A Talk with Medéa and Avid
COW Library : Avid Media Composer : Walter Biscardi : A Talk with Medéa and Avid
Andy Dale, Senior Prod. Mgr., Avid Storage & Networking; Martin Bock, VP of Business Development for Medéa line.
It was February 28, 2006 and as I was having my morning coffee I opened the Creative Cow website to catch up on the latest industry news. "Avid buys Medéa Corporation." I rubbed my eyes and read it again: "Avid buys Medéa Corporation."
The words sunk in and my now alert brain jumped into Mel Brooks' ludicrous speed: "They're going to kill Medéa. They'll put the Avid nameplate on everything and jack up the prices 50%. They'll kill the support team. They'll make the arrays proprietary for Avid systems only." And those are just the reactions fit to print in Bovine Bessie's magazine.
As an eight year user of Medéa products, this was not comforting news to say the least. I was afraid the quality products and tech support that helped to build my business would no longer be available.
Well, there's only one way to find out the truth and that's to go directly to the source. Through my long time contact at Medéa, Don McDonell, I was put in touch with Andy Dale of Avid and Martin Bock of Medéa who graciously took the time to answer my questions and clear up the details on what is happening with Medéa and Avid.
Andy Dale is the Senior Product Manager, Storage & Networking for Avid and has been with AVID for 3 years. Martin Bock is the former Vice President of Medéa and the current Vice President of Business Development for the Medéa product family at Avid.
CC: With the successful Unity storage solution already available under your banner, what motivated Avid to purchase the Medéa Corporation?
Andy Dale: Medéa's parity RAID storage is well recognized and respected in the industry for their dependability and value; in particular, for their ability to maintain full performance even during a drive rebuild. In looking at their product line, we saw products that would immediately benefit our customers, as well as complement our existing shared-storage. Like Avid, Medéa has always focused on real-time applications, so they were a natural fit. We felt that both of these factors made Medéa products a great addition to our in-house technology and product offerings, and that we could quickly pass those benefits along to our customers.
CC: How do you respond to the concern that "Avid will slap the Avid nameplate on the products, raise prices and kill the support team."
Andy Dale: To date, we've only introduced two Avid-branded RAID products, and it's important to note that their pricing and support has not changed. Moving forward, it's still too soon to say which products will actually carry the Avid brand or the Medéa brand, however, we do not have any plans to raise prices or eliminate the support team for the Medéa products.
Martin Bock: I can honestly say that we are doing everything possible to make sure our customers see this move in a positive light. Coming off the acquisition, we are just as dedicated to insuring that our customers have an even higher level of support and performance than they have had before.
CC: Will the product line remain an independent product supporting NLE systems other than Avid?
Martin Bock: Yes, the plan is to continue to engineer products to support third-party content creation applications from manufacturers such as AJA, Blackmagic Design, Leitch and Matrox, as well as Final Cut Pro on the Mac and Adobe Premiere on the PC, to name a few. Going forward we will continue to develop storage technology that is universally compatible, and well supported.
CC: One of the hallmarks of Medéa Corporation has been their support team. They are often cited for going beyond the call to solve a customer's issues. What will happen to the Medéa engineering and support teams?
Martin Bock: We're pleased that Medéa's engineering team is intact as a part of the acquisition and we expect the integration of our hardware and software engineering with that of Avid's, to significantly augment our product capabilities.
The support structure will continue to be available, as it is today, to resellers and users alike. We are also using new Web-based tools to augment our support to help partners and customers find answers to integration and application questions on-line.
CC: Why should Medéa customers feel comfortable about this deal?
Andy Dale: I know that's certainly been on the minds of your readers as well as all Medéa customers. I'd like to emphasize again that nothing has changed in Medea's products or support, other than VideoRAID products are now qualified with Avid systems, which is definitely a good thing.
Martin Bock: Our focus will continue to be the development and support of new, affordable storage technologies, and the entire community will benefit as a result of these efforts. Avid has supported this approach from the start, and we are working together to show customers they can feel good about future.
CC: What benefit does this purchase bring to the Avid user community?
Andy Dale: Many of our customers have been interested in RAID storage for some time and some may have invested in RAID solutions from other vendors. With Avid VideoRAID products, they will have access to world-class, low-cost local storage products optimized for bandwidth-intensive, real-time work and data protection, backed by Avid's engineering expertise in storage and workflow.
CC: Any last comments you'd like to share with the Creative Cow community?
Martin Bock: In 1997, Medéa pioneered the use of ATA disk drives in compressed and uncompressed video editing and has advanced the technology to a level where it has been validated as the standard in the industry. We feel that joining Avid, a company that occupies that same position in non-linear editing, is the next great step for us and our customer base.
Andy Dale: With Medéa now part of the Avid storage family, both Avid and Medéa customers definitely have a bright future. On a personal level, the Medéa team is a great group of people and it's a pleasure to work with them. We're really looking forward to delivering the next innovation and continuing to provide the industry's most reliable, cost-effective local storage.
And there you have it. For the moment, the future looks bright for users of Medéa products. Avid plans to enhance the engineering and support that made Medéa one of the top storage suppliers in the business. Medéa brings an affordable RAID solution to Avid users. I have to say that my initial reluctance to find anything good about this deal as a non-Avid user has certainly been tempered by the information received in both my phone calls and through this interview. As with all acquisitions, time will tell how things will really shake out but after talking with several folks at Avid and Medéa, I would have no issues with purchasing a new Medéa RAID solution today.
Walter Biscardi runs Biscardi Creative Media in the Atlanta, Georgia area. He has 13 Emmy™ Awards to his credit and is also the HD editor for the Food Network's popular "Good Eats" show. Walter is a longtime Creative Cow leader and friend who can be found in our FCP and Medéa forums, et al.
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