Alex Gault is a busy guy these days. While he spends his days as the VP of product development and client services at Mobovivo, he also volunteers an incredible amount of time pushing the digital media industry of Alberta forward. He champions it both locally and across the country. We caught up with him while he was in Toronto for a chat on everything he's doing.
Sarah: Alex, can you tell us what you do with Mobovivo?
Alex: My role at MoboVivo is to lead the development of innovative software products that serve the multi-screen distribution strategies of leading TV producers, broadcasters and media companies. As well, I'm responsible for ensuring that customers are happy with what they've paid for.
Sarah: It seems things are hopping over at Mobovivo. What are you guys working on next?
Alex: The product team at MoboVivo is running as fast as it can to deliver rich, interactive and social experiences to people everywhere who are now watching video on Apple and Android devices -- and on TVs connected to the internet with set-top boxes like Roku and Google TV. Media companies and ad agencies are eager to exploit this exploding market, and are doing so by investing aggressively into apps and websites optimized to display video via these devices. So far, MoboVivo has placed over 60 apps for sale in iTunes and several in Android, Roku and the Samsung TV stores. As well, we have a great platform which syndicates video delivery to multiple screens. Right now, we're working on Social TV software which will display episodes from popular TV shows, accompanied by realtime streams of relevant content from Facebook, Twitter and entertainment news sources.
Sarah: In addition to that, you volunteer a significant amount of time working on raising Alberta's digital profile, why do you think that's so important?
Alex: I've been volunteering with Digital Alberta mostly because doing so affords me the opportunity to network and stay in close touch with my industry peers and colleagues. Alberta is home to a lot of dynamic companies producing mobile, gaming and digital media software -- and by working with the Digital Alberta community I keep myself up to date with the cool stuff happening on the ground.
Sarah: Can you tell us about your role on the Digital Media Steering Committee of the Cultural Human Resources Council?
Alex: The Cultural Human Resource Council has a mission to identify labor trends and skill gaps in the culture sectors, and to collaborate with industry and government to design learning programs which support the HR needs of employers in those sectors. As a member of the Digital Media Steering Committee, I'm helping design curricula for job roles in our industry which are hard to fill. Right now, we're developing a workshop series for project managers.
Sarah: Also tell us about what you are up to as a board member of the Canadian Interactive Alliance?
Alex: The Canadian Interactive Alliance is a national association serving the digital media industries. As a board member, I'm working with my colleagues from other provinces to build a national brand for the digital media industry in Canada. It's a commonly held perception that the industry is very fragmented regionally, and we believe there's lots of benefit to focusing on shared interests rather than differences.
Sarah: Finally, What do you see as the biggest hurdle for Alberta's Digital Media and Technology companies?
Alex: In my mind, the biggest hurdle facing digital media and other technology companies in Alberta is early stage funding. Although the local oil and gas industry is an extraordinary engine of wealth generation in Canada, its dominance of the economy in this province often blinds investors to the growth potential of ventures in emerging industries like ours.