The end-of-year roundup. Is it…already?
How can you possibly do a roundup of the year when January was just a few weeks ago? Yes, to say that this year seems to have flown by would be an understatement. Especially as – on a global level at least – it seems to have largely been a tiresome hangover of 2020, full of endless repetition and drudgery (with a brief glimmer in the middle when we all thought normalcy might have returned. But it hadn’t).
We don’t want to dwell on the obvious in this month’s blog; instead we want to focus in on the specific experiences we at Bridge Technologies have had in 2021. Off course we’d be naïve to think we could talk of one in isolation of the other: like it or not our fates are all tied into a wider narrative. But the great thing is that when we tell individual stories and aren’t afraid to dwell on success, we can find themes and feelings that add nuance and richness to the overall picture. We can see the light through the trees.
Because the thing is, 2021 has been largely the same as 2020 – on a global scale. Indeed, that glimmer in the middle only really served to highlight how much we may be in it for the long haul. But on a personal level, Bridge has never had a more successful year. And so whilst in many ways it’s difficult to talk of success and pride in an environment where so many people have struggled and faced difficulty, it’s ultimately important to do so – to provide context, nuance and realism to a wider narrative that can often seem overwhelmingly relentless in its negativity.
The key to success
So yes, to come back to our main point: we’ve had a marvellous year. Record sales, incredible technological developments in our product lines, market expansions, and deeper and more meaningful relationships with stakeholders across the board. But how and why did we have such a successful year?
A little bit of luck
If we were to get analytical about it, there are three main reasons. The first is structural (and this is why we can’t avoid tying the story of our own fate to the wider picture): the increasingly online world that has been foist upon us means that the technologies we offer have never been more important. People are leaning harder than ever on virtual communication and virtual entertainment to get by and stay sane – and Bridge makes sure that this often frustrating medium can at least be delivered with the highest level of quality and reliability. Recognition of this in the market has led to more demand for our products than ever.
So for this, we have to acknowledge that good fortune often guides us as much as our own hard work and innovation, whilst recognizing that we were able to harness that good fortune by putting ourselves in the way of luck through good choices and forward thinking. It requires us to strike a careful balance of pride and humility.
In it together
The second reason is relational: we’ve spent a long time setting a base with our business partners (and indeed, with our customers, contacts and industry friends) and whilst we don’t really think in such cutthroat terms, the dividends of this investment have really shown themselves over these challenging two years – there’s a synergy, commitment and understanding between all of us that just kind of… flows. A feeling that we’re all pulling in the same direction – ready to support and accommodate each other as the world outside rages on.
We expressed our gratitude for this bond during our May online Bridge Event and Awards Show. A particularly big shout out to Burst Video in the Netherlands, who cleaned up at the awards, in large part due to their amazing success with the Ziggo installation, amongst others. On the subject of great installations, over in Hong Kong, our BPs MediaTech provided an elusive case study by securing and delivering on a contract to equip TVB – Hong Kong’s largest broadcaster – with the terrestrial monitoring they needed to secure ongoing operational excellence. So with Christmas upon us, we wish our Business Partners particularly a very Happy New Year, filled with satisfaction, success and happiness.
And finally, we would (not so) humbly submit that a big contributor to our success has been a willingness to do things a bit differently – we’re not afraid of silliness and fun. Our team is by nature creative, and it runs through everything we do; you can see it in our ongoing friendship with Aksel Kolstad, who regularly brings his distinct brand of humour and musical genius to our Bridge Show. Indeed, the decision to make the Bridge Show – an all-out, full-scale weekly production that goes miles beyond any conventional ‘webinar’ is further evidence of us doing things a little differently.
On the subject of musical genius, our very own Tim Langridge led the Bridge Team in the creation of this year’s pop sensation smash hit ‘Everywhere’ – an endeavor undertaken ostensibly as a marketing and recruitment communication, but in reality, something that drew the team together and allowed them to have fun, lift spirits, get creative, and produce something to be genuinely proud of.
It’s our belief that if we can practice and demonstrate creativity on little things that seem to be peripheral to the core business, then this actually helps to bring creativity into our main business practices. For instance, running the Bridge Show each week has given us unparalleled insight into the nature of production; we don’t just talk the talk, we can walk the walk, and it means we have a much more intimate understanding of our customers’ needs and experiences. This in turn gives us greater insight that informs the way we develop products, and gives our customers faith and trust in our solutions.
Building on success
Sometimes, things can pass in such a blur that individual achievements become lost in the melee. An end of year round-up doesn’t only give us an opportunity to communicate our achievements, but to actually spend some time ourselves reflecting on them. Here’s but a few of the many highlights we’ve had.
- New BPs: We welcomed North American 2110 Solutions, Broadcast Solutions from Germany, TeamCo in Colombia and IBIS Instruments covering Southeast Europe
- New employees: We welcomed Rodolfo Wong as Business Development Manager for LATAM, new Engineers in Tjerie Gundersen, Marius Sivertsen, Kai Hagseth and Ivar Rognstad along with Damian Hatwell – who joins the Bridge Offices both as Head of Technical Sales, Service and Support, but also as an Australian buddy to stop Tim from getting homesick.
- Audio enhancements: We’ve added amazing audio functionality to the VB440, including a range of very cool audio meters, and the ability to listen to multi-channel audio through the browser in a stereo downmix. Again, an ideal tool for any engineer who is on the move.
- HDR: From a technological point of view, we’ve made some incredible leaps and bounds in our products. The addition of HDR monitoring to the VB440 is huge for production specialists – especially those operating on a remote or distributed basis. In line with the raison d’être of the VB440, we’ve made it so that you don’t have to have specialist (expensive, cumbersome) HDR-ready equipment in order to work with HDR – you can even preview HDR images through a standard browser screen on an SDR monitor.
- JPEG XS: We’ve provided monitoring for this crucial new compression standard not only on the VB440, but on the VB330 Appliance too.
- Creating Harmony: Across the probes found in our ISM (Integrated Services Monitoring) solution, we’ve harmonized software v6.0 iterations so that all functionalities are now cross-pollinated across appliance, software embedded options. This maximizes the feature-richness, reliability and stability of each, and ensuring seamless, harmonized performance across the full broadcast chain.
- Making waves in the industry: Not only were we awarded Tech Leadership’s ‘Best Production Technology’ Award for our Audio enhancements, but we’ve also had some great thought leadership articles posted in the IABM journal and Future.TV (our particular favourite, because it’s all about the world of film, and gave us an opportunity to get quite nerdy in the offices).
So, it really has been a great year for us at Bridge Technologies. We’re grateful to everybody who made that possible for us – and we look forward to next year with hope, optimism and enthusiasm.
To all, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.