The corporation IBM announced on the 21st January 2016, that it is to take over the company Ustream, which is a video streaming service. Specifically, Ustream provides cloud-based video streaming to its customers, and IBM is planning to use the takeover of Ustream to expand the amount of services they offer using the cloud. This is an opportunity for IBM Cloud Services to expand their role in the use of cloud services for video media.
IBM has recently formed a new service, Cloud Video Services, which Ustream will become a part of following their acquisition by IBM; this unit combines assets from IBM’s existing R&D labs and other strategic acquisitions. IBM has made an important acquisition in UStream: this company already provides cloud-based video streaming services for broadcasters and businesses such as Samsung, NASA, Nike, Facebook and The Discovery Channel.
The New IBM Cloud Video Services Unit
This will prove an extension of the new IBM branch, IBM Cloud Video Services, which has been launched at the same time as IBM’s buying of Ustream. This will be a cloud platform which helps IBM’s various enterprise clients to use video media in their businesses: they will now be able to have video streaming through their services with IBM.
This new unit will be headed up by IBM General Manager, Braxton Jarratt, and it will be aimed at getting IBM a proportion of the cloud video market, which they estimate to be worth $105 billion.
IBM Cloud’s Senior Vice President, Robert LeBlanc, said in a press release:
IBM have noticed that the market for video is large; they also quote research saying that 80% of the world’s data is unstructured and dark to computer systems that cannot effectively manage it and that video is a significant proportion of this data. So, they have set up their new unit for video services to try to expand into this area and exploit all this data.
IBM’s Expansion In Cloud Services
This is not the first acquisition that IBM has made to expand their portfolio of services in the cloud: they acquired Clearleap back on 8th December 2015, which is another cloud-based video provider. The aim of this for IBM was to offer its clients a reliable way of delivering video media from any device and at any time, through the cloud’s strategic source of data.
Clearleap was integrated into the IBM cloud services platform, and as with the buying of Ustream, the move was intended to broaden IBM’s cloud services with video, in recognition of how important the visual media is becoming to modern business. The Clearleap video platform was also a good choice for IBM as it is built to be used on a massive scale; this is partly down to its use of an open API framework, and even before IBM’s involvement, had attracted such clients as the NFL, HBO, Time Warner Cable and the Sony Movie Channel.
When both the Clearleap and the Ustream acquisitions by IBM are looked at together, it becomes apparent how committed IBM is to expand its role in the cloud services market through video. IBM is clearly recognizing the power of this media and is bringing a new dimension to its cloud providing platform through these deals with video streaming services. It will be interesting to watch as IBM continues in this vein, and expands its role more within the cloud services sector.