Q&A with Vidispine and Arvato Systems

Q&A with Vidispine and Arvato Systems


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Q&A with Vidispine and Arvato Systems

Fri 03, 07 2020

Erik Ahlin, Co-founder, Vidispine
Holger Noske, VP Broadcast Solutions, Arvato Systems

Why did you rebrand under the Vidispine name rather than Arvato Systems?

Holger: Arvato Systems is global IT powerhouse working across multiple industries from retail to utilities. With Vidispine, we have a well-known, well respected brand that is specifically targeted at media organizations and organizations using media to support their business. In bringing the portfolios together, it was important to us to maintain the value we have in both brands, hence Vidispine, an Arvato Systems brand.

Erik: I think what I would add to that is that we did look at all the options. As far as possible, we started with a blank piece of paper and looked at all the possible options. Of course, rebranding the Vidispine portfolio under Arvato Systems would have been the obvious path to take, but I the obvious path isn’t always the right one and the team here looked at all the options in detail, and this was the result. If I remember we started with 7 or 8 possible scenarios in the beginning, before cutting that down to 3 before settling on Vidispine as the right way to go.

Arvato Systems bought Vidispine three years ago. Was a merging of brands always planned? Why have you decided to do this now?

Erik: To be honest, at the time of the acquisition, we were far more excited/focused about the possibilities and opportunities in bringing our technologies together – our top priority has always been on innovating and delivering solutions to our customers. Over the past 3 years the portfolios have grown closer together and at some point, it just gets a bit confusing with the two brands.

Holger: If you look at a lot of acquisitions, the first thing that happens is that the sales team get forced together, then there’s a rebrand, and somewhere down the line, the technology actually gets integrated and the portfolio truly brought together. That certainly wasn’t the direction we wanted to take, and actually, at the time of the acquisition, we had already started integrating the technology. What we knew, is that we wanted to achieve two things from the acquisition. First, to build a class-leading enterprise media asset management system for both new and existing customer in the media & entertainment industry. Second, to build a cross-industry content platform that, with our own IP or together with partners, we can deliver solutions to different industries where video and other content is also now supporting business. As we’ve continued down that track. at some point, bringing the portfolio together under one brand just seemed the natural next step.

What does the Vidispine brand mean to both of you? What message does it convey?

Erik: Well at a very literal level, it’s “Vidi – spine” – a backbone for video (and other media) and that fits very well with the unified portfolio. When Vidispine, the company, was founded in 2009, we really aimed to always be spear-heading the market and be pragmatic in building solutions and empowering our customers. When we started discussing the acquisition with Arvato Systems, this was one of the “obvious fit” signs, with the Bertelsmann essentials of “creativity” and “entrepreneurship”.

Holger: At the time of the acquisition, Vidispine really represented a number of values we were keen to bring up in Broadcast Solutions too, for example, the “start-up” vibe and being ahead of the curve in terms of what the market is doing. Even as Vidispine has grown in the time since, those values have been maintained and influenced the Broadcast Solutions team a great deal.

How does this merging of the brands help your customers?

Holger: For existing customers, there will be very little change – we will still strive to offer the best solutions and services on the market. There will be no changes to how they receive support or the project teams they work with. Obviously, with the portfolio coming together, and some product names changing, they may some visual differences in future software updates and potentially some changes to things like release numbering as we bring that in line. As touched on earlier, we have already integrated our technologies and, for example, our enterprise media asset management customers can take advantage of scale-out media services with VidiNet – the rebrand doesn’t change that, but it does make it much clearer as to which portfolio elements now fit together and where.

We invest a lot in our community with regular user group events and this is something we want to focus on going forward too. Unfortunately, we won’t hold any “in person” events this year, but activities that support our community of users, developers and partners form a significant part of our plans going forward.

Erik: For new or potential customers and partners, coming to us for the first time, it’s a little bit different. These changes will make it a much easier portfolio to understand and explore. Of course, it also means a single contact point. Especially in the wake of all the tradeshows and events etc being cancelled, and with no face-to-face meetings for the time being, making sure that our audience can understand and see how our technology can benefit their business is really important – we’re now in a much stronger position to enable that.

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