United front: Michael Hallén on the opportunities created by unifying the Vizrt and NewTek portfolios

Vizrt has united with NewTek in a move that forms the most comprehensive single vendor product portfolio in content creation.

Since the acquisition of NewTek by Vizrt in 2019, the organisations have focused on their respective broadcast and pro-AV markets, largely operating separately under the umbrella of Vizrt Group. But the markets of broadcast and pro-AV are converging, and the needs of customers and end users are changing.

Speaking to SVG Europe, Michael Hallén, CEO of Vizrt, says: “We’ve been together now for almost four years, and actually we consolidated a lot and moved together a lot during the first year. But we have not done that in the marketplace in the face of customers before. We’ve been working to combine the intellectual property from both companies as we have seen a lot of our TriCaster customer base asking for Vizrt stuff, and we have seen a lot of Vizrt customers asking for TriCaster. So it felt very natural to make it easier for those customers to buy from us.”

The ongoing convergence between broadcast and pro-AV meant now was the ideal time to make this move.

Hallén adds: “Video has obviously been important for many broadcast customers for many years. But I think that partly COVID ignited the interest even further, if you look at large corporations and similar. They are also asking for fairly advanced stuff, on the graphics side, the AI side that we provide from the Vizrt side of the fence. So we thought as we had joined engineering and all the other back office functions, it was time to put it in the same portfolio.”

The decision to join forces is expected to have a positive impact on customers as well as partners, according to Hallén.

“It makes it easy for our partners, resellers and system integrators because well over half of the whole Vizrt portfolio business is done together or through various partnerships. Giving them an opportunity to pick and choose from a larger portfolio made them very happy.”

He continues: “We have been talking about this internally for a long time, it obviously took a lot of preparation, because we can’t let all these partners, no matter how good they all are, lose in the portfolio because everything around that – certain training, Viz University, the Customer Success organisation, all those kind of things need to be robust first. Now we feel that this is the time when we can let them in, certify them properly and support them properly.”

“I think it’s important for us as a full service, end-to-end provider to our customers to focus on their main pain points”

In terms of the impact on customers, Hallén highlights the Customer Success organisation, a global team on hand to share its insight and experience with customers in areas such as technical presales, professional services, support and training, as a particular benefit.

“The Customer Success organisation is one of the benefits that comes to partners and customers alike. In a way, we spent a lot of time since the acquisition of NewTek building our Customer Success organisation, and also bringing it together so if you have a support matter with TriCaster, if you have a support matter with Viz it’s still one, 24/7, global organisation that helps you. I think that will prove immensely important for the customer base, as they see the benefits now with that. This turns into a bit of a one-stop shop, regardless of if you are a huge giant in media, or if you’re a reasonably advanced corporation or a high school. You’re basically in the same ecosystem, and you should be able to grow within that ecosystem as your requirements tell you to do.”

With Vizrt releasing numerous new products and tech updates in recent months, it seems more of the same can be expected from the new, combined Vizrt. While innovative, AI-led tools and entry-level solutions are all on the cards, the focus will very much be on customer needs and the user experience.

“We are focusing a lot on the user experience and the productivity piece, because we are not immune to the environment we are living in,” he continues. “I think it’s important for us as a full service, end-to-end provider to our customers to focus on their main pain points. That’s doing more with less, and can we use technology to help them with that, and focus on the user experience, because that’s key for productivity.”

The first big announcement from the combined portfolio is the launch of a new entry-level TriCaster that adds cloud-based switcher options. TriCaster Mini Go “will unlock new horizons for seamless collaboration, remote production and the ability to engage audiences like never before”, says Hallén. “As technology advances, so should our solutions and TriCaster in the cloud reaffirms our commitment to provide our customers and end users with the tools they need to create captivating content in a cloud-powered era.”

“We are launching it basically by popular request from the partner channel,” he adds. Looking ahead and we can expect to see “a firework of news coming at IBC” and “closer and closer integration between all of our products”, he concludes.

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