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IBC Exhibitor Viewpoint: Thierry Gandilhon, Netia

“The cloud,” “cloud production” and the rise of social media are hot topics in the broadcast markets

Thierry Gandilhon, President and CEO, NetiaAs IBC2015 gets closer, we continue our series of short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the annual trade show. Thierry Gandilhonis president and CEO for French-firm Netia.

Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s IBC Show?

Thierry Gandilhon: So far, 2015 has been very prosperous for Netia, with recent wins, upgrades and deployments of our software solutions throughout the world. Sky News Radio in the United Kingdom, WestwoodOne Network in the United States and Trans World Radio in Guam have all upgraded their Netia systems over the past months, and TWR has also rolled out a new Netia solution in Sri Lanka. Radio Algérienne’s 13 new regional sites are being deployed even now, and we completed a brand new installation at the Ministry of Communication and Information in Singapore, just to name a few. We’re also engaged in the continuous evolution of the production workflow at longtime client Radio France.

RW: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the IBC2015 Show?

Gandilhon: “The cloud” and “cloud production” have become increasingly used phrases in the industry, and for Netia clients this means virtualization of their studios, remote access to their content and even production of programs from anywhere. The rise of social media in the radio and TV broadcast market are hot topics as well, and we see this as a call for further tools that facilitate interaction between broadcasters and their audiences.

RW: What new products will your company be showing?

Gandilhon: At IBC2015, Netia will highlight new product features that enhance the flexibility and reliability of multichannel radio playout and new capabilities that enrich multimedia production, as well as mobile and remote production workflows. We will also demonstrate our ability to integrate complex production ecosystems and simplify the publishing of content and data to the second screen.

We look forward to introducing our new AirPlayList 2.0 module, which automates playout of multiple radio channels simultaneously and with guaranteed redundancy. Because the module is AES67- and AoIP-compliant, users can broadcast either from a traditional physical sound card or using IP-based virtual drivers.

RW: Why should attendees visit your booth?

Gandilhon: IBC2015 attendees should drop by the Netia booth so they can meet and connect with our sales team, and review new features and improvements in our Media Assist Suite with our technical team. Visitors to our booth can also discuss technical partnerships, and how their broadcast technologies can integrate with Netia solutions to meet our customers’ needs. We look forward to meeting with both existing and potential partners, and we feel that these interactions at IBC2015 can open the door to productive new projects and relationships.

RW:The Internet has changed the way people do business. Some would say that it has rendered shows such as the IBC obsolete. Is this true?

Gandilhon: Not true! The Internet facilitates communication and may effectively serve to reduce distances between continents, but people are still human beings and nothing will ever replace a face-to-face meeting — especially at the end of the day when we offer our clients French wine tasting on our booth. Our vision of the customer relationship is very traditional, and Netia clients are part of the family, so IBC is like a big family reunion. It’s our pleasure to meet and sit down with clients to discuss potential business and the market’s evolution. Such a large gathering has proved essential to keeping the connection going — both with the market and with our clients. Discussions around support, quality of service, and our product roadmap will be at the heart of the meetings we will have at IBC.

RW:You’re a show veteran, what’s your favorite thing about the show?

Gandilhon: Gathering all the major actors in one place is very productive and saves us a great deal of time and travel. Plus, Amsterdam is a great city!

RW: Least favorite thing?

Gandilhon: Five days of any show is really too much. It’s exhausting!

RW: Will you be attending any sessions or looking forward to any events?

Gandilhon: Yes, we’ll try to escape the booth and attend some IBC conferences on next-generation technology and game-changers to get a sense of what’s to come for the broadcast industry.

RW: How has IP technology affected you?

Gandilhon: IP technology is crucial to the broadcast industry, and we have developed our new playout module based on this technology. IP means less equipment and less dedicated hardware for broadcasters. It frees our clients from needing massive infrastructure, and it opens the door to virtualization of production. To ensure full compatibility with IP technology, we have validated that Netia software will interoperate smoothly with virtual sound cards and IP drivers.

RW: How has social media affected you?

Gandilhon: Social media has changed the way we all communicate with each other and interact with our environment. For Netia, this has meant rethinking our product strategy and putting more effort into including tools that facilitate social media integration and empower our clients to engage more closely with their audiences.