EUROPE: Roland has announced a series of significant changes - due to be enacted on January 1 - affecting Edirol. In short, the company is to integrate the Edirol brand into the Roland Systems Group and merge operations between Edirol Europe and Roland JV subsidiaries in order "to give more focus and strength" to distribution throughout key European markets.
The merger of operations will take place in all territories where both Roland and Edirol Europe currently operate.
PSNE understands that any possible job losses would be restricted to back-office only. Some product personnel will relocate to Swansea, while Massimo Barbini - founder/president of distributor Edirol Europe - is set for a move to Paris.
The overall result, says Roland, will be a more streamlined distribution network throughout Europe. Edirol and RSS will be distributed by Roland Systems Group companies, while Roland, Cakewalk and Boss will be handled by the music distribution arm of Roland.
Meanwhile, the Edirol brand - whose best-known products include the R-09HR field recorder, UA-25 audio interface and PCR controller range - will become "fully integrated" within Roland Systems Group. As a result, Roland SG will be able to offer a "powerhouse" A/V range that also includes the RSS Digital Snake and V-Mixer.
Taking stock on the eve of the changes, Massimo Barbini said that Edirol Europe was "extraordinarily proud" of its achievements with the Edirol brand over the last 11 years, adding: "The merger of operations with existing Roland JV companies will guarantee continuity of this success story and allow Roland to focus on its brands with a whole new level of coordinated efforts inside the group. I would like to thank all of my colleagues for having spent many great years together and for all of their hard work in making Edirol what it is today."
Roland and Boss will continue to focus on MI, while Cakewalk by Roland will effectively become Roland's desktop music production brand through an emphasis on computer music hardware and software.
Roland Corporation Japan director John Booth (pictured) expects the changes to "significantly improve" its brands, product lines, distribution and potential customer awareness. "We are pleased to bolster our Roland Systems Group operations with the complete audiovisual range of products now jointly represented by Edirol for video and RSS for audio," he said. "The Roland and Boss brands continue to lead the way in their respective markets while Cakewalk is now one of the strongest brands in desktop music production."
The changes come after a busy year for both the Roland and Edirol brands. New products from Edirol during 2009 included the latest addition to the Virtual Studio line of hardware controllers, while Roland Systems Group continued to record strong interest in its V-Mixing System.