Most recently, Mark was Regional Sales Director for EMEA North and was living in the Netherlands. Mark has now relocated to Singapore, where he will guide Ross Team Asia through the next phase of the team’s development.
What do you think of the current state of the industry and technology?
Cooke: We’re seeing an industry that is in flux; the face of media is changing as new platforms spring up on an almost monthly basis and linear television continues to decline. There has been a real content explosion over the last few years and that’s great for companies (like Ross) at the acquisition/production end of the workflow because we’re essentially platform agnostic. That said, I do feel for our customers given the current highly competitive media landscape. They’re facing a whole variety of creative, business and technical challenges brought about by industry fragmentation and changing consumer trends. Their jobs are tough at the moment – trying to increase or maintain audience share and produce great quality content at a time when advertising revenues are falling, and customers have so much choice. We’re having very similar conversations with customers all across the region – there’s a big emphasis on efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Content creators need tools that will help them work faster and deliver more creative results.
What is the new technology or industry trends are crucial for the coming years in Asia?
Cooke: Asia is an important region for Ross – it’s always been an exciting and very dynamic part of the world from a media perspective. In terms of trends, our customers are talking to us about 4K UHD and how to prepare for a future transition to IP. However, we’ve also seen a great deal of interest in 12G SDI as a production platform. I think this reflects a healthy pragmatism in the region; customers understand the principles of IP and can see the potential efficiency benefits but they’re also very aware of the complexities of moving to an IP workflow and see 12G as a highly cost-effective upgrade path that still offers efficiency savings without a wholesale change of infrastructure. There’s no doubt in my mind that customers in the region are very heavily focused on efficiency, versatility and return on investment – if there is a good business case for a product and it will deliver efficiency and good ROI, customers are not afraid to invest. I also think the wider industry trends of virtualization and a move towards cloud-based solutions (that offer flexible subscription models) are highly relevant to the region. Many customers are looking to move expenditure from Capital to Operational wherever possible and are looking for their vendors to support them here.
3. What's Ross' current performance in Asia? And or what strategies are you going to implement for the new year?
Cooke: The Ross brand has grown significantly in the Asia region during the past 5 years. Our team has expanded in size and we’ve placed a lot of focus on hiring some of the most talented people across the region. That’s also been a necessity given the complementary growth in the size of our solutions portfolio.
As part of the company’s continued expansion into Asia, Ross Asia Singapore office has upgrade and redesign our demo and training facility to showcase the company’s products and solutions and deliver on its brand promises.
A new demo & training facility will be ready by June. Ross Asia Singapore office will then be able to provide demo and training session for its business partners and customers from Asia Pacific, where they will receive complete product demonstrations and have hands-on experience on the company’s end-to-end solutions.
4. What are the opportunities for Ross?
Cooke: That’s also a positive story and I think an increasing number of customers in the region are responding to that. We’ve had some high profile regional successes – the CCTV Chinese Spring Gala Festival coverage and the award-winning CCTV ‘Mission to The Moon’ documentary both spring readily to mind – but we’re not just about broadcast.
We’re also starting to see similar demand in Asia in other verticals like Esports at Konami Japan, Sports Venues in Japan and Korea and Corporations in both Japan & China plus many more.
In my experience, customers like certainly and stability, and Ross has been extremely consistent in our approach to our market over the last 45 years and we continue to deliver on our commitments when addressing these complementary markets
4. It's a new position, with new challenge in the new year and in the new decade. What else would you like to add-on?
Cooke: This is an exciting new role for me; it’s a wonderful opportunity to understand and further develop a new region and support our customers and partners in accelerating their growth and prosperity. The new year and new decade will inevitably bring challenges. The key point to emphasise is that we are growing in the region and we are investing in the products and talent to sustain this. Customers always have choices and many of our competitors have been operating in the region for much longer than Ross, so we are still somewhat of a challenger brand. That said, I think the stability we enjoy as a family and employee-owned company coupled with our legendary customer service and our partnership approach means that we are very well placed to help content creators in the region meet the creative, business and technical challenges they face daily.