Avid is one of the largest clients of GlobalLogic. Its products include audio and video production solutions, media content storage, broadcasting and news production, and many of our engineers create and support them in Kyiv. A large number of tech specialists are also working in all Avid’s offices in the US, Germany and Canada.
Recently, GlobalLogic and Avid celebrated the seventh anniversary of their partnership. On this occasion we talked to people who launched the first Avid projects and asked them to recall how it all started in 2008.
After Avid decided to start doing some engineering outside of the company, its management started to consider different countries and partners. ‘A work group was created within the company, and it communicated with all the potential vendors, including GlobalLogic,’ remembers Igor Byeda, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of GlobalLogic Ukraine.
‘Communication with Avid took about 6 months, but eventually we won the contract, getting ahead of the largest Ukrainian IT companies,’ Igor says. ‘A strong team with deep technical expertise as well as our ability to build good relations with the client were the main factors that led us to success.’ GlobalLogic’s expertise in Agile had a reasonable impact as well. ‘The client was very interested in this practice and looked for a partner that could implement an Agile transformation within all the engineering of the company’, adds Yuliya Dubova, GlobalLogic Avid Lab Head.
As a result, Avid’s management chose two countries: Ukraine and China. For a few years the company was working simultaneously with two partners: Ukrainian GlobalLogic and Chinese Dextris.
At first, Avid planned a very limited scope of collaboration. ‘Initially, our task was to help develop a new framework for audio plug-ins and port completed plug-ins to a new framework and a new hardware architecture,’ recalls Volodymyr Vorobyov who started working for Avid as a Tech Lead. ‘We took Motorola plug-ins, partially coded in assembler, rewrote them in C/C++ and optimized them for a new architecture.’
‘We managed to exceed our client’s expectations and get off to a good start,’ Igor Byeda adds, ‘which is why a new project with Avid started soon thereafter. It consisted of creation of a new version of Pinnacle Studio, a home video editor bought earlier by Avid’. The third important project, which involved porting of a widely used Media Composer from a 32-bit architecture to a 64-bit one, took place in 2008 as well.
“Porting of Media Composer took much time and involved a lot of difficulties that were skillfully resolved by our engineers. After all, we got a possibility to work on the most elaborate part of this product, namely on support and, later, development of video codecs. At the moment, all the company’s expertise in video compression is concentrated in Kyiv, and it highlights the confidence, which our client has in us,’ says Artem Kharchenko, Avid Video and Storage Head.
‘The extension of our collaboration developed gradually, in small steps. At every stage we proved that we can exceed our client’s expectations…’ Volodymyr remembers. ‘Eventually, new projects in video and related systems were launched.’
“This way our collaboration lasted for more than a year,’ Igor adds. No later than in autumn 2009 Avid made a strategic decision to significantly increase its engineering operations at GlobalLogic. Since then active development of many of the company’s products has begun in Kyiv. In fact, GlobalLogic has got access to all Avid’s solutions, except the ones Dextris was working at.
‘I joined the team five years ago. At that time we got onto a brand new product line: Media Enterprise,’ Yuliya recalls. ‘It includes media data storing and processing solutions for large broadcasting companies and news agencies. HBO, NBC and National Geographic are among Avid’s clients.’
‘In 2010 we planned to extend very aggressively, and a lot of people doubted if we were able to find so many engineers in one city at that time,’ Igor says. Growth in volumes was followed by a qualitative transformation. ‘All the new teams which the customer has launched with us initially worked by Agile methodology trying various structures and configurations of Scrum teams,’ Yuliya Dubova says. ‘Over time more and more teams in Avid itself began using Agile after they worked with us.’
Having a successful experience of collaboration with Avid’s R&D department, GlobalLogic started working with other branches of the client, such as Professional services and Customer support. ‘We got these projects due to the fact that we already had an extensive engineering expertise in development of Interplay MAM product, which had to be customized for specific broadcaster needs,’ Yuliya explains. ‘In a similar way we started to work with IT and Marketing departments of Avid”.
After a few years of parallel collaboration with two countries, Avid got all of its offshore engineering transferred to Ukraine. ‘Today many of Avid’s products are mostly developed in Kyiv,’ Volodymyr Vorobyov summarizes.
‘After Avid decided to move all the development to Kyiv, we were confronted with a very serious and interesting task: to build a lab to allocate a huge amount of servers and remote data storages (ISIS); transfer them from China; adopt our competitor’s knowledge and quickly form a team in Ukraine to deliver real results. And we reached total success due to the professionalism of the IT team and well-coordinated cooperation with Avid’s management,’ Artem Kharchenko remembers.
These days Avid is going through a new stage of transformation. ‘The current tendency of a media market is that people are reluctant to pay for software, yet they are ready to pay for media content,’ Yuliya Dubova comments. This is why all the Avid’s projects are being transferred to a new service-oriented architecture. A cloud platform called Avid Everywhere is being created. It allows users to produce, store and sell their media content. ‘For instance, Avid has recently transferred its Pro Tools to a cloud and made it accessible for free. Traditionally, it was a very expensive product, developed for professional musicians,’ Yuliya adds.
According to Igor, partnership with Avid is an important stage in the history of GlobalLogic. Firstly, the company has got a very big and enhancing lab, which boosted GlobalLogic’s growth in Ukraine. Next, strong business relations were built with Avid’s management, which is now ready to recommend GlobalLogic to new customers. And finally, the company got expertise in Digital Media. Consequently, GlobalLogic has won a contract with Harmonic, which has also installed a large lab in Ukraine.
‘If we compare our business to a house built of bricks, than collaboration with Avid is a massive part of this house’s foundation,’ Igor Byeda sums up