By Dave Colantuoni, VP Product Management, Avid
At Avid, we’re very proud to have headed back from NAB Show 2023 with two product innovation awards in hand, and having contributed to a third.
Our latest storage product Avid | NEXIS F2 SSD picked up an NAB Show Product of the Year Award in the Connect: Cloud Computing and Storage category, while Mix Magazine’s panel of professional users and editors handed Avid Media Composer a Best of Show Award, which recognizes innovation and excellence in new products. In the same week, the IABM gave its BaM Award for Project, Collaboration or Event to our collaboration on the breakthrough Marquis-Sony-Avid news production workflow for our customer, Sinclair Broadcast.
So, what led to these successes? At Avid, we put it down to two factors: our unrelenting drive for innovation and our rich collaboration with customers.
NEXIS family evolution
Take the development of our NEXIS F2 SSD. It’s totally built with our enterprise customers’ creative needs in mind, providing the infrastructure to support all they demand from advanced high-quality workflows around 8K and HDR. The additional media packs, additional hot spare SSDs and super-fast dual 100Gbps ethernet connectivity were all developed in collaboration with our customers.
But NEXIS F2 SSD is so much more than just really fast storage. What made it stand out for the judges was its reliability, scalability and flexibility in the way it can be deployed.
While our NEXIS line launched in 2016, its evolution over the last couple of years has been picking up at an extraordinary pace. We renovated the whole architecture of Avid’s storage with the F-series, modernizing the Virtual File System so it can be deployed on all the hyperscalers’ cloud platforms. We’ve re-platformed our entire on-prem infrastructure for storage, and at the same time, deployed SaaS offerings in the Microsoft Azure cloud.
But perhaps what really sets our innovation apart at Avid is this: we literally test what we say we test. SSDs don’t last forever, so we test our storage to make sure it matches the needs of our customers – for performance under pressure, and how it can scale. Not a lot of companies do this. But because we support the biggest media operations in the world, our storage has to be built for critical situations. It really is the bedrock that allows editors and creative production teams to collaborate freely.
Media Composer x Pro Tools interoperability
The award for our Media Composer-Pro Tools interop also stems from our culture of innovation and customer collaboration.
The history of this is incredible! There has always been a need for workflow interop, but it’s never been more exacerbated than in the last five years by studios under pressure to cut the time it takes to bring high quality productions to market.
The Avid Community Association (ACA) – our customer collaboration forum – told us the interoperability between these professional-standard creative tools was their biggest need, so we dedicated ourselves to making it work. We embedded an ACA working group within Avid to advise us on what to develop.
The result? Last December, we launched Picture and Sound workflow enhancements. The implementation and the efficiency this interoperability delivered was formidable. You were, for the first time, able to create and export a session file within Media Composer and send it to Pro Tools. Now, coming right up to date, at NAB, we showed the ability to send the file back from Pro Tools to Media Composer. Picture editors and sound editors can now truly collaborate using the same technology.
But the story doesn’t stop there. Our innovation culture also means we’re solving the problems of tomorrow. We see workflow efficiency continuing through concurrent collaboration between picture and sound - seamless exchange of content; no more import and export. It will mean immense benefits for users, saving millions of dollars from production budgets.
And finally, a word on the recognition of our collaboration with Marquis and Sony to allow Sinclair to get news to air faster than ever. Over recent years, we’ve worked hard to develop partner integrations that extend and enhance our proven media creation workflows - across everything from collaborative cloud-based production, content security and watermarking, IP contribution, broadcast automation, networked storage, video editing and special effects, and more. Avid is fully open to allowing connectivity and working with other vendors.
So, here’s to an unrelenting drive for innovation and immense gratitude to our customers for their ongoing input and collaboration. And if industry recognition - and awards - keep coming along the way, we’ll graciously take that.