Hardware vendors are an important part of our business model. We trust that our vendors will provide reliable and cost-effective capture and playout solutions to our customers. Without vendors our products and expertise would not appeal to specific customer segments.
This post explains what we’d like to do for our hardware partners and why.
The importance of hardware vendors to the Medialooks ecosystem
Medialooks develops and markets a video software development kit that beats competition in areas like simplicity of use, support for a variety of file formats, transparent licensing and compatibility with C#, VB.NET, Delphi, and C++. One of its core values, however, is seamless integration with professional I/O hardware.
In addition to providing technical value to our customers, vendors make an important contribution to the overall Medialooks developer ecosystem:
- Support for multiple I/O manufacturers provides our customers with flexibility to experiment with different hardware without the need to rewrite their code. This flexibility allows customers to build solutions that address different markets based on the price and quality of the I/O equipment they use.
- We want our web site to be the default place where people read about hardware. When our web site is packed with quality content, more organic traffic will flow and lead to more interest to our products and more sales.
- The more vendors we support, the better our knowledge about the industry. With this knowledge we can provide better services to current customers and find new, previously unexplored markets.
The value we provide to manufacturers of professional I/O hardware
Our customers are usually SMBs, who use I/O hardware as OEM components for their distributable products. OEMs are important to manufacturers, because they buy hardware in volumes.
We believe that our products and services can be a marketing channel for our vendors. This is what we can do to help you market your hardware to the Medialooks community.
1. Expand the original SDK
Most manufacturers provide an SDK to integrate their hardware with software applications. Medialooks’ product expand these SDKs with codec support and framework flexibility, allowing customers to create better products at a fraction of time.
2. Product reviews
Once we get hold of a new device, we will test it and blog about it. An example of this is what we did on Blackmagic’s UltraStudio 4K.
We have an intimate understanding of what’s important, when it comes to I/O hardware. This understanding comes from dozens of customers who interface to these devices with the help of our SDKs. Journalists and bloggers do not have this hand-on experience.
3. Customer stories
If the board is interesting enough, it can be the basis of one or more customers stories, such as here with the Stream Labs MH4LM — a 4-channel capture board, that some of our customers have chosen for their projects. This page today is on the first page in Google if you search for “stream labs mh4lm”.
We are ready to invest our time into creating these stories for one simple reason: stories sell.
4. Solving problems
On some projects additional effort is needed to make the hardware work in the customer’s environment and for the customer’s use case. When this is needed, we work closely with the vendor’s engineers to make sure that our code is interacting with the vendor’s SDK correctly. Sometimes the vendor has to update his drivers, so we will test those updates against the customer’s requirements.
Solving a hardware-related problem has very specific value: it gets things done for the customer through a single channel of communication (that’s us).
5. Product news
Our customers rely on us when they need to choose a piece of hardware for their next product. The more information we have on our website about the hardware that we support, the easier it is for them to make the right choice.
The more channels you have to distribute information about your products, the more sales you can make. Do you have a newsletter or email list for press releases? Simply add [email protected] to these lists and provide us with guidelines for reposting your news.
6. Custom build of MFormats SDK for redistribution
Shipping a co-branded version of MFormats SDK will provide your customers with instant availability of your board’s features in C#, VB.NET, Delphi or C++ developer environment.
Most of our customers tend to use hardware that we officially support. Ease of development comes first. Shipping MFormats SDK with your board will add critical value to your product.
7. Customer parties
This year at IBC2014 we did our first customer party, having invited about 15 customers. We liked the way it went — with several conversations taking place at a time, and with vendors actually mixing up with their prospective customers. Next time we will improve this format and provide an opportunity for vendors to present themselves and their new products.
Face-to-face meetings in a cozy environment help to build trust and emotional contact. It’s also fun.
As of today, we are fully integrated with Blackmagic Design, DELTACAST, Stream Labs, AJA, Bluefish, DekTec and Magewell.