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Sonic Foundry California Dreamin'

The Wainhouse Research Blog

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on Unified Communications & Collaboration


Sonic Foundry California Dreamin'

By: -
5 Jan 2017

There’s a reason Mad Men’s Don Draper opens an office for ad agency Sterling Cooper in California.  For those of you who watched that awesome TV show, you’ll recall it’s not just to get away from all that baggage of his personal life.  California then (and now) represents hills full of gold, and these days the world’s 6th largest economy.  (Take that, France, India, Italy, Texas, New York, and Canada!)

Certainly, there’s a lot going on at California State University system, which comprises more than 23 campuses, 474,000 students, and 49,000 faculty and staff.  It just happens to be the largest public university system in the U.S.  Each individual campus makes its own choices regarding technology purchases, while the CSU system provides buying / preferred vendor advice and vendor agreements (with pricing typically baked in). Sonic Foundry, which announced in April, 2016 that it is one of two preferred vendors for CSU campuses for video content management systems, now has announced it has been named one of two preferred providers of lecture capture.  Panopto is the other preferred vendor.

SoFo CEO Gary Weis says that he expects the revenue impact to be modest in the early part of the relationship but grow over time, but that the company has already seen purchases based on the new agreement.  CSU Northridge for one has purchased a total of 14 Mediasite Recorders.  Panopto is embedded on numerous campuses as well, which suggests that the heat is on and continued expansions or greenfield opportunities are on the horizon for both competitors.    

All of this makes me wonder: if you connect the dots, isn’t there a possible connection between being the 6th-largest economy and investing in your public educational system? Just sayin’!