ASSIMILATE Opens Online Store
COW Library : Assimilate Scratch : Debra Kaufman : ASSIMILATE Opens Online Store
Today, on October 25th, 2011, ASSIMILATE opened the door to the new online ASSIMILATE Store, which offers an ecosystem of tools surrounding the company's SCRATCH Lab workflow for production and VFX dailies, as well as the entire SCRATCH product line. Users will have the opportunity to test out SCRATCH Lab before purchasing it, all on the site. Also available for purchase will be third party software and hardware accessories that support SCRATCH products. SCRATCH Lab and SCRATCH Six will continue to be sold via the company's resellers worldwide.
The ASSIMILATE Store is divided into four categories: ASSIMILATE software; third-party software; third-party hardware accessories; and ASSIMILATE logo merchandise. The company has partnered with several leading technology vendors for the new portal, which enables users to purchase and download SCRATCH Lab and extend their capabilities into DI color grading, 3D stereo, VFX, on-location and post production workflows, subtitling and image restoration.
Among the third-party partners supporting the SCRATCH platform, 3ality Technica, GenArts, RE:Vision Effects, 4K Co. Ltd, HS-Art, Calibrated Software and Tangent will offer products on the ASSIMILATE portal. Several third-party products are exclusive to the ASSIMILATE Store. For the fans, ASSIMILATE-branded merchandise such as T-shirts and stickers are also available.
Edson notes that one impetus that compelled ASSIMILATE to launch the store was the appearance of a new group of customers: DITs (Digital Image Technicians). "There's been a lot of demand for ASSIMILATE Lab among DITs," he says. "We suspected Lab would get to the DITs through the post and rental market, and I still think the rental market will be a driving vehicle for a product like Lab. But because of the price point, there's been a significant demand from DITs directly. It's been their tool of choice as they go to their projects.
As traction from DITs and other new customers increases, ASSIMILATE found the need to have a process "for people to access, evaluate and acquire in the marketplace," without waiting to talk to a human being. "This is a customer base whose buying habits have a faster cycle," says Edson. "Once they're on a project and need a new tool, they have only a couple of days to decide and get it installed."
The ASSIMILATE store front interface
The portal also serves as a site for developers to create new tools that could give them a direct route to the market. "The key there is that we intend to promote and continue to promote heavily SCRATCH as a development platform for the best brightest out there writing tools in our field," explains Edson, who notes that ASSIMILATE was one of the founding members of the Open GL effects group that started two years ago. "We're providing not just an Open API they can write to but the means to distribute their technology out to the marketplace without building their own portal or marketing arm."
Products available on the ASSIMILATE Store include:
ASSIMILATE's SCRATCH Lab is available immediately on Windows/Mac OSX as a download or for purchase. A new free trial version will be available in November 2011. Priced at $4,995, SCRATCH Lab is an end-to-end digital system for the review, QC, color grading, conform and deliverables of dailies created during production, or during the VFX process for 2D 3D stereo projects up to 5K resolution and beyond.By opening not simply an online store but an online ecosystem, ASSIMILATE is creating a win-win for its technology partners and users. What technology company wouldn't like another online venue to sell hardware and software, especially to a potentially new customer base? ASSIMILATE's stated intent to create the store as a development platform is an ambitious next step. It will be interesting to see whether their bet that developers will find the platform a good place to build and launch comes to fruition. If so, ASSIMILATE may well have launched a new twist on the online store model.