Thoughts and Comments from Randy Hood

Following are some comments from Randy Hood on the video industry in general and storage area networking in particular. These can be used as the basis for a more extensive story on Hood and Pathlight. To view the original press release, click here.

The Pathlight Executive Team
The company needs all the skills and expertise that existed before I got here. Hank (Watson) has been the driving force on the financial and operational side for Pathlight and it’s going to stay that way. Alex (Lieb) will continue to seek out new business opportunities and relationships and Said (Rahmani-Khezri) will continue to lead on the technical side. I’m going to be involved in the sales and marketing activities of the company and hopefully add some value in that area.

Relationships with Customers
I want to understand how customers view us and how our technology is working for them. One of the keys to the early success of ImMIX was selling the VideoCube and TurboCube products as complete systems with the computer and disk drives included. This solved a big configuration issue. Over time, there were a lot of forces in the company and the market to change that, but in the beginning it was the right thing to do. I don’t know if there is a similar key for Pathlight, but we’ll look for it and do what’s necessary to address whatever we find.

Building Bridges
When you’re on the front edge of technology, there aren’t necessarily standards to go by. Things are always changing and there’s a lot of misinformation. In order to provide the most value, we want to be in the bridge position. Our ImageAGENT product is a good example of this. It connects SCSI and SSA devices and provides a way to deal with legacy products while realizing the advantages of dealing with a real fast network loop. We want to remain flexible so that other interfaces can be addressed in the future.

Format Wars
We have to focus on a solution, not on a single interface. It’s like tape formats. If you have been in the video industry for any length of time, you have experienced the on going discussions about which VTR format is better and which one will survive. The reason there are so many formats is because different customer requirements can only effectively be met with very specific VTR formats. There is a lot of networking technology out there and it all has its place. One scenario may use two or three of them and another may use a different solution or set. What we are starting to develop as a company is a sense that we want to focus on storage area networking solutions without being limited to a single type of solution.

Product Distribution
If people want to create well thought out, technically robust network solutions, then they will want to get to know Pathlight. We are currently talking about how best to sell the products and I have a hunch it will be a multi-faceted approach. There is an OEM side to the business that is very important. It’s one avenue available to develop a technology and offer solutions that are integrated into other products. That tends to take a company beyond a single industry. If you look at traditional distribution methods, you’d love to plug into that, but they may not be well suited to deal with larger, more complex, multi-seat network environments. As you go to different market segments, you have to go with the channels that are recognized in those environments. You also have to look at which companies have both the video and computer talent on staff to put these kinds of systems together.

The Global Viewpoint
We want to get the company oriented to providing broader-based solutions, implementing them and getting it done in a high quality way. When you do that, you want to look at our presence in the market not just in the U.S., but into the international markets that don’t know about Pathlight today. You can go anywhere in the world, to any TV station and they want to talk to you about how to improve their operations. In a news department, for example, they want to know how they can use the new digital technologies to improve the speed and efficiency of their operations. The News Director, General Manager and Chief Engineer are having these discussions and trying to figure out how to solve these problems.

A Stitch in Time
I’ve moved one step beyond selling specific non-linear editing workstations. Now that the systems are out there, people need to find a way to connect them all together. When I was at Scitex Digital Video, I started to develop some real strong feelings about how creative people can start working differently when you move to a really open digital environment. I realized that a separate company from the non-linear manufacturers would be better positioned to offer an industry-wide solution. That’s what the customer wants and Pathlight is in the best position to stitch it all together.

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