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A lesson learnt in Public Relations?

What changing times we live in.

Rewind just a little over a year ago, and the general rule among the main NLE software vendors was that most companies would be very tight lipped about their plans.  And probably rightly so….in a hard fought sector each company would be wanting to have that “one-up” on their competition when it came to planned features and technologies.

Step forward to today, with a combination of what was regarded by many as catastrophic release of FCP X by Apple and challenging economic times, the main NLE software vendors have all definitely changed, and at a very rapid pace.

Almost all the “Big A’s” – Adobe, Avid and Autodesk are now seen to be much more approachable companies.  Each of them reaching out to potential clients in various ways – engaging with social media, aggressive discounting and enhancing their software to suit the needs of a demanding professional sector.

Taking a look at Autodesk as an example.  In the lead up to NAB 2012, Autodesk released the advertising slogan “Smoke is changing. Everything.”  Now many would be forgiven for instanly having the Apple FCP X release from the previous year firmly in mind.

Was Autodesk about to take Smoke and try and reinvent the wheel???

As it transpired – Smoke was changing.  A big enough change to take NAB 2012 by storm.

But was it a radical change that  caused quit a stir? – Not at all.  The user interface of Smoke has been redesigned and made much more editor friendly.  The interface redesign is not the story here, the real story is that the Smoke team was clearly in consultation with actual editors for a considerable amount of time, getting an idea of what was important to them.

The overhaul of Smoke’s editing interface to bring it into line with other standard industry tools clearly shows two things.  One, they are admitting “leagcy Smoke” was a very deep piece of software and perhaps difficult for some to learn.  The second thing I see happening here is a LARGE company listening to and putting their customers first.

Not only have they re-designed the user experience for Smoke 2013, but they will release their “work in progress” beta version of the software to the general public.  But instead of it being a closed one-way street, the Smoke development team are saying.. here is where we are heading – let us know what you think?

It is doesn’t happen every day that a large software developer releases their “beta” software into the general public, requesting in return feedback to help shape the future of the product.

So don’t just download the software and have a play.  Download it, use it and make your thoughts heard over at the Autodesk AREA Smoke 2013 forum and the Creative Cow Smoke 2013 Forum.

It’s definitely a WIN – WIN scenario as an editor in today’s market.  Whoever you choose as your NLE vendor of choice.

 

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