What are you looking forward to most at NAB?
Getting the chance to meet and talk to so many people from across the globe is always the highlight of the show. We have some new technological developments to demonstrate: our concept of the 'Studio Without Walls' where all content becomes local because it can be transported over IP, over long distances just as easily as if you are moving it to the next room, is exciting. However, it will be the people behind the bunch of boxes which will make the show: customers, distributors and partners as well as the vendors. I think these days, in a maze of technology, often customers don't know who to trust. It's about understanding the issues from a customer's perspective, not what we as manufacturers think they need. Too many assumptions can result in the wrong product, for the wrong customer, even if it is delivered on time at the right price! Meeting face-to-face addresses this challenge and shows we care, we learn to understand their business and can truly deliver the right solutions to match their evolving needs.
What's going to be the Big Topic at NAB this year?
No-doubt there will be several major talking points coming out of the show. For Media Links, remote production over IP is a really big topic. We have actually been enabling the transport of content for live production over IP for a number of years. For example, we provided live content contribution for the Sochi Winter games and World Cup soccer, experiencing 100% uptime and we have an installed customer base of over 1000 sports venues, serving customers on six continents, providing backbone technology behind many major events around the globe. So I am very much looking forward to discussing how we can help more broadcast customers make live production over IP a reality. A step on from this, I am also anticipating talking to people about how moving content in this way can actually become a revenue generator.
Which booths will you be visiting?
I like to visit the ones with interesting applications, I don't get turned-on when someone states that are "unique" as very few things in the technical world are unique. Sometimes, this simply means the company has not done its research, and indeed could be seen as arrogant! I will also be taking a walk by our competitor's booths, where I know I will be welcomed. At odds with such a huge show, this really is a small industry and at the end of the day, sometimes we all need to work together for the benefit of the customer. We might be competitors this year or partners next if the solution is right for the customer.
What bit of Las Vegas would you most like to bring back with you?
Chicken fried steak from Denny's and the best Pina Coladas in the world.
Best bit of advice for someone who's never visited NAB before?
It's a massive show so plan your time well. Remember the booth carpet is thick and plays havoc with your ankles and keep smiling: there is no better place on the planet to be to meet all the great and the good in this industry. If I survive another year, I will definitely be back for NAB 2017!