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Imagine, Hewlett Packard strengthen collaboration

Expanding a relationship made public in April 2015, media and entertainment industry technology solutions provider Imagine Communications is working with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to enable communications service providers (CSPs) and other broadcast and media companies to construct video production, playout and distribution facilities that deliver unprecedented scale, flexibility, performance and reliability. The strengthened relationship forms a framework for HPE to resell Imagine Communications’ entire product portfolio virtually worldwide and aligns Imagine Communications’ core products with HPE’s market-leading software, hardware and services solutions.

The enhanced relationship is supported by a broad go-to-market strategy that targets content distributors, aggregators and broadcasters operating in all segments of the industry, and extending into government, sports venues, corporate and houses of worship markets. The new alliance creates a strategic partnership focused on the modernisation of broadcast, distribution and new media facilities that the pair claim is unprecedented in the broadcast industry in scale, reach, technology innovation and sophistication of integration and support services. This partnership will utilise HPE’s Communications & Media Solutions (CMS) organisation, a global player in systems integration services.

The pair suggest the expanded relationship marks an important milestone in the ongoing fusion of the media and entertainment and IT industries, as well as the overall transformation of video production, playout and distribution operations to IP, cloud, and virtualisation, claiming the ‘first-of-its-kind’ collaboration is being driven by dramatic shifts in video consumption habits that demand a transition of operations to more flexible, versatile and agile production and distribution environments.

“Two of the most influential technology innovators in their respective industries are teaming up to provide service providers, TV networks, broadcasters, new media and enterprise companies with exactly what they need to meet today’s, as well as tomorrow’s, challenges,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO, Imagine Communications. “By combining Imagine Communications’ market-leading video portfolio with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s market-leading storage, compute and networking technology, the two companies are helping to accelerate the transition to IP-based, software-defined virtualised facilities that are the future of the media and entertainment industry.”

The agreement expansion calls for HPE to resell products from Imagine Communications’ playout, networking, distribution and ad management solutions portfolios, as well as products and intellectual property from HPE Software and CMS businesses. This arrangement forms the framework for HPE’s CMS organisation and channel partners to represent Imagine Communications’ entire product portfolio, including Platinum routers, Nexio servers and Versio, the company’s IP playout solution that is enabling media companies on multiple continents to relocate playout, master control and channel origination operations to cloud and other virtualised environments.

The strategic partnership is also intended to include Imagine Communications’ CloudXtream portfolio, comprised of cloud-based solutions that empower service providers to introduce new and highly personalized services that redefine the video consumption experience. The Imagine Communications portfolio includes capabilities for live, linear, on-demand, and cloud DVR (cDVR) video delivery models, and enables dynamic ad insertion (DAI) capabilities for any of those models. CloudXtream, paired with HPE storage and compute resources, helps service providers generate new revenue, extend reach to new consumers and devices, and realise dramatic operational savings and substantial storage optimisation improvements.

According to the pair a major benefit of the collaboration is that it will provide media companies with a single source for all hardware, software, service and support needs. Products and solutions delivered through the collaboration are backed by HPE’s support and services operations.

“Media companies and service providers recognise the urgency to modernise operations to meet the needs of a new generation of video consumers and withstand competitive challenges resulting from disruption to traditional supply chains and business models,” said Antonio Neri, executive vice president and general manager, Enterprise Group, HPE. “Together, HPE and Imagine Communications intend to bring faster innovation and risk mitigation to customers as they transform from a pre-IP environment to full IP Cloud and from physical to virtualised infrastructures. At the same time, our deep experience allows us to bring communication service providers the most complete end-to-end solutions and services, accelerating time-to-market and monetization of new multiscreen offerings.”

The scope of the relationship also includes the migration of Imagine Communications’ core products to HPE hardware platforms. By optimising media functions to execute on market-leading storage and compute platforms, Imagine Communications is introducing price and performance improvements, as well as increasing the deployment flexibility of its solutions portfolio. Imagine Communications’ solutions are adaptable to a variety of operational and deployment models, from premises-based to the cloud.

The pair say that since April 2015, combined solutions have been integrated into numerous proofs of concept and commercial deployments around the world.

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