What’s the real role of the modern broadcast manufacturer?
At the risk of being accused of donning my rose-tinted glasses, I think we can safely say that the role of broadcast manufacturers in the sales and installation process has changed.
Once upon a time, a manufacturer sold a box, provided a bit of advice and support during installation, and then was expected to leave. Well, in truth, I’m not sure that for broadcast playout equipment things were ever quite so black and white, but there’s no doubt that recent years have seen our role change.
A recent example highlights this shift. A broadcast customer came to Pixel Power early in the planning stages of a project. They were already in the midst of a rebranding project and now needed to address a number of technical upgrades as well. Their team was under a lot of a pressure and was stretched to its capacity.
Their request? That Pixel Power explicitly take the role of systems integrator and provide overall expertise, leadership and management for their project. They knew that our team had years’ expertise in the industry and they wanted to tap into that knowledge to find an informed solution.
If you want a project like this to be successful then you have to ask and understand what the business wants to achieve first. You have to carry out pain analysis of what those issues are. It’s not uncommon to unearth new issues lurking where the customer had not expected. It’s about understanding what’s being done at a higher level so that you can interpret the issues.
This is a perfect example of the situation we encounter all the time. Pixel Power got involved with the project first as a technical expert, like an SI would, and second as an equipment manufacturer. We were able to look at the requirements outlined by their business analysts and then design a complete technical solution for them that included both Pixel Power and third party products. With our extensive experience encountering a wide variety of scenarios, we were able to make this complex project a relatively painless experience for them.
This is the new face of experienced broadcast manufacturing. Rather than them looking at a black box and identifying a list of features, the relationship goes way beyond that. We are helping customers improve key areas of their media delivery business. In fact, this approach is reflected in the products we make today. When we innovate with solutions like Pixel Factory and Pixel OnDemand, we are looking beyond a specific technical challenge and answering the bigger questions of how can we make the overall workflow more elegant and how do we align the production workflow with changing business realities.
It is an exciting challenge and one that forges new bonds between Pixel Power and its customers.