Recently, we had the opportunity to catch up to Eitan Koter, Co-CEO of Vimmi Communications, an innovative startup focused on disrupting the way video is ingested, transformed and delivered over operator networks. Although the market is very competitive, Vimmi has differentiated itself by offering its customers more pieces of the video delivery value chain, including content preparation, content management system and billing, which eases the job of the Network Operator, when it comes to launching and operating premium video services. And most importantly, all the various components create a tightly integrated software stack, enabling them to be more flexible in feature-set creation. A big thanks to Eitan and the team for the interview.
How did you come up with idea for Vimmi? After working in the video compression industry for 10 years, as the President of Scopus Video Networks (today Harmonic HLIT), it was obvious that video was transitioning to IP and the cloud. We understood that online video consumption would explode, as would the problems on the networks supporting the video, so we formed Vimmi Communications.
We also identified new video workflows for content preparation and monetization, so we developed them in order to help our customers succeed in the online video market. We took all our broadcast and cloud experience and created the most innovative online platform for content preparation, monetization and delivery, all in a single workflow, purposely built for the most demanding operators and content providers.
Of the 40+ companies in our ecosystem, VDMS (Verizon) comes closest to offering a true end-to-end video solution from ingest to delivery, followed by Arkena and Level 3. Are you better than VDMS, Arkena and Level 3?
Today, video streaming is costly, complex and low quality – this is why we have developed our platform, a revolutionary technology that improves the video experience for Consumers, while reducing the cost and launching time to Network Operators dramatically. We have enable customers to create new business models which is unique in our industry – customers can license our solution, and can pick from a number of pricing options, including per Gbps, revenue share, or pay as you grow. In addition, we help customers with soft launch at a fixed cost, which grows with subscriber demand. Flexibility is the name of game, and we are very flexible.
Some of are our key differentiators include our ‘CDN-in-a-box’ architecture, which can be extended to full ‘OTT-in-a-box’ and deployed within hours anywhere in the world, usually at the edge of the network, in order to improve video experience and launching time while reducing total cost of operation. In addition, we provide full video OTT solution including Content Preparation, Content Management System, User Management and Billing, Cloud DVR, mobile video applications templates, Analytics and Reporting and the most innovative video CDN in the market, all provided as a single cloud workflow.
What is the standard traffic profile for Network Operators, and how is different from regular CDN traffic? When it comes to Network Operator traffic, its regional traffic, compared to the CDN traffic that travels across continents. Some of the highlights include the following:
- Long tail vs. high demand content. Some networks have an 80/20 ratio, while others have a 50/50 ratio, so it is important to design an intelligent CDN that can manage traffic, main storage and cache very cost effectively
- Video workflows are very complex, due to type of service (live, VOD, Linear), unlimited number of user devices and OS’s, amount of traffic and storage (main and cache) requirements, video formats (SD, HD, 4K), and streaming protocols (HLS, HDS, HSS, DASH, RTMP, RTSP, TS, etc.) that requires specialized technologies on the network side
- Video traffic is unpredictable, and the volume can suddenly skyrocket by 20x within minutes, due to a major news or sports story
- In order to monetize video (advertisement or subscription) content should be encrypted all the way (DRM, Token, HTTPS) and managed by the service provider
- Video can be streamed within the service provider / enterprise LAN network (for his own subscribers), which can also can be streamed over the WAN to viewers worldwide
Vimmi platform takes into consideration all the above. We create “profiles” per content provider and the CDN makes real-time intelligent decisions per content provider, in order to improve performance (click-to-play time, video quality, stability of streaming in any condition, caching decisions) while reducing cost (intra POP bandwidth, bandwidth to consumers, # of hosting location and size, amount and location of central storage and cache, amount of traffic requests, etc.).
Vimmi can license software to Service Providers, Telco’s and ISP’s, creating “sub-clouds” from our platform, which is specific to the operator.
What are some of the challenges network operators face when deploying solutions to support their OTT efforts? How does Vimmi overcome the challenges? Video OTT projects are complex, costly and take a lot of time to launch. Operators need to make decisions regarding hundreds of items – transcoding, streaming, storage, video player, DRM, VOD, live, linear, network DVR, metadata, reporting, analytics, content management, monetization policies (SVOD, TVOD, PPV, Advertisement?), mobile applications, smart TV, STB, buy or outsource as a service, develop internally or externally, working with one integrator vs. best of breed, etc. – due to our vast experience in professional (broadcast) video, we have automated all these items above into workflows that can be configured and launched quickly.
These workflows can be changed anytime. The workflows include all the elements of a complete video OTT system – content preparation, content management, billing, CDN, video player, and so on. We do our best to earn the trust of our customers, and follow video best practices in everything we do, so it meets the highest industry standards. Click here to contact.