It’s three months since George Kilpatrick joined as Masstech CEO. We thought we’d take this opportunity to ask George to take a couple of moments from his busy schedule to see how he’s settling into the role
Hi George – nice hat! So, how have your first three months been?
Hello. Well, when joining any company you have to expect that the first few months are going to be hectic and intellectually challenging. You need to quickly assimilate the go to market strategy, the team, the organisation’s effectiveness and the technology. Luckily my team is very experienced and welcoming. I also joined at NAB – which some may think difficult – but in fact was the perfect way to meet as many customers as possible in my first week and assess our relationships with them. I have to say it’s a real honour to be joining as CEO at Masstech as I could see immediately there were deep relationships between the Mastech team and our customers carved through years of joint work and development. Since NAB I have been meeting all my team and our development locations in UK Canada and Romania and meeting customers all over the world.
You’ve been busy! And what would you say is the biggest job on your hands?
The market for intelligent storage and content management is changing rapidly. The greatest impact is the move to cloud. Having just worked for AWS I have spent a number of years advocating the end of LTO and the move of all assets from production to archive to public cloud storage. That’s fine, but I think there is a misunderstanding that the move to cloud will fix all your issues. Organisations still need to manage, and be responsible for their content. Additionally, many see cost as being prohibitive for certain media workflows and thus see hybrid storage actually being the likely operating model for many years. They still want a management solution that can simplify control, optimise cost and give one view of assets where-ever they are stored. That’s where we operate. Often this solution needs to retain deep integrations into their specialist workflows such as Broadcast control or NRCS (News Room Computer Systems) while optimising cloud. Again we help clients migrate. We call it ‘Controlled Ascent’.
What do you think is Masstech’s biggest strength?
Masstech is a stable, well backed, profitable company with significant market share and a loyal global customer base of over 400 international broadcasters and news organisations. We have a >95% high customer satisfaction rate based on our products and media specialist support organisation. We are using our market and financial strength this year to reinvest in new leadership, new solutions and reinvigorated channel programs to meet the changing market. But most importantly we have in-depth knowledge of our broadcast customers, their workflows and technical needs.
And the big question: where do you think we need to improve?
Technically we now have some very strong product capabilities, proven by the continued loyalty of our customers. Being agnostic to storage vendor and type is important to most clients; they often have their own deals with storage vendors and, as more begin to use use public cloud, they are negotiating deals which encompass a far larger scope than just production storage, in order that they can negotiate larger discounts. But they need management of these hybrid environments, and Masstech has concentrated hard on meeting their specific needs so they can migrate to next generation storage ecosystems at their own pace.
However, we can definitely improve how we position these solutions in the market. Historically, Masstech has two products (FlashNet and MassStore). We are reviewing how we develop and simplify these solutions and how we better explain our value proposition to the market. Expect some very exciting developments in the months ahead.
Speaking of the months ahead, what does the immediate future hold?
Well, obviously IBC is just around the corner, so we’re planning all of the activities to make it a great show. We will be unveiling some exciting new additions to the Masstech portfolio, and a lot of current development is geared towards that. We’re also continuing to increase our customer outreach programs, and the teams are busy pulling together calling and personal visiting plans to enable us to develop even closer relationships with our customers and partners. Customer interactions drive what we do, and I’m very pleased to be a part of that.
Excellent – don’t forget the hat… and thanks for taking the time to catch up.
George will be joining Masstech’s sales and tech teams at IBC2019, on stand 7.C55. If you’d like to make an appointment to drop by and say hello, please contact us.