Guitar Center Partners with Obedia Tech Support for Computer-Based Pro Audio Products

(Guitar Center | Posted 2007-04-09)

Guitar Center Partners with Obedia Tech Support for Computer-Based Pro Audio Products

Guitar Center (Nasdaq:GTRC), the world's largest and leading retailer of musical instruments and professional audio products, has achieved another first by partnering with Obedia, the nation's premier supplier of independent technical training and support for computer-based digital audio and music applications. Now, Guitar Center announces that it will make the capabilities of Obedia available to customers as a retail product. Customers will be able to purchase highly personalized and customized technical training and support over the phone, and via remote desktop control, on a 24/7 basis. This powerful partnership between two industry leaders enables Guitar Center customers to maximize the benefit they derive from software and hardware products they purchase, and encourages musicians and recordists to continue expanding their creative horizons, knowing that any technical challenge can be addressed quickly and efficiently by Obedia's network of pro audio systems experts.

Obedia's technical training and support services are now available at the point-of-sale locations in each Guitar Center store, and are purchased just like any other product. Customers can purchase one of four tiered pricing/service levels; the following are examples of what customers can achieve with these plans depending on their individual needs:

Plan 1: 30 min. $49.99
1. Optimize your computer and install your software
2. Get Audio and MIDI working

Plan 2: 65 min. $99.99
1. Recording and playback of MIDI and Audio
2. Guided tour of your software

Plan 3: 140 min. $199.99
1. Using Virtual Instruments and Plug-ins
2. Connecting your applications via rewire

Plan 4: 230 min. $299.99
1. Editing and Mixing
2. Project Management and Data Backup

Purchasers of Obedia support and training plans will register their audio systems online, creating a user profile. When challenges arise, the customer will call a toll-free number and reach a live operator at any time of the day or night, any day of the week. Based on the user-generated profile and additional information taken by the operator, the customer will receive a phone call within 10 minutes from an Obedia technician knowledgeable in the systems and issues being reported. These world-class experts will provide consultations on topics including system set-ups, troubleshooting, software installation, optimization and upgrading of systems, back-up procedures, and help with designing an entire digital audio workstation system that best suits the user's needs. Furthermore, the minutes purchased under any plan will never expire before they're actually used, so customers can get multiple assistance sessions from any plan tier.

"The integration of Obedia's services into Guitar Center's product array is intended to bring even more value to the shopping experience at Guitar Center," explains Bryan Bradley, Director of Pro Audio/Recording Merchandise for Guitar Center. "In addition, it is part of our long-range strategic goal to enhance the relationship between the customer and the store. By creating a more satisfactory user experience that eliminates many of the challenges and frustrations that computer-based recording can pose, we are encouraging customers to continue moving forward with their creative pursuits."

Obedia Co-Founder and CEO Steve Garth comments, "Obedia's goal is to have people being creative and productive in as short a time as possible and keep the customer focused and productive on the creative side while we take care of the technical side. We worked with Guitar Center over the course of 18 months to create a product that brings service full-circle to their customers, which enables them to bring that service home with them along with the product. This partnership allows Guitar Center to focus on its customers and the gear they want while bringing the Obedia brand to a much larger percentage of our target market. But the ultimate winner in this is the customer."

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