Update: Harris BCD Post Acquisition by Gores Group

18 Dec

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Last week we published a report here from our poll and comments received regarding whether Harris Broadcast Communications Division would be negatively impacted at all by the sale to Gores Group. The following report adds the new data and comments we are continuing to receive on this topical subject. We encourage readers to leave comments at the end id you are so inclined.

That report  “Harris BCD Poll Results & Comments” found that the majority of broadcast pro’s (just under six out of ten) believe that there will be no impact on sales of Harris products by the switch in ownership.  Naturally that leaves four out of ten who responded either that Harris BCD would be negatively impacted, or maybe impacted or they did not know.

New comments on the issue follow (these in addition to those comments already published in “Harris BCD Poll Results & Comments”)

Rajendra Singh Chauhan • Head, Broadcasting Operations & Engineering Noida Area, India
Brand somehow plays an important role, when Leitch became Harris, I am sure the situation would have been concerning, yet for a seasoned Professional who knows what he wants from a pedigreed company, would opt for Harris even if the name changes but with caution and deliberations.One could face internal concern while doing so.

Jimenez Carlos • Director of Engineering, Univision Network
I would keep an eye on the product managers and whether or not they stick around. Just send an email every now and then just to see if it comes back undeliverable. I had one already.

Jon Frank • Maintenance Engineer at WGBH
I think that particularly with regard to transmitters, they will. Harris makes some excellent products, particularly solid state transmitters. That being said, I think that everyone will think twice, and look at competitor’s products very seriously.My guess is that at some point the transmitter division might get spun off by Gores.

Jimenez Carlos • I agree with the transmitters but Miranda and Evertz will take advantage of the situation and release a plethorah of new products that Harris wont be able to keep up with while in a transition state.

Allan Johnson • Engineer at Al’s First Call Communications
Maybe the new company will put Gates on the name of some new product like Harris did with the Gates Five AM transmitter. Or maybe some people will want the Harris logo while it is still available for 3 years. Has anyone collected RCA or Collins nameplates?

Fintan Mc Kiernan • CEO at Ideal Systems (Singapore) Pte Ltd
It’s all about support, it’s easy to buy toady, what happens when you have issues or need upgrades tomorrow? In Asia, there’s lots of choice and lots of competition, support is key.

Thomas Brunet • Advanced Electrical Engineering
I voted maybe. Harris design(s) represent industry benchmark quality of course. From what I’ve gleaned off the web, the hardware/software will be supported past the 3 year time frame. Licensed Full Power transmitters, ballpark SLA, replacement parts and tech support should be 15-20 years. Especially regarding the final output device. i.e. IOT or semiconductor tech which is typically out-sourced by EEV or other manufacturer.

Frank McCoy o Chief Engineer Salem Communications
My sense is that the only short term revenue opportunity is in parts and support. Throughout its history, Gates/Harris has had people answering the phone 24/7 and offering expert diagnostic help, all of it gratis. This free service was intended to move parts and encourage brand loyalty, selling future big-ticket transmitters.

I see this free support ending and users being offered a support agreement or per incident deal. Such an approach is much more consistent with the remainder of the tech world. Indeed most broadcast automation systems sell support as a separate item.

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