A new multi-year partnership with Microsoft that will bring more Avid services to the cloud was touted as the “final piece” of Avid’s transformed product strategy by CEO Louis Hernandez Jr. in a conference call today reporting the company’s Q1 2017 results.
Hernandez said the deal with Microsoft will allow it to finish its planned evolution by making the company’s entire MediaCentral platform — and thus all of its applications — available for cloud deployments.
“We have had a couple of creative tools in the cloud already,” he noted in his prepared remarks. “That’s what’s driving our cloud-enabled subscriptions. But we announced that the entire stack — now, if you think about this for a minute, if you’re a media enterprise, your entire operation could now run in the cloud with the largest, most complete applications in the industry through a single vendor. And it can run traditional on-premise private or public cloud.”
The first customer working on a hybrid cloud implementation of MediaCentral is Al Jazeera Media Network, Avid said, which is building cloud workflow for newsroom environments worldwide. Later this year, Avid said, it plans to make cloud deployments more broadly available and simpler to manage, developments that will be driven in part by investments from Microsoft related to the new partnership.
Avid’s bottom-line results for the quarter weren’t great — it posted a net loss of $1.9 million, compared to net income of $20.9 million in the same period one year ago — but the company focused on improved results in MediaCentral licensing and paid subscriptions. The company said it has sold 46,728 MediaCentral Licenses to date, and has 70,965 active paid subscribers, up from 34,950 one year ago. And executives pointed out that total bookings outside Greater China (where Avid recently signed a commercial agreement with Jetsen) were up 9% year-on-year, largely on the strength of the company’s new Nexis line of storage appliances.
“We expect great things from Nexis over the long term, and I think the most important thing [is] it’s completely cloud-enabled,” said Avid CFO Brian Agle. “So it’s part of the conversation [in] every major enterprise deal, but … because it’s tied to those large enterprise deals it’s hard to predict exactly the pace at which those will come in. But I suspect that Nexis is on its way to becoming the industry standard, if you look at its growth rate compared to any other vendor in the storage space for media.”