BNI Video Seeks Scale With Cisco
So says Conrad Clemson, BNI Video's founder and CEO, regarding Cisco's pending $99 million purchase of his company. (See Cisco to Buy BNI Video for $99M .)
He acknowledges that it would be tough for BNI Video, a startup with 72 employees, to scale up on its own. Being part of Cisco "gives us the opportunity to fulfill the commitments that we have in front of us," says Clemson.
What are those commitments? BNI Video counts Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) among its financiers, but hasn't announced any deployments with either MSO. Clemson says BNI Video has two video back-office trials up now, with revenues coming by the end of this year or in early 2012. It also has "multiple deployments and customer orders" for its CDN software suite, with three additional lab trials slated in North America and Europe by year's end.
"For a young company, that's a lot to handle," Clemson says. BNI Video was founded in 2009.
An industry source that's familiar with BNI Video says the vendor has been doing "quite well at Comcast," but that's been coupled with concerns about making a big deployment commitment to a startup.
Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Alan Breznick agrees with the notion that BNI Video's technology will find smoother sledding from a deployment standpoint if Cisco's the one pulling on the reins. But he wonders if it will also dampen innovation in the area. "It's usually these small guys that spur the market on," he says.
Cisco, meanwhile, had customers saying Videoscape needed a back-office component, says Kip Compton, VP of strategy and product management for Cisco's Service provider Video Technology Group. BNI's approach, he adds, is attractive because it offers a way for MSOs to modify their back-offices in a way that helps them transition to IP video.
"A lot of [cable] customers will simultaneously run QAM and IP in terms of video. BNI straddles those two, and that's going to be important in a multi-year transition period," Compton adds. (It's expected that Clemson will join Compton's organization as a senior director.)
Cisco and BNI Video are hopeful that a unified video back-office can be a money-saver in capex and opex. On that point, Clemson says BNI Video has demonstrated how one customer could shrink from 3,000 hardware servers spread over their network to just 30 servers located in three areas.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable