& cplSiteName &

Ericsson Bags Azuki Systems

Alan Breznick
2/6/2014
50%
50%

Seeking to become an even bigger player in the developing TV Everywhere market, Ericsson is buying Azuki Systems, a startup focused on delivering adaptive video streaming and content protection technologies to serve content providers.

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) announced Thursday morning that it will acquire Azuki Systems and integrate Azuki's offerings into its own portfolio. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Ericsson said it expects to close the deal by the end of this month.

In the press release announcing the deal, Ericsson said the acquisition will enable it to "accelerate the availability of new and compelling viewing experiences across a variety of devices and screens." Further, the company said the Azuki purchase will bring "additional key functionality related to the deployment of TV Anywhere services, as well as "a team of highly skilled software engineers from Azuki Systems."

Based in the Boston suburbs with its 49 employees, Azuki is currently one of Ericsson's smaller rivals in the congested multiscreen video space. Azuki, founded in 2008, has made its mark by developing an architecture that takes adaptive bit-rate streams delivered in one format, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), and converts them to formats that end-consumer devices can handle. The firm's flagship Media Platform appliance, which hooks into a service provider's content management system (CMS), can carry out this conversion for live, on-demand, and online video programming. (See Azuki Pitches Simplified TV Everywhere to MSOs.)

With this technology in hand, Azuki has signed up mainly small and midsized cable operators, IPTV providers, and mobile operators, as well as a few major programmers. Its announced customers notably include CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), Buckeye CableSystem , Bermuda CableVision , Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) , and Showtime Networks Inc. .

Ben Huang, head of global marketing for Ericsson's new Mediaroom unit, told Light Reading that Azuki's technologies will be incorporated into Mediaroom's offerings. He said the Azuki systems will enable Mediaroom to deliver video streaming of over-the-top (OTT) content, as well as out-of-home streaming, to its customers.

The big challenge for Mediaroom's customers right now, Huang said, is that they have to use different platforms to deliver content in the home and outside the home and different back-end platforms and work-flow processes to manage everything. With Azuki's systems hooked into Mediaroom's platform, he said, Ericsson will be able to offer "seamless" integration of in-home and out-of-home streaming and back-end capabilities to its service providers. Mediaroom, which Ericsson bought from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) last year, now works with 63 providers in 25 markets around the world.

Azuki also plays in the digital rights management (DRM) space. In the mobile market, for instance, it offers the Azuki Wireless Platform (AWP), an appliance that delivers live and on-demand with DRM protection to mobile devices, especially smartphones and tablets. (See Azuki Box Takes DRM Over the Top.)

Even with its acquisition of Azuki, Ericsson still faces plenty of competition in the TV Everywhere space. Other players include Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT), RGB Networks Inc. , and Envivio Inc. (NASDAQ: ENVI).

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/3/2014 | 7:31:19 PM
Larger Trends?
Does anyone else think this is part of a larger trend for service providers to try to gain more control over content (especially video)? If so, what does it mean for the future when more operators are increasingly vertically integrated with content? 
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/28/2014 | 5:09:04 PM
Re: Looks like a smart move for Ericsson
My other question for you, David, is do you think Ericsson will rest there. Or will they be scooping up other small specialists as wsell?  
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 9:53:29 PM
Re: Looks like a smart move for Ericsson
I'd agree with you there, David. Will be intersting to see how successful they are at doing that.  
David Dines
50%
50%
David Dines,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:54:00 AM
Re: Looks like a smart move for Ericsson
I have not spoken to Ericsson yet about it and I have no insights into how they integrated their past acquisitions, so I have not formed an opinion. Though I would imgaine that Ericsson is pretty motivated to retain the team that Cheng built. 
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/18/2014 | 9:53:32 PM
Re: Looks like a smart move for Ericsson
I agree, David. And Azuki apperared to be gaining somne treaction too. Now the question is how well will Ericsson manage them and retain them. What do you expect to happen? 
David Dines
50%
50%
David Dines,
User Rank: Blogger
2/6/2014 | 7:09:35 PM
Looks like a smart move for Ericsson
I have met the Azuki people and was very impressed by the people and I thought their approach makes a lot of sense.  It will be interesting to see how they are integrated into the larger company from a personnel and portfolio standpoint.
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
The Urgency of Commercial 5G Services

4|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


The progress of 5G has been closely monitored in the industry. At the 2017 Brooklyn 5G Summit, the sense of urgency for a commercial 5G launch had started to surface among operators.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments


Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Surprise! AT&T Markets 4G Advances as '5G Evolution'
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Verizon: Small Biz in Cybercrooks' Crosshairs
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/27/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.