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Elemental, Media Excel Plot 2011 Strategies

2010 turned out to be a very good year for several companies whose products power web, mobile and IPTV encoding and transcoding. It appears the trend will continue, as Elemental Technologies and Media Excel make plans for 2011 that involve strategic direction as well as expansion plans.

Elemental Technologies, based in Portland, announced today that it will be bringing on a strategic investor as well as a new board member.

Kevin O'Hara will be added to the company's board of directors, replacing board member Frank Gill, whom, according to the company, "stepped down from all private boards on which he served last year to embrace full time retirement."

O'Hara was a former president at Level 3 Communications, which he co-founded after a number of successful telecommunications businesses. With the addition of O'Hara, Elemental has seven board members.

Elemental also announced Citrix Systems, an Elemental customer, is becoming a strategic investor. Elemental is not currently disclosing the additional amount of capital invested by Citrix, as Citrix is a publicly traded company, but the company says Citrix is providing "a minority investment, and a small amount relative to Elemental's Series A and B financings."

While the company is not saying what it plans to do with the strategic investment funds, CEO Sam Blackman says that 2011 is a year in which the company is pressing ahead to gain more ground in terms of customers and market leadership.

"In 2011, we plan to continue the trajectory we've established, through early customer wins," said Blackman, citing content-provider customers such as ABC, Big Ten Network, CBS Interactive, National Geographic and PBS.

"We plan to extend our business into content distributors," he continued, "so the leadership and experience Kevin brings to our board, coupled with investment from a market leader in virtual computing solutions, will help guide our anticipated growth."

Down in Austin, another company is planning to push forward with another goal in 2011: Media Excel hopes to lose the title of "best-kept secret" in the transcoding industry.

To kick off the new year, the angel-backed, privately held company is announcing both its financial performance from 2010 as well as signaling its roadmap for dramatic increases in processing capabilities for 2011.

On the financial front, the company says 2010 was a record year for revenue and profitability, following a pattern set in motion several years ago.

"2010 marks three straight years in a row of significant year-over-year sales growth," said Jongil Kim, Media Excel's chief technology officer and president. "Our commitment to producing software-hardware solutions for high-quality, high-capacity transcoding has resulted in a number of key wins as well as substantial recurring revenue from current customers."

According to Kim, the company not only had significant growth, but is will positioned financially for 2011.

"Media Excel is not only cash-flow positive," said Kim," but the company is run entirely on revenues, making it one of the most fiscally sound companies in the industry."

Founded in 2000 by University of Texas Austin alumni, the company now has sales and support teams in the United States, Korea and Europe and says it will continue to expand its presence n each of these markets through both direct sales and key channel partners.

Media Excel will continue another trend throughout 2011: hiring key personnel.

"We expanded our internal team within the past year, and expect to continue that trend throughout 2011," said Kim.

On the technology front, Media Excel is building on its history of software innovation. From the early days of transrating and transcoding products to its current stable of live- and file-based transcoding solutions, Media Excel has continued to redefine what is possible in a single rack unit appliance.

Media Excel has always tied its software tightly to its hardware platform of choice: Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) from Texas Instruments (TI).

According to the company, the TI relationship will not only continue throughout 2011 but will produce significant processing capabilities with a new generation of multi-core DSPs. TI exhibits at the upcoming Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, so we'll be watching for any word of what these multi-core DSPs entail.

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