Brightcove has appointed David Mendels as president and COO, a new executive position at the company.
Mendels has been on Brightcove's board of directors since late 2008 and for the last several months has been its acting head of sales. He was most recently the EVP and GM of Adobe's $1 billion enterprise software and business productivity division which includes Acrobat, Connect, LiveCycle and Flex. Prior, he was an early employee and spent many years at Macromedia, where he helped the company expand internationally, ran business development and alliances and managed a number of the company's key products.
Mendels and Jeremy Allaire, Brightcove's founder, Chairman and CEO, briefed me over the holidays on the appointment. The two worked together following Macromedia's acquisition of Allaire back in 2001. From Jeremy's perspective, bringing on Mendels won't prompt any radical changes. Rather, the goal is to strengthen the company operationally and help it scale to capture opportunities both see in its 3 target markets: core media, non-media (i.e. business, government and education, which Jeremy said already account for over half the company's revenues) and small organizations (which Brightcove is pursuing with its recently launched Express product). Both also envision Mendels further globalizing Brightcove's business and also building out its channel sales efforts.
For his part, Mendels thinks of Brightcove as being comparable to Macromedia back in 1993 when he joined it - still relatively small but profitable, with a strong management team in place and operating in a product area with huge mainstream opportunities ahead, yet where no single company or larger enterprise has established a dominant position. Mendels said he's not coming to Brightcove with a big agenda for change, but instead to help drive execution, create efficiencies and further penetrate newer market segments. One important area of emphasis is building out a developer program to help proliferate video applications based on Brightcove's APIs. As part of Mendels' transition, Brightcove is also searching for a head of North American sales and a head of Asia Pacific sales (Japan excluded).
The two believe that a continuing preference by many organizations to build vs. buy is Brightcove's biggest source of competition, though they see this starting to soften as video becomes more integral to customers' overall operations. Both are also very mindful of the plethora of other online video platforms in the market, as well as new startups that continue to spring up. As Jeremy and other Brightcove executive have told me in the past, the company believes it distinguishes itself from others not only on the basis of its platform, but also by its breadth of offerings, international presence and simultaneous pursuit of numerous market segments.
Brightcove is indeed well-positioned, though as I pointed out recently, I don't foresee there being any single, truly dominant provider in the video platform market any time soon. It is still relatively early days in the industry and there will be lots of competitors. I continue to believe that the best way for prospective customers to determine which provider meets their own particular requirements is to intensively demo various products and see how they each perform.
However, as the market inevitably matures, requirements converge and video becomes more mission critical, video platform providers' ability to effectively scale all aspects of their operations is going to become an increasingly important differentiator. In this respect, Mendels' Macromedia and Adobe experience is going to be extremely valuable to Brightcove's ongoing success.
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(note: Brightcove is a VideoNuze sponsor)