Editing and effects systems manufacturer Quantel is to cut a significant number of jobs as part of plans to concentrate on software rather than hardware development, Broadcast has learned.

Sources suggested that as many as 80 jobs could go but marketing director Steve Owen said it would be significantly fewer, although he was unable to reveal the exact number.

Details of the re-organisation have not been disclosed, but Owen said more software engineers had already been recruited and that the changes would benefit the company in the long term, despite the redundancies.

“In order to meet the changing needs of our customers we have to constantly re-invent ourselves,” Owen told Broadcast.

“We've had one of our best years since the management buyout [in 2000] and had a fantastic IBC, but the move [by our customers] to commodity products and our emphasis on software rather than hardware development unfortunately means we will have to lose some good people.”

Owen highlighted the lengthy and complicated consultation procedure Quantel will go through - as required by law - before any staff are made redundant.

Letters informing affected staff of the potential changes were sent at the end of last week.

Quantel employs about 250 people at its Newbury base in Berkshire. Its products include the iQ, eQ and Pablo editing, grading and finishing products, which are used by broadcasters and post-production facilities around the world.

Last month the company confirmed that it had signed a deal with the BBC to upgrade the current Quantel software in its tapeless newsrooms at Television Centre.

At IBC 2008 Quantel collected a total of six awards, including the coveted IBC Innovation Award Judges' Prize, for its pioneering work in Stereo3D technology.