Avid’s Sports Leadership Group Keeps Community Needs Front and Center

Avid’s Customer Association continues to grow and expand 18 months after its launch, including the creation of a sports “leadership group” that is comprised of top customers and designed to better meet the needs of sports content creators and broadcasters. “We are asking our customers to go on a journey with us and are asking for their commitment,” says Ofir Benovici, Avid’s senior director, broadcast products, who oversees the sports committee. “So it would be strange if we didn’t share where we want to go together.”

Avid Connect, the company's annual gathering of the Avid Customer Association, is slated for April 15-17 in Las Vegas.

Avid Connect, the company’s annual gathering of the Avid Customer Association, is slated for April 15-17 in Las Vegas.

Of course, a company sharing a roadmap is not necessarily something new in the broadcast industry. For decades, the term “whisper suite” has become a standard part of the industry’s tradeshow jargon. But those whisper suites are off the show floor and only the industry’s most important customers tend to be invited to learn what is in development.

Avid’s approach, however, brings a level of transparency that will ensure that a large range of its clients have an understanding of what is next, and even long-term planning.

“We are moving away from having vendor/customer relations and moving towards a partnership that is transparent and provides a roadmap for where we want to go and how that fits into the strategy of our partners,” says Benovici. “And there is some risk in sharing the roadmap but the value you gain is in enhancing the products.”

For example, products like the ISIS server platform or iNews and Interplay inherently create a long-term relationship.

“It’s not about what is available today or in the next version but what is going to be going on in two years,” adds Benoci.

The ACA has 20 leadership groups with each having about 17-25 members who take part in conference calls and also in-person meetings. The Avid Connect event at NAB is one of the key lynchpins in the ACA activities.

“We’re seeing a ton of momentum in engagement and growth, with more than 5,000 members who have now gone through the registration process,” says Keli Callahan, director of the Avid Customer Association. “And it’s more impactful than just working with customer support: they look at our future and have an impact on what we’re doing organizationally and foundationally on things like metadata standards, hardware roadmap strategies, and more.”

Avid’s next major event for ACA members and partners will be Avid Connect, slated to be held in Las Vegas on April 15-17, just prior to the start of NAB.