Wide Orbit and ScottENCO


With the recent entry of Wide Orbit into radio Automation, and the recent departure of Google from same, there have been a number of self-serving releases from both parties, and while that is to be expected, what hasn’t been expected was a set of baseless accusations against us for offering alternative technical support arrangements for SS32 users.  Since I know you will print the press release announcing the closing of the Google-Wide Orbit deal (and you should, it is news!), I wanted to share some background that might put things in perspective.

Fact Check:
This week, Wide Orbit sent a letter to customers of their newly acquired radio automation unit, purchased from Google.  In this letter, the founder and CEO of Wide Orbit, Eric Mathewson, repeated false statements made earlier by Google that unfairly attack a joint business venture of ENCO Systems and Dave Scott, founder of Scott Studios.  ScottENCO feels that the broadcast media should know both sides of the story.

Wide Orbit Statement:  In his ‘welcome’ letter, Mathewson says, “I’d like to clarify some of the deliberate misinformation offered by our competitors about support and development for Google Radio Automation, SS32 and Maestro.  Wide Orbit is the only organization that has access to the underlying source code, development team or development plans for Google Radio Automation, SS32 or Maestro.  Without access to these valuable resources, no other organization is able to provide support for our systems.  Effectively, they can help you to identify a problem, they just can’t fix it.”

Fact:  It is true that Wide Orbit did not name ScottENCO directly, but it is clear that we were the target of his statement.  We heard the same scurrilous comments from Google when they were in the radio business, and we strongly object to any suggestion that misinformation was sent to anyone at any time regarding our ScottENCO SS32 support offering.  We never claimed to have SS32 source code or access to same…never.  And both Google and Wide Orbit are aware of that.  Why do they persist in spreading this falsehood?  We simply hired a number of tech support veterans who were laid off by Google in order to provide SS32 customers a reliable alternative for ongoing technical support with a clear migration path to our new Presenter product, developed with industry legend, Dave Scott.

Fact: The suggestion that you need source code to help stations out if they encounter problems is like suggesting that only the factory who built your cars’ engine is equipped to change the oil in it!  Now if Wide Orbit is merely saying that only they can fix the bugs in their software, then we completely agree with them, but we never said anything to the contrary regarding problems in the software recently acquired by Wide Orbit.

Fact: We had hoped that the exit of Google and the entry of Wide Orbit into our industry would provide some needed maturity, but that obviously is not going to be the case.  In our original press release announcing the ScottENCO support program for SS32 users, we clearly stated, “I’m sure that good support will be available for SS32 from the ‘factory’.  However, we hear questions from SS32 users.  We’ll provide a choice for support and another upgrade path.  With the inventor of SS32 now teaming with a dependable radio support organization, our combined track record speaks for itself.”

Conclusion: We welcome Wide Orbit to the automation business, but hope in the future they spend more time on their customers than on making baseless accusations against competitors.

–Don Backus, VP, Sales & Marketing, ENCO Systems, Inc.
 (248) 827-4440, Ext. 130  [email protected]

Editor’s note: Dave Scott has posted some commentary on this as well, see it at www.scottenco.com