 1 = very poor and 10 = best in the market?

  Innovation -- by Broadcasters by Org Size

 To me, these results are pretty interesting for a number of reasons.  Here are a few quick observations about them:

 

* There are total of 11 vendors on this list, and an interesting distribution of vendors

 

* Sony is the only broadcast technology vendor that ranked in the top 5 in all categories 

 

* Apart from Sony, the breakdown of how often other vendors made the top five, including the global sample,  (in alphabetical order) looks like this: Axon (1), Evertz (3), EVS (3), Miranda (2), Omneon (1), Quantel (1), Snell & Wilcox (4), Thomson / Grass Valley (3), Utah Scientific (1)

 

* Two of the companies that appear in the table above just once (Axon and Quantel) are seen as top five innovators by the largest broadcasters (those with 1,000+ employees)

 

* Two of the companies that appear in the table above just once (Network and Utah Scientific) are seen as top five innovators by the mid-sized broadcasters (those with 101-500 employees)

 

* There is an interesting distribution of vendors that were ranked as top 5 innovators by all broadcasters.  For example both Evertz and Miranda are ranked in the top 5 overall by broadcasters.  However when you look at broadcasters by organization size, Evertz appears in the 501-100 employee category, while Miranda is found in the 501-1000 employee category.

 

So does size matter?  Larger broadcasters probably have significantly greater buying power than their smaller counterparts and a couple of contracts with a large broadcaster can be enormously valuable to a vendor.  Having said that, very large broadcasters are few and far between.  The bulk of broadcasters probably falls into the middle of the size range in terms of employees, and some very successful broadcast technology vendors (in terms of recent revenue growth) such as Evertz, Miranda and Omneon are best regarded by these mid-sized customers, while smaller vendors like Axon and Snell & Wilcox are highly regarded by the largest customers.    Nevertheless it is important for vendors to understand how opinions about them vary among customers of different sizes as they plan their sales strategies.

 

  

 

* The annual Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) is the largest ever and most comprehensive studies of broadcast technology vendor brands and industry trends.  The BBS provides insight into market trends and the perceptions of leading broadcast industry vendor brands by practitioners across the world.  It also delivers vendor brand ranking in a variety of product categories; all of which can be segmented by geography and customer type.

 ** Respondents to the BBS were asked to rank their opinion of twenty-five broadcast technology vendor brands in a variety of categories including awareness; overall opinion; change of opinion; recommendation; and a variety of brand attributes and brand drivers such as innovation, reliability, quality and great customer service.  The responses were then aggregated into a series of industry “league tables” that rank each broadcast technology vendor brand against the metrics mentioned above.

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