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COMMENT Stop, collaborate and listen Fresh from his trip to Amsterdam, Azule chairman Peter Savage relives what he saw at IBC by highlighting a very welcome industry trend: equipment manufacturers are finally talking to each other. by Peter Savage I t’s not terribly rock and roll but the most surprising – and welcome - thing that I saw at IBC 2015 was the willingness of manufacturers to finally co-operate with each other. Yes, yes, I know it’s not a fancy new widget, a drone or an amazing new camera. We all love a tangible new innovation - especially if it has shiny buttons, can fly or features a whizzy demo mode. But, while all those things are great in isolation, the manufacturing community coming together as one for the greater good is far more important. Broadcasters, production companies and facilities houses the world over have been imploring vendors to make their systems work together and talk to each other for many years. It’s been slow in coming but 2015 may just be the tipping point. You could not move around the RAI without someone mentioning collaboration and integration. Almost every stand featured a ‘partner’ company logo. Unlike the bad old days, no one was locking anyone into their technology anymore. The talk was about openness and partnerships. Even with competitors. It was incredibly refreshing, and not just for me. For most vendor-agnostic customers – and let’s be honest, that is nearly all of them - this is exactly what they wanted to hear. 38 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 106 OCTOBER 2015 They spend an awful lot of time and energy making applications developed by one company work happily with technology made by another, all in the desire to create the perfect workflows for their businesses or their customers’ businesses. A manufacturer opening up their APIs to everyone makes this so much easier and, in some cases, practical for the first time. One key announcement saw Avid reveal that its Interplay MAM asset management system and its ISIS shared storage now support third- party video editing systems - including Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro. Who would have imagined that five years ago? As we continue to move to a more open, IT-centric and cost-effective way of creating and delivering content (in a myriad of different ways to a plethora of different platforms), these third-party integrations - without the need for significant customer R&D - are essential. And if customers are shouting for it, vendors must listen. Finally, it appears that they are.