US/EUROPE: Technical training and support provider OBEDIA has announced a new programme that gives purchasers of Rain Recording DAW systems immediate access to its services. The New Mexico-based company - which supplies services to manufacturers including Sony and Tascam, and recently clocked up its 1,000th 'case' - is also working on plans to expand its presence in Europe, writes David Davies.
The brainchild of producer, engineer and drummer Fred Maher, former Steinberg North America president/ceo Steve Garth and Jayce Murphy (previously the operations manager of Californian rental and services company DMT), OBEDIA provides round-the-clock training, technical support and consultancy services to anyone using computers to record music and audio. Specific services - available by 'phone, email or onsite visits - include guiding users through the process of installing new hardware and software, recommending updates and upgrades, providing software training, integrating and installing customised DAW systems, and solving whatever technical glitches may be encountered.
While OBEDIA's profile is strongest in North America, the three-year-old company is now building up a substantial customer base in Europe and the Far East. "We currently serve clients in England, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, France and Japan," confirms Steve Garth, OBEDIA's president and ceo (pictured second from left, with Murphy and Maher also wearing OBEDIA logo jackets). "We operate 24/7, which makes time zones a non-issue, and the only current limiting factor is that we provide our services in English only. However, that will change as the demand increases, and Spanish and French will most likely be the two languages we provide next."
The process of engaging the company's services from outside the US is a relatively straightforward one, says Garth: "The first step for them is to go to our site and set up their profile. We ask them for the standard contact details, plus a detailed description of their equipment set-up. At the end of this one-time-only process they are asked to enter their license code. This is a code they receive when they buy time either through our online store or through one of our resellers. Once that is done they call our international number, give the dispatch operator the details of their needs and then hang up. Dispatch writes up the ticket, identifies the appropriate tech to work with the client and then we call them back." As a result, emphasises Garth, "the only time the European client is calling in on their dime is for the time it takes them to explain to dispatch what their needs are."
Development of the business overseas is being conducted through ongoing partnerships with Hamburg-based digitalmusician.net and e.Session.com (headquartered in Austin, Texas), although there is no intention to establish a physical presence in Europe. "However, we do have plans to build a European reseller presence and to set up toll-free numbers in local European markets. The UK will be the first target market."
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Rain deal sees the DAW manufacturer incorporating 30 minutes of OBEDIA service within its RainCare Encompass customer support programme. "OBEDIA's extensive technical expertise, coupled with Rain Recording's exceptional hardware reliability and stability, helps ensure trouble-free DAW operation for users under even the most demanding conditions," commented Jayce Murphy, OBEDIA's COO.
OBEDIA is also currently running a 'Summer Support Spectacular' contest at its website that will award a total of four service packages. The closing date for entries is August 31st.