Front Porch Digital—Rino Petricola, Senior Vice President, Managing Director
Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2012
Multiplatform content delivery and cloud computing will certainly be front-and-centre of industry interests. It is absolutely clear that the media organizations need to adapt to the shifting environment and to enlarge their broadcast offerings in response to changing viewing habits driven by a myriad of connected devices. Companies need to find new ways of reaching their audience while controlling or reducing costs and concentrating on their core business. In this changing landscape multiplatform content delivery becomes a must and cloud computing a way to adapt quickly without any upfront capital investment. The time when broadband meets broadcast has definitely come and Front Porch Digital’s strategy is clearly embracing this convergence.
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
The economic climate is still affecting the timelines of projects. However, we’ve seen in several regions—some considered emerging regions—a strong push from the industry to catch up with Western Europe. In that respect, the Middle East and Eastern Europe are very active. Even if the current economic climate might limit the number of attendees overall, we do expect the quality of the attendees to continue to increase, as we have seen happening over the past few years.
Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC2012 and that broadcasters should look for there?
We’ll be showing enhancements across all our product lines: latest versions of our SAMMAsolo HD Video Migration Solution; DIVArchive content storage management system now featuring complex DPX packages and Archive eXchange Format (AXF) support; DIVAdirector Media Asset Management application; and DIVApublish online video publishing application.
Our biggest highlight will be the European debut of LYNX, the industry’s first enterprise-scale cloud implementation of content storage management (CSM) with LYNXdr a hosted disaster recovery (DR) service and LYNXlocal a simple extension to LYNX that operates locally as an appliance caching cloud content.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
We have numerous differentiators at the individual product level, but from a high-level perspective the combination of our solutions is unique to the marketplace in that we can offer an end-to-end workflow for migrating, managing and monetizing content. And to add another layer of uniqueness, some of these solutions are now available in the cloud and are SaaS based.
Q. Last year I asked whether 3D was Hope, Hype or In Between. This year I want to know similar thoughts on “social media and broadcasters.”
We have no doubt that social media support is a must-have component in the strategy of companies who want to embrace the changing landscape of content delivery and interactivity. More and more consumers are viewing content on connected devices; are part of or want to be part of a community; and are used to interacting with their devices and the associated content. If broadcasters want to keep their audience, they must target these communities and respond to the social media demand.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
Our international headquarters are in Annecy, France—just thirty minutes from Geneva international airport. Our corporate headquarters are in Louisville, Colo., U.S.A. Currently we have more than 100 employees serving more than 500 customers in more than 70 countries. Our personnel have long-standing experience in IT and broadcast, but with recent hires we have added significant telecom and broadband expertise as we believe the convergence of these markets must also happen on the inside.
Q. How many years have you been going to the IBC show and what’s your fondest memory? What’s your favourite restaurant or pub?
IBC2012 will be my 17th IBC. One of my fondest memories of the show comes from 2010 when Front Porch Digital together with Broadcast Center Europe (BCE) received the IBC2010 Award for content management for the mass video digitization project at the European Parliament’s Audiovisual Unit. My favorite restaurant in Amsterdam remains Restaurant d'Vijff Vlieghen (Five Flies), where every day the chef prepares a surprising menu of four, five or six courses served with his special wine selections. It’s a great place to bring customers.