By David Scott, Managing Member at Avid Communications
Working for Sprint’s acquisition group early in my career, I was assigned to shepherd an acquired company into the world of Sprint. I was with the founder, Rich Kalbrenner, at a large industry conference and dozens of people approached him with congratulations on the sale of his business. After a while, he turned to me and said, “Dave, don’t piss anyone off in this industry. There are only about 200 of us and we recirculate.”
Indeed we do. People (and organizations) can come back around in unexpected ways.
Take AT&T for instance.
For most of my career, AT&T has been my avowed enemy. We fought them for years for the right to invade their monopoly. We’ve faced off constantly in the regulatory arena. Most of our customers are taken from AT&T.
And yet as things stand today, AT&T stands as a partner of Avid’s in serving many clients. A few years ago, AT&T reinvigorated its commercial Internet offerings with a service called AT&T Business Fiber. This brought reasonably priced fiber service to many clients without access to Google Fiber. And while it still seems a bit strange to me, we now happily arrange for clients to use AT&T all the time.
Forever, I’ve been an Apple fan.
I published a newspaper in the mid-80s using the original Macintosh (boasting a 20MB hard drive!) and LaserWriter.
Avid Communications is a Mac shop. This is unusual for our industry. I’m typing this story on a MacBook Pro, wearing an Apple Watch and listening to music on my AirPods.
I never liked Microsoft Windows.
I’m one of those people who could never get over using the “Start” button to shut the computer down.
And I wasn’t thrilled with Microsoft’s overwhelming marketplace power. In the 1990s, Microsoft bought one of my favorite pieces of software, Ecco, and then ditched it, as it was a tiny but growing threat to several of its products.
So a Microsoft fan I’m not. (Err…was not.)
But recently, Microsoft purchased the provider of our core network equipment, MetaSwitch, and even before that we decided to integrate the Microsoft Teams offering into our own, going so far as to fund a development effort that makes using Teams for voice much easier and better for Avid customers.
So it looks like AT&T and Microsoft will be a growing part of our future in ways I could never have imagined. So to AT&T and Microsoft, I lift my glass to toast your success, especially as it helps Avid bring great new services to our customers.