IBC2018 is approaching. Between now and then Radio World offers a series of short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the annual trade show. Tom Swidarski is CEO of The Telos Alliance.
Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s IBC Show?
Tom Swidarski: I joined Telos at the beginning of January and am very excited to be in this industry. I come from banking where I was involved in helping the finance industry adopt IP to address business issues while enhancing customer experience. I am learning a great deal about radio and television broadcasting. These are exciting and challenging times! We introduced a matrix-free intercom offering (we call it Telos Infinity) that is truly revolutionary and that created tremendous excitement. We have had good market acceptance, which will truly accelerate into the future. Our industry is ripe for technological change that will enhance the viewer/listener experience and improve the broadcasters’ business model. Our knowledge and capabilities in networking and AoIP are major assets we bring to clients.
RW: What are you hearing from your customers about their business outlook this year? In what areas should we expect growth or the most interesting projects?
Swidarski: Customers are amazingly upbeat and engaged in thinking about how they can use IP technology to impact audiences in ways never possible before: studios that automatically interact with their hosts and audiences, topics like Virtualization and the cloud ... and why they matter. People are asking questions and together we are imagining lots of ways that AoIP is allowing change and will continue to drive it for the good of the industry.
RW: You’ve been active in the broadcast equipment market (AoIP, consoles, processors, etc.) for years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?
Swidarski: No question … it’s how to do more with the same resources. Customers tell us that success is about using every tool they can muster to differentiate and create content that compels listening. Imagine a virtual world where the experience is “today and/or.” It’s a user experience that can emulate the best of today and/or the best of tomorrow. Think console surfaces augmented by touch screens ... or something more compelling, a sort of virtual-reality-like experience. Your content creators will choose how they want to interact with their tools. We envision flexible and deterministic workflows that allow creative people to be their best. I believe Steve Jobs said, “Think differently.” That’s how we and our customers are challenging each other in many conversations.
RW: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth, 8.D47?
Swidarski: Our focus is on solutions and the idea that customers are best served by a holistic approach to creating broadcast facilities. It’s not about which console or processor to buy, but creating a smart network full of leading-edge tools that will intelligently integrate all aspects of audio, GPIO, and program associated data. Our booth will be a place to have a coffee and conversation. We love visiting and talking — we’re very passionate about this.
RW: Is there a particular product segment or line that is selling really well or that you are about to make a significant change in?
Swidarski: We’re doing well and also very excited about the future. We are just now beginning to experience the real impact of AoIP in broadcast and media content creation. And the best is yet to come. There are some cool things in the wings. We’ll have more to say about that in Amsterdam and the weeks and months following.
RW: Is the show a good investment for you and your company?
Swidarski: It is. IBC, in particular, is wonderful for our business because it gives us extremely valuable face time with customers, dealers, and industry peers from all over the world. It’s a microcosm of our global business and opens up new opportunities. It’s also our second biggest show outside NAB.
RW: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2018 IBC Show?
Swidarski: It’s all about the continuation of the evolution of AoIP, about the revolution in the way things are going to be done in the future.
RW: How do your international sales and marketing efforts differ from your U.S. efforts?
Swidarski: There are certainly differences but the overwhelming sense we get is that broadcasters are amongst the most passionate and caring people on the planet. They care about their audiences. Helping them is what powers all of us on this team no matter where we live/work.
RW: What’s hot in the rest of the world? What’s the same — Radio is radio no matter where you go?
Swidarski: Radio is not the same around the world but radio people are with regard to their passion for audiences and the things that matter to them. That’s what’s so great about this industry!
RW: What have your first six months at the Telos Alliance been like, and what do we have to look forward to under your leadership?
Swidarski: It’s been a quick six months! I’m really enjoying the industry. I attended my first NAB and am excited to be at IBC as well. I’m looking forward to meeting more customers and learning how we can do an even better job for them. Business issues are amazingly consistent between banking and the broadcast industry. Broadcasters and content creators are looking for ways to drive additional revenue and improve consumer experience using tools to consolidate and automate workflows. These are core competencies of Telos and you can expect to see even more of these kinds of tools from us in the future!