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Thread: VIZRT acquires Newtek

  1. #31

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  2. #32
    From Browser To Broadcast jmmultex's Avatar
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    While I understand the angst some may feel with this announcement, everyone needs to keep in mind just how complex operationally a merger can be. In most cases, NewTek isn’t answering these types of questions because the answers don’t exist yet.

    Mergers start at an aspirational level, with the typical 'clear synergies' identified by management setting the M&A teams in motion. There is then a bit of a shadow dance between technical teams that reveal enough to validate management's initial interest without disclosing anything too confidential in the event the deal falls apart. There are then a lot of financial mechanics that will take place, and lawyers crafting deal language that is contractually sufficient without being so specific that negotiations drag on too long arguing little details. It isn’t until all of this is done and the deal signed that the real merger starts to happen - not in the board room but in the trenches with the folks that need to make things actually work.

    And there is NEVER a clear roadmap on how things play out. While strategic goals exist, clarity of execution only comes with time. It is a hard process to work through, and the folks making it happen often have their own unanswered questions and concerns around what's happening. It’s just the nature of these transactions.

    Speaking for myself, I have trust that Andrew and his team will be our strong advocates in this process, and will continue to make the best decisions possible in the interest of NewTek's customer base. The goal of any merger isn’t to preserve the status quo, but to expand the boundaries of what was possible before. This may involve some decisions that people will be upset about, and some fantastic upsides that we didn’t see coming.

    The script for how this all plays out is yet to be written, but with the pen in Tim, Jim, and Andrew's hands I anticipate great things to come of this.
    Last edited by jmmultex; 04-02-2019 at 07:19 AM.
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  3. #33
    A.K.A "The Silver Fox" Gungho3D's Avatar
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    Hey John the angst you speak of is not being felt (by me) in the wake of any announcement simply because there hasn't been one ... not with respect to Lightwave.

    That's the issue, that in amongst all the dancing and negotiating which you have described, surely the forethought of strategizing to a position of "we seriously and inexcusably botched communication last time, let's not do that again" would have been dead obvious.

    Newtek has been adamant that no roadmap whatsoever is going to be revealed ... if that was the case with the move to LW 2018, then certainly we're not about to get an about face on that count under current circumstances.

    I'm just thinking was it really that difficult to manage the communication side of all that intricate to-and-fro of hammering out a deal?

    As a long time user of LW the least I expect (and I'm not the only one saying this) is to be treated as a valued customer and to NOT hear about NT being acquired by someone else via a "Is this true ..." type post after the fact.

    Bottom line, no amount of delicate/intricate/careful dance and difficulty in arriving at a final outcome of signatures on paper and high-fives all round can serve as a means for glossing over sloppy communications yet again.

  4. #34
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gungho3D View Post
    It is not unreasonable and it is not ranting and it is not stirring the pot to point out that now, days into a Newtek purchase by another commercial entity: hey look, an absolute lack of any professional conduct with respect to letting us lowly plebes know anything directly concerning what the net impact of this is going to have on the future of LW.
    Sure, perfectly understandable. The facts, though, as best I am aware, are that a) NewTek does care about LightWave users, but b) the impact, if any, of this change on the latter has not been determined yet. It's NAB time, and at the moment that is the focus of both companies. Afterward, without question this and many other practical matters will be given attention progressively, and communication on decisions made will follow.

    From a practical standpoint, I would not be surprised if this took a few months to shake out. I'm sorry that this inevitably results in some feelings of uncertainty, but then again - speaking as a LightWaver myself, albeit not a high level user - this isn't really a new situation (except for the part that is, if you take my meaning).
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  5. #35
    A.K.A "The Silver Fox" Gungho3D's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    Sure, perfectly understandable ... this isn't really a new situation (except for the part that is, if you take my meaning).
    Thanks Steve, and you've given me something to laugh about in that response ... I do take your meaning
    Last edited by Gungho3D; 04-02-2019 at 08:05 AM.

  6. #36
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmmultex View Post
    Speaking for myself, I have trust that Andrew and his team will be our strong advocates in this process, and will continue to make the best decisions possible in the interest of NewTek's customer base. The goal of any merger isn’t to preserve the status quo, but to expand the boundaries of what was possible before. This may involve some decisions that people will be upset about, and some fantastic upsides that we didn’t see coming.
    Speaking without imprimatur, but as someone who has been in these forums and the NewTek community for a very long time, I nevertheless want to proactively address something I'm sure will come up before long (because it always does).

    So - it seems inevitable that someone will suggest that Vizrt's dominance of the high-end broadcast market means that NewTek is going to pivot away from its traditional customer base in the mid and entry level ranges. One so inclined might point to NewTek's own growing beachhead in the top tier in recent years as further proof. I sincerely and deeply do not believe this will be the case, and I have a pretty fair idea about such matters, including plans both imminent and others in development that will amply demonstrate that we both care about our past customers and plan to expand in our existing market segments. To put this another way, do not expect these changes to diminish our attention to our core business; quite the contrary.
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  7. #37
    This isn't a tool I count on to make a living, so my view may be different then for those who do count on it to make a living. You never really know what is going to happen with any company or their products. Lightwave isn't rental software, so it's not a big problem if something does happen. Long term it would just mean faster changes in adapting to new software, rather then the slower adapting of ver upgrades. Lightwave is still my favorite animating software, been playing with it since the Amiga days. NAB is only a few days away and is the logical place for the companies to say something. Not that it really matters, since as things come together things tend to change. Lightwave seems like something that would fit. If it doesn't, then that's not the end of the world. The Lightwave I have on my HD will still work. Then there is the other side, new company, new chances, changes, opportunities present them selves with change.

    At worst, it's not dire. At best, lots of good possible directions are there.

  8. #38
    From Browser To Broadcast jmmultex's Avatar
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    I do understand where you are coming from, and I wasn't trying to diminish the impact all the still open questions have on you and other people in the NewTek community.

    The two key points mentioned in the press releases - TriCaster and NDI - were clearly the key motivations behind this transaction and are likely the business areas that were fleshed out the most as the deal came together. Other 'non-strategic' areas -while included - were likely left with many areas to be discussed in depth post-merger.

    While I don't speak in any way for NewTek, the answer to your question regarding LW would likely be "We don't know yet." Just like they probably don't know what will happen with their camera line, MediaDS, LiveText, Telestrator, stand-alone TalkShows and other "non-strategic" products. This isn't to say any of it is going away. There probably just isn't an answer yet as to where they ARE going. And unfortunately that takes time to figure out.

    The post-merger period is a triage of-sorts when it comes to products and initiatives, with management focusing mostly on business critical issues. Getting the few identified strategic products fully situated in the new combined entity can be a major effort. While the product teams can keep moving forward for a while, all the business elements surrounding them are typically in flux.

    What changes will need to be made to business models or pricing? What are the profitability goals and metrics for the products? Who approves major new product features (especially ones that may compete with an acquirer's products)? How will staffing be handled? What new reporting data is needed? Are there changes to how it is marketed or positioned?

    These are the behind the scene things that can suck up a lot of time but ultimately are all part of making a merger happen. Even in cases where the merged entities remain at arms length, there can still be new HR and admin requirements, and financial metrics and targets imposed by the acquirer that will require process changes to capture and enforce.

    Everything 'non-strategic' just keeps moving forward on inertia until enough cycles are available for the management team to focus on them. And then decisions get made.

    This ultimately leaves clients like us with more questions than answers. But the unfortunate reality is that management probably doesn't have the answers yet to give us.

    I sincerely hope things work out here the way you'd like them to. I'm realistic, but optimistic that they will.


    [I was a co-Founder and CTO of a company acquired by Reuters (https://www.fool.com/news/take/2003/...t03021803.aspx), so I also have an appreciation for what might be happening on the other side of the curtain.]
    Last edited by jmmultex; 04-02-2019 at 09:13 AM.
    John Mahoney
    GNURAL NET, Inc.
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    http://www.gnuralnet.com

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  9. #39
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roboman View Post
    NAB is only a few days away and is the logical place for the companies to say something. Not that it really matters, since as things come together things tend to change.
    I appreciate your points, just want to add that - while NAB may pose an opportunity for those in attendance to ask questions in person - it likely won't add a lot to what we know today. (I'd expect the fog to clear gradually over the next six months, rather than the next six days.)
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3D Kiwi View Post
    Will anyone be letting us know what is happening to Lightwave?
    JMHO but I think LW should be sold off as it will be far removed from the core business of the company. McNeel, Corel, Magix, Adobe (NOOO), Autodesk(NOOO) might be interested parties.
    Last edited by robertGL; 04-03-2019 at 12:10 PM.

  11. #41
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    I guess it’s certainly not the core businees but I don’t think it is that far removed. Assets need to get created for Viz engine.

  12. #42
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    That Viz wanted to acquire NewTek is not surprising to me. NewTek have read the wind carefully and executed well with NDI, and one likely wouldn't be speaking out of turn if they said that the NDI-pushers inside NewTek ought to be lauded for the value and currency they have brought to the company to make a deal like this possible.

    With that said, what is surprising to me is that every time deals like this go on the companies always approach the announcement in the same way despite knowing that their customers aren't going to buy it, and that they are going to spend the next few weeks/months on the back foot trying to convince customers that this represents a great deal for them too. The sad reality is deals like these - whilst great for owners/shareholders - often turn out to not be very good for customers (and even staff). The storyline is unfortunately predictable to most customers;
    - Press releases telling everyone we are all one big happy family now and the companies see so many synergies that it's a surprise they weren't competing for market share before.
    - Assurances that the companies will operate independently and only share some backend resources.
    - Motherhood statements from the founder/CEO/figurehead of the acquiree about how important the company is to them and how they aren't going to let anything happen to it and how they trust their new overlords and you should too.
    - Admission that there's not much to tell yet because nobody has really worked out the details on the deal.
    - Detail-light references to 'exciting, new things' coming.
    - New products introduced, don't hit the market of the acquiree company (usually due to pricing).
    - Retirement of old (and/or competing with acquiror company) products announced.
    - Changes to ongoing subscription pricing introduced (but grandfathered for older customers if you renew now).
    - Rationalization of staffing to build 'operational efficiencies' between two companies. Seemingly half of acuiree workforce goes missing.
    - Founder/CEO/figurehead of acquiree workforce leaves ostensibly due to age or family or 'new challenges'.
    - Company gets a new website, barely resembles old self any more.

    I know that storyline doesn't paint a pretty picture, but I would think just about all of us have seen that exact scenario play out more-or-less elsewhere before. I sure hope NewTek is the exception to the rule and that this doesn't prove to be a prophecy.

  13. #43
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    And there we have the inevitable glass half-empty view ... which could certainly happen, because really, who can say for sure. Or not. I'm in the 'not' camp. I've been wrong before, and will be again sooner or later I'm sure. But the merger hasn't even really begun yet, so it seems a tiny bit premature to predict doom and gloom to me.
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  14. #44
    NewTek Engineering ACross's Avatar
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    So, in any acquisition lots of people like me come along and say lots of nice things. If you review most of the interviews that I've given publicly I think you will find really a very honest explanation of this deal, why it makes sense and why we are excited about it. If you compare those to what most companies say I hope it is clear that we are truly trying to be forthright and honest about why we did this. Both NewTek and Vizrt are strong companies that are growing, we are not cashing out (I am excited to be staying - as are my entire team), we are looking to make the spirit that drives NewTek part of something bigger and stronger.

    NewTek is now 30 years old and has gone through probably three major generations, starting with the Video Toaster right up to the new IP and NDI revolution. We are a company that always strives for change and try our utmost too innovate and create new technologies. Across all of those generations we have remained true to what and who we are ... for better and worse. This is no different.

    I know that there are some who will want more, and some who will not trust me no matter what I write and that is fine. Change can be bad, but it can also be amazing and if you know us ... we are not "any old company" ... so you should expect to be surprised.

    Andrew
    Last edited by Chuck; 04-04-2019 at 10:35 AM.

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