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Arris Pumps Up Video With Dolce's Verivue

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Verivue Inc. , former Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) exec Jim Dolce's new baby, has an entrée to the cable video-on-demand (VoD) world thanks to a deal with Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), Cable Digital News has learned.

Multiple industry insiders have confirmed that Arris plans to standardize a portion of its next-gen VoD and interactive video platform on the Verivue "solid state" video pump, which is slated to provide carrier-class reliability.

Arris spokesman Alex Swan confirms that the two companies are working together. "Arris will be integrating [Verivue's] products into our overall converged service network solutions, and we do have rights to sell their products worldwide," he says.

He adds that Arris plans to demonstrate how the two companies are working together this April at The Cable Show in Washington.

Swan isn't confirming details of the agreement, but people familiar with the deal say it's "mutually exclusive" when it comes to the Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) accounts. That means that Arris and Verivue must work together, exclusively, on anything involving those MSOs.

Beyond those two accounts, however, Verivue has carte blanche should it try to win deals with other cable MSOs and telcos, or attempt to displace server deployments from suppliers such as SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC), Concurrent Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: CCUR), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

n5 lives on
Arris entered the VoD game in late 2007 when it acquired C-COR Inc. in a deal valued at $730 million. (See Arris Acquires C-COR and Arris Sews Up C-COR.) Although Arris is likely to center the bulk of its next-gen VoD and digital advertising platforms on Verivue's technology, it will continue to invest in and expand on the servers already in its arsenal, which include the n5 and the more compact n5c. (See C-COR Unveils Compact VOD Server .)

"We have a roadmap for these products going out several years," Swan said, adding that the entire product line will be made to serve a variety of media formats and market sizes.

Verivue's offering will "fit well into the converged platform that we are seeking to offer the industry," he said.

Little is known about the technical makeup of Verivue's video pump, though support for DRAM and possibly Flash is expected. (See A Flashy Approach to VOD.)

People familiar with the product plans acknowledge that it will have solid state capabilities and will aim to be NEBS (Network Equipment Building Systems)-compliant, meaning it will be made to meet certain power management standards and be sturdy enough to withstand just about anything that Mother Nature can dish out. Verivue's initial product will also be capable of splicing and pumping video in the same device.

Arris's Swan would not go into much detail about the Verivue product, but said it's not limited to video. "To describe it as a video pump really does not do it justice," he said.

Keeping quiet
On its own Website, Verivue vaguely describes itself as an "early stage, venture backed company developing advanced networking solutions for the distribution of digital media services."

When Light Reading tracked down Verivue CEO Jim Dolce in 2007, the former "LR Mover & Shaker" said he wasn't ready yet to divulge details about his new company until later that year. (See Dolce Starts Verivue and Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom.)

Verivue still isn't in the mood to say much. Dolce could not be reached Thursday, but another Verivue official stressed in an email that the company is "not commenting publicly on any specifics of our business."

Verivue has not disclosed how much capital it has raised (or made much in the way of public announcements of any sort), but it does list Matrix Partners and Spark Capital Partners LLC as investors.

Spark has some experience in the video server/pump arena -- it invested in Broadbus Technologies, a DRAM server specialist that Motorola purchased in the summer of 2006. (See Moto Buys VOD Vendor Broadbus.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:42 PM
re: Arris Pumps Up Video With Dolce's Verivue
Given the team he has assembled I expected something much more than a vod pump.

even if it's the world's best it's still unimpressive given his talent and vision.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:41 PM
re: Arris Pumps Up Video With Dolce's Verivue
I second that - it is hilarious that is the best he could come up or it is in fact all that he could come up with as he was overhyped in the first place.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:13:37 PM
re: Arris Pumps Up Video With Dolce's Verivue
I disagree. I think it shows his ability to understand the times communications are in.

During the bubble he built and sold companies that made infrastructure equipment. Since that time a lot of infrastructure has been built out. A lot of fiber remains dark awaiting applications. Which brings us to where we are now: time to build applications upon all that infrastructure...and VOD is the most logical. Why?

Consider the telcos and Cable MSO's are going to IP video. The telcos are doing it because they've rebuilt their infrastructure for an all IP play. The Cable MSO's have done the same. In both cases video is the last application in the triple play to make the move towards IP, thus resulting in an all IP play (lower capex/opex). I understand the MSO's will eventually go to a quad play, adding wireless voice/video/data services, but the technology has not been decided.

And for those who think VOD, or video in general, is "easy" have clearly not worked on video technology.

Disclaimer: I have neither met nor worked for Dolce.
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