Marty Sacks is vice president of sales, support and marketing for the Telos Alliance.
As IBC2016 gets closer, 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 big annual trade show. Marty Sacks is vice-president of sales, support and marketing for the Telos Alliance.
Radio World: How has business been for the company since IBC2015?
Marty Sacks: Frankly, the company has had an amazing year since last IBC. We are very fortunate to have had a number of hit products contribute to our growth across our brands. We also announced our acquisition of Minnetonka Audio at IBC last year and working with their team has been exciting and very rewarding. We continue to invest heavily in R&D to innovate — as the industry has come to expect from us. Three particular areas of growth have been audio processing, streaming and AoIP.
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?
Sacks: Projects continue to be funded and built. Customers continue to talk to us about ways to use technology to update their facilities, to optimize their workflows or to save operating expense. One very interesting project we’re doing is in the United Kingdom. A large national network is converting their regional stations to “cloud-based,” which moves quite a lot of the facility to data centers where our AoIP, codec, and telephony gear is running on blade servers instead of purpose-built hardware. The consoles remain in the local studio facility but the rest is elsewhere in redundant data centers. Some would say this is more of where things will go in the future. Innovations that continue to occur in the IT world will be useful for us in broadcast.
RW: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend, generally speaking, at IBC2016?
Sacks: Short answer here: Anything IP! We have been telling the IP story for many years — almost a lone voice in the wilderness for the first several years. Many folks said AoIP wouldn’t work. Wouldn’t you know that even they are onboard now? You can’t throw a paper airplane anywhere at a broadcast trade show now and not hit a sign in a booth that has the letters IP on it! I think that show attendees will be spending more time thinking about the nuance of all of this — notably AES67, which will celebrate its third birthday in September — and how it impacts their facilities. We look forward to a lot of these sorts of conversations in Amsterdam, helping people guide their facilities to what's next. We love this stuff!
RW: What new products will your company be showing?
Sacks: Great question! New products as well as new enhancements to existing products. We’ve just introduced a new version of our VX phone system for smaller facilities called VX Prime that is ideal for small- to medium-sized facilities. We’ve got some big product news on our implementation of AES67 that we will be sharing. And we’ll be showing the Version 2 software release for our popular xNode, which is actually the only product that features full AES67-compliance, Livewire and Ravenna. We also will introduce updates to Omnia processing and ZIPStream streaming products. There is much to see!
RW: How is this new product (or products) different from what’s available from your past products, and elsewhere on the market?
Sacks: While the tech has always moved forward here at Telos (ISDN to IP is just one example), our ground up approach to creating products hasn't changed since our first days in Steve Church’s kitchen. We have the largest group of ex-broadcasters in our industry working here everyday looking for ways to make the industry better through what we make today and what we plan to make next. We take this very seriously and never assume we’ve figured it all out. Although not strictly a product feature, our 24/7 support team is just one example of how we try to support the industry and approach our jobs differently from other manufacturers.
RW: What’s your favorite thing about the IBC show? Your least favorite?
Sacks: Love the show! It's always great to visit with our friends every year in Amsterdam. We are a global company, and IBC plays on a global stage, so the chance to connect internationally is huge. Like any trade show the feet can be a bit sore at the end of the day but the opportunity to see our customers and dealers far outweighs this.
RW: Do you have any suggestion that would make the show a better experience for exhibitors and/or attendees?
Sacks: Take the time to map out the show so you don’t waste precious time (not to mention steps) looking for stands. There’s a lot of ground to cover. Also, enjoy some local color when you’re not at the RAI. There is a great restaurant called Indrapura in Rembrandtplein that I enjoy. There is also a great café directly across from the RAI with a red awning. Can’t miss it! Wear comfortable shoes, of course, and stop by for a coffee at the Telos booth. We’re pouring all day!