It’s been just over three months since I joined Forbidden Technologies and I know many are keen to hear about our latest developments, before we wrap up 2017. Here are some highlights and insights from my first 100 days as CEO.
I have made a priority of engaging with our existing customers across North America and the UK. These range from MSG Networks and Viacom in New York, to Envy and the post production houses in Soho, to Deltatre, IMG, Gfinity, and the BBC. Other major clients and household name sports leagues and brands are covered by
Being from the broadcasting world, I already had a good understanding of the current issues impacting the industry. However, these customer visits have highlighted the challenges and opportunities in the industry as it undergoes seismic digital transformation. We are talking to existing and potential customers about how Forbidden Technologies can help increase speed to market, reduce hardware footprint, provide better video content visibility and contribute to media distribution in an evolving digital landscape. We have also held discussions with many prospective customers on both sides of the Atlantic, where I have gained valuable insight into the power of Blackbird™.
Blackbird is our visionary piece of patented video technology that differentiates Forscene. Invented and developed by Stephen Streater, Blackbird is a high-performance video codec. It provides a responsive viewing experience and frame accurate manipulation of content from multiple locations across the media supply chain. Blackbird runs effectively in the cloud, on premise and in hybrid solutions. It is incredibly impressive and is what sets us apart. By selling our technology purely as an editor you could say we have been hiding this ‘light under a bushel’!
Surrounding Blackbird is a suite of microservices that take advantage of this unique technology. Our video platform, Forscene, helps solve many of the challenges faced and provides new opportunities for companies in relation to their live, non-live and archived content. Forscene is interoperable and can be integrated into existing and developing media supply chains.
Feedback from both existing and prospective customers is unanimous – Blackbird video technology should be a game changer within the industry – reaffirming my core reason for joining Forbidden as CEO and investing personally in the company. Throughout my media career, and especially in my time at Turner and BBC Worldwide, I developed a deep appreciation of the need to continuously improve speed and efficiency, which Blackbird is ideally positioned to do.
Our primary commercial objective is to integrate Blackbird as an infrastructure component in the media supply chain. These infrastructure sales have far more financial potential, although they have longer sale cycles. There is a lot of work to be done, to tackle both the lack of sales and the fact that Forbidden has been under-selling its technology, but I relish a challenge, and we are making good headway for the new year ahead.
Although we have replaced some of the sales and marketing team, we are still actively recruiting for additional sales personnel for both the UK and North America, to align with Forbidden’s new direction. The new team will report to the Sales Director who joined the company in July 2017. A new senior Marketing Manager has already been engaged. Forbidden is also looking to extend its reseller efforts to the West Coast USA and LatAm.
Lastly and most importantly, on a commercial note, over the past few months, we have signed a number of exciting new strategic Proofs of Concept (PoCs) for Blackbird in multiple regions and new sectors. This adds up to easily the most POCs the company has ever had at any one time.
These are exciting times at Forbidden Technologies and we look forward to keeping you up-to-date in the new year.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2018
Ian McDonough and the Forbidden team
Blackbird is best-of-breed
Jon Hanford - Group CTO, Deltatre