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CES 2014: Verizon Debuts its End-to-End Solution

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The Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS) team taking meetings at the 2014 International CES show is far different from that of only two years ago. In 2012, David Rips, then Verizon’s president of digital media services, trumpeted the company’s unicast delivery offering for large media companies. Well, Rips has been out of that position for 18 months, and his successors have learned the value of customization and flexibility. Fresh from acquisitions of CDN provider EdgeCast Networks and delivery company UpLynk, VDMS is now talking up its end-to-end solution.

The new VDMS is going after a lot of market segments, says James Segil, formerly the president of EdgeCast and now the chief marketing officer for VDMS, but first and foremost its going after broadcast. Broadcasters are tired of cobbled together solutions, he says, and need “one throat to choke.” Other solutions consider how to work around the network to ensure quality, he says, while Verizon is the network.

“When we heard about the UpLynk acquisition, we couldn’t have been happier,” Segil says, thrilled that Verizon is serious about innovating. “We are 100 percent drinking the Kool-Aid.”

The phone company needed to become a technology company, says Bob Toohey, president of VDMS, on the changes he’s initiated. The old offering was one-size-fits-all, he says. When he took over from Rips, he changed the architecture to create a more modular system that offered flexibility to customers.

Besides attracting major customers across verticals, the team is interested in bringing real reform to the online video landscape. There’s currently no measure of video quality that’s accepted across providers and vendors, Segil says. Not only does the industry need standardized metrics, but also smart reporting features built in at every level that give feedback and help improve quality.  There’s no evangelizing needed on the topic, he notes, as everyone agrees on the benefits. What’s needed is the influence to implement useful standards.

“We can play a very key role in enabling that,” Toohey says.

The VDMS management team is at CES to talk to potential partners and the press about its one-stop service. They say they have a compelling offering for broadcasters, web content companies, e-commerce companies, and the enterprise, providing optimized secure delivery. They also say the next 12 months will be an exciting one for VDMS, and that major announcements will arrive well before the NAB conference in April.

“We’re right in the throes and very excited we’re moving forward,” Toohey says.

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