Profile: VCI

Apr 23, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Founded: VCI, which stands for Video Communications Inc., was founded in 1976 as part of Springfield Television in Springfield, Mass. Springfield Television sold its TV stations in 1984, and VCI was spun off as a separate company.
Key executives: W. Lowell Putnam, president and CEO; Claude P. Morris, vice president and chief operating officer.
What they do: VCI provides technically advanced business solutions to the television broadcast industry. STARS II+, one of the company’s core products, is an open standards- based traffic system that helps broadcasters assemble and edit logs, manage inventory and increase sales
“To a lot of people, sales, traffic and billing systems is this necessary administrative thing in the background and is very unexciting,” Mr. Putnam said. “We think it is more than that and can be more than that. We try and design functionality into our software that allows our customers to have a competitive edge in their markets.”
NAB location: Television Broadcast Exhibits area in the Las Vegas Hilton Pavilion.
What it’s highlighting: VCI will demonstrate the newest versions of STARS II+ and VCI Sales Desk, a sales force automation tool designed specifically for broadcast television stations and cable networks. VCI will also preview VCI ClientConnect, a STARS II+ application that helps broadcasters and their clients exchange account information through the Internet. With the addition of ClientConnect, STARS II+ will become the only traffic system to offer a solution for paperless processing at the local level.
About ClientConnect: “There’s a lot of talk about trying to make the process of administering orders more efficient and with less paper and less time. But most of those conversations have focused at the national level, where there is an assumption that the people you are sending the information to have sophisticated systems to process that information. But local sales comprise 50-plus percent of television advertising revenues, and most local agencies don’t have that kind of back office. To go paperless for them requires coming up with something that doesn’t require a huge investment but uses standard, readily available technology. So we think [ClientConnect] is going to be very