Signiant is excited to welcome Xavier Gentric to our EMEA team as the new Territory Sales Manager, based in France! This past week we had the chance to connect with Xavier to discuss his understanding of the media and entertainment landscape and its current trajectory. With a rich background in software and sales, Xavier has a unique and diverse perspective on many of the major transformations that are brewing within M&E organizations.
Take a read of our conversation with Xavier below!
Can you tell us a bit about your background, specifically in media?
Absolutely! I started in Software Design in the mid 90’s, focusing in the Test and Measurement domain. After that, I moved to project management and, eventually, onto Sales in the late 90’s. Over the course of my career, I’ve had the chance to work for French companies (Thalès, ATEME), and a wide range of foreign organizations (TandbergTV, Nevion, TVU). Selling to broadcasters, telcos, and service operators throughout Europe, I’ve been lucky to experience a wide range of what the media industry is looking to accomplish.
What do you enjoy most about the media industry?
The media industry is extremely unique. That mix of technical and artistic concerns and imperatives makes it immensely dynamic. The ecosystems are also very complex and multi-faceted, which I find fascinating.
Why did you decide to join Signiant?
There are a number of reasons, but I think what first leapt out to me were Signiant’s roots. It’s a business built on a really great mixture of SaaS experts, advanced technology, and media industry veterans, which I think positions Signiant to connect with and innovate alongside M&E organizations in a way other companies simply can’t.
On top of that, it was exciting to be able to work in this sector again. Having both IT and software in my background, I always get excited to work with organizations that have good technology and a genuine, dynamic vision. Hardware has really been declining in the past five years, while SaaS becomes more and more vital. To see that Signiant recognized that so early, and was seizing on these changes in an industry I’m so fond of was definitely a plus.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing media companies right now?
It’s essential, right now, for media companies to really digitize. In the 90s and 2000s, many of these organizations simply switched out analog boxes for digital boxes but didn’t really take the major steps to digitize that they should have. The ways in which they produced and delivered their products remained relatively the same.
As the 2010s hit, we saw a major revolution in media technology, which is still ongoing. Cloud and other advancements have made it easier for media organizations to move away from traditional models for things like television, and the way in which video is delivered and consumed has changed rapidly as a result. At this point, media companies are either going to rapidly shrink or adopt the new technologies and workflows that are defining the industry. You have pioneers like Netflix and AWS leading the way, and other organizations need to figure out whether they’re going to follow suit—and, if so, how—pretty quickly.
With all your experience, do you have any predictions for media organizations in 2020?
SaaS is going to be a really powerful force, and business models are going to become much more SaaS oriented. Content is still where the money is for many of these organizations, and the ability to move that content remains essential.
I think Signiant is perfectly situated for these changes. These new trends are absolutely in line with the Signiant vision.