New York, NY (December 13, 2017)—In October, Focusrite announced the creation of a new division, Focusrite Pro, overseeing its Red multi-format audio interfaces; RedNet modular AoIP solutions; and ISA microphone preamplifiers and analog signal processors. The move, announced at the AES Convention, may have come as a surprise to some, but to Tim Carroll, CEO of Focusrite Audio Engineering, it was a necessary change that became apparent to him earlier this year.
“I came on board in January with Focusrite,” said Carroll, speaking at the AES Convention. “As I looked across the portfolio, one thing that was very amazing to me was the RedNet portfolio. The company invested so much in the R&D to bring it to market, it’s right on the cutting edge and it checks all the boxes for post-production, live, installed sound and broadcast—but the one thing missing from the equation was a professional sales team to support it.”
With the creation of Focusrite Pro, that new sales team is now in place and tasked with providing users with both technical guidance and sales solutions tailored to their workflows. Much of that will inevitably include straightforward education about AoIP, according to Focusrite Pro’s VP of Global Sales, Richard Nevens.
“There’s an entire industry move to Audio-over-IP,” he said, “but for a lot of guys that have been working in this point-to-point world, whether it’s with MADI or AES or analog, [talking to Focusrite Pro is] an educational process as well, learning the benefits of Dante, how does it work and how does that provide solutions, whether it’s for post-production, music or education.” The result, he said, is that the company ultimately discerns clients’ needs and roadblocks, and helps develop the most appropriate way to migrate their businesses to an AoIP workflow.
Within the broader umbrella of Focusrite, the new Pro division is made up of roughly 20 employees in a variety of positions, based in the US, UK and Hong Kong—and that worldwide presence has its benefits. “Our target was to have ‘follow the sun’ support by the end of this year, and we’re there now,” said Carroll. “Inside each one of these organizations, there is a subset of pros who are focused on this side of the business, who are available.”
That specific focus benefits everyone involved—clients and Focusrite itself, as Nevens noted: “Once you create a team, as opposed to a number of guys within the organization serving the whole product line from MI to pro, you become much more focused on strategy and the ability to respond to customers. And from the customer’s perspective, if they think, say, ‘I need to do a Dante expansion over here,’ they now have dedicated people they can directly contact and a team of solution specialists. They don’t feel like they have to come up with these solutions on their own; there’s someone there who can support them in these workflows.”
Sometimes that support means being able to speak to the concerns of many stakeholders, not just end users. “We have the business and technical acumen beyond just consulting with the engineers who need to understand how is this going to work,” said Carroll. “We have the conversation with the IT guy, who’s thinking ‘You’re coming in and adding stuff to my network—who are you and why should I allow you to do that?’ And then it’s the business owners who are looking at this thinking ‘every dollar matters.’ They need to be able to look at the ROI afterwards and know it was a sound business decision. So [much of creating Focusrite Pro] is really about having a dedicated group of professionals that are available to have all those conversations, pre-sales all the way through the end—and beyond.”