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Santi Dominguez, CEO of Mestrelab Research
As a company, Mestrelab has been quiet in the aftermath of the momentous announcement by Agilent, a few weeks ago, of the impending closure of what was Varian Inc. This announcement has dramatically changed the global NMR landscape. Those in the community who know me will realize our silence is not due to shyness, but rather the consequence of a desire to watch the story develop and to form a considered opinion about future prospects.
Many of our customers in the last few weeks have however asked us how Agilent’s announcement affects us and what it will mean for the future of our company, and in the light of these repeated questions, we feel it is time to start answering.
Of course, as a vendor-neutral provider of, amongst other things, but still mainly, NMR software, Mestrelab is interested in a competitively healthy and level NMR market. As members of the NMR community we are saddened by Varian’s demise (it is no exaggeration to call it the end of an era) and concerned about what it may mean for the future of NMR.
However, Mestrelab has always been vendor neutral. We have provided market-leading software to labs with magnets from all manufacturers in the market, and we intend to continue to do so. Many of our previous sales have been to users who have instrumentation from the leading high field magnet manufacturer, and this should continue or even increase, now that this manufacturer will be under less pressure from competition to innovate in software. In addition, there are still a number of different players in the NMR hardware market, particularly with the advent and growth of benchtop magnet manufacturers, and we see the challenges posed by the current situation as an opportunity, which can actually be very positive for a company positioned like ours, which has built a product and customer community based on the foundations of quality of product, quality of customer support and attentiveness to market needs. This will continue to be our strategy, and the new future will bring many opportunities, some of them new and greater than ever before.
Our users and prospective users should know that we are very positive when looking forward. 2014 has been our best ever year, built on the basis of independently achieved sales, and the outlook for 2015 is already looking much better. For those wondering about Mestrelab, some things are worth highlighting:
It is early days, and we are still looking for answers to questions, such as:
And of course, as we always do, we believe in answers from the market to all these questions, so I encourage you to comment and give your opinions on all the above, and to come up with anything else which you think Mestrelab should be thinking about at present.
I will write with more details on some of these things in the next few days, but so far we are keen to give the NMR market some initial commitments in this new landscape:
Than ever before!