Senior executives from Grass Valley headed down to Dubai last month and hosted partners and customers at a high-level gathering in conjunction with its Middle East team. In an exclusive interview with BroadcastPro Middle East, the Grass Valley team spoke about the companys regional plans, and its technical and business strategies In recent months, we […]
Senior executives from Grass Valley headed down to Dubai last month and hosted partners and customers at a high-level gathering in conjunction with its Middle East team. In an exclusive interview with BroadcastPro Middle East, the Grass Valley team spoke about the companys regional plans, and its technical and business strategies
In recent months, we have seen Grass Valley ramping up its efforts in the Middle East with high-profile appointments both in the UK and Dubai as well as investments in a larger facility at Dubai Media City. The new office, which will include a demo room as well as other state-of-the-art facilities, is scheduled to be operational by the end of June.
Hassan Ghoul, who was recently appointed managing director of Grass Valleys Middle East operations, says more changes are in the offing to ensure that the office in Dubai is better positioned to service the region.
Presently, we are looking to consolidate our Middle East operations. Previously, we had two sub regions the Gulf, and the Levant. Today, the idea is to bring everything together under one roof so we are better placed to offer comprehensive support and solutions to our customers, Ghoul said, adding that the Dubai office is looking to expand its team further to include more pre-sales staff and support engineers.
The rest of the team including Dr. Karl Schubert, chief technology officer of Grass Valley, who has a strong IT background; Francoise Semin, vice president of South Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Marcos Gonzales-Flower, vice president of Service EMEA were also present in Dubai to gauge the needs of the market and interact with local partners.
Schubert, who has been heading Grass Valleys technical vision for the last year, says the company is focusing heavily on developing its solutions further for live broadcast, news and sport.
The challenges I like the most are associated with the increased complexity of dealing with outdoor and live broadcast. This sector needs more cameras, faster cameras and many more connections. HD is important but 3G is also gaining traction. They are looking for us to provide infrastructure that is affordable and flexible.
Our next generation systems will reflect the convergence of broadcast and IT. This means you will see more IT elements integrated into our existing infrastructure. This will enable more flexibility, a better cost structure and quicker response to customer needs. In fact, with the integration of IT, we will also see greater emphasis on software than hardware, he added.
Semin, who joined Grass Valley a year ago, chips in that the company reinvests 15% of its revenue back into R&D.
This is one of the highest in the industry, she claimed.
We are also taking major steps to rebuild the team in the region and reinvest here. We are recruiting and reshaping a team of pre-sales consultants, who will be able to engage with customers and talk about the solution rather than our products.
Semin also shed light on Grass Valleys new strategy, which aims to lay greater focus on solutions.
Its important to understand the business requirements, the workflow and the operational requirements of a customer and help design a suitable system for them.
Over the last year, Grass Valley has also gradually moved away from undertaking the systems integration of large-scale studio projects and TV centres to focus more on its core competencies.
In such projects, we are unable to add any value to certain areas that are not part of our skill set such as the building construction, the furniture, lighting and so on. We want to focus on delivering solutions that exploit our core expertise. This is why we are partnering more and more with systems integrators rather than operating as a systems integrator ourselves. Of course, there have been some exceptions especially in the Middle East where we have a very good relationship with the client. It does not make sense to compete with your best partners but its also finding the right balance for each customer, she says.
As part of its efforts to revisit its business model and re-engage with its local partners, Grass Valley has begun to introduce programmes into the market. This event was part of that effort.
We are doing this project in different regions including the Middle East, the US and Europe, Semin pointed out.
Moving forward, Grass Valley says it is also looking to establish partners in areas where it presently does not enjoy any presence at all. Ghoul cites the example of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is a high potential area, where we presently do not have a presence although our products are used extensively in Saudi TV. We are now talking to systems integrators there to see how we can work more closely to strengthen our presence in this market, Ghoul added.