Digital asset management continues to be an area of growing importance in an industry moving to digital technology, and Avid took steps to address its own needs with the acquisition of Munich, Germany-based NXN Software AG for $44 million cash.
According to Avid President and CEO David Krall, the company was looking to external applications that would emerge and help Avid strengthen its own product line. NXN's Alienbrain digital asset management system, which has found increasing popularity, particularly in the 3D-graphics area, was seen to meet Avid's needs.
"It's very robust and time-tested, and there is even one customer who is using it with 1,200 seats," according to Krall. "So it has scalability, and we believe it can cross specific industry verticals because they share a common problem."
That problem is tracking assets, especially as they become involved in projects requiring multiple employees to work on the same project or share assets. Facilities also increasingly need to merge changes and track the progress to ensure that projects are completed on time.
Krall says that, in the short term, NXN's existing Alienbrain software lineup—comprising the Engineer, Studio and VFX products—will be sold by Avid. Existing NXN customers will be supported, and the company's Munich headquarters will remain open, along with sales offices in California, Japan, France and the U.K.
"We view this as a key technology acquisition to provide a backbone for the media-production pipeline for our customers," says Krall.
Current pricing for Alienbrain is $690 per seat for Engineer, $690-$2190 for Studio and roughly $4,000 for VFX.