Grass Valley is to target the more cost sensitive segments of the broadcast sector, as it moves away from systems integration and focuses on providing “internet enabled architecture”.
Grass Valley president and chief executive Alain Andreoli said the company had nearly completed its first round of restructuring after being sold by Technicolor, including outsourcing “noncore” activities such as manufacturing and administration.
Andreoli compared the Grass Valley of old with marquee brands such as Ferrari and Rolls Royce, but said it was important for the company to now provide products that offer “top performance and good value”.
“The emerging markets have a tradition of being more demanding on price, while the more mature markets have seen a shift in advertising from TV to internet based media and their budgets are not elastic, so it is essential to be able to cover more economical markets,” he told Broadcast.
With the continuing shift from hardware to software, Grass Valley is also moving away from systems integration. Instead, the company will be a “pureplay solutions provider, which means we will be a product and architecture consulting vendor and not a systems integrator anymore,” said Andreoli.
The need for “internet enabled architecture” with the capacityto manage digital files from production to playout has seen Grass Valley concentrate its development efforts on its Stratus suite of products. “That will be the backbone of what we offer,” said Andreoli. “It Grass Valley focuses on value has APIs that enable customers to buy different products from other vendors, and it enables third parties to develop applications on top of it. Stratus enables customers to manage media in the 21st century.”
Andreoli, who was appointed Grass Valley chief executive in January 2011 following its acquisition by Francisco Partners from Technicolor, also revealed that the company had access to a $3bn (£1.9bn) acquisition fund. “Francisco Partners has leveraged $7bn [£4.5bn] in funds, of which $3bn is unspent. It is acquisitive and is looking at this space with a view to using Grass Valley as a vehicle for further deals.”
Grass Valley acquired Netherlands based playout systems provider PubliTronic at the end of 2011. Andreoli cited last month’s appointment of senior vice president of corporate development Graham Sharp as evidence of its ambition to strike more deals.