& 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
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
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 Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
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
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
BT Tech Chief Makes Plea to 5G Chip Vendors
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 6/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
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 ...
Animals with Phones
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.