IBM today announced that it has acquired Clearleap, Inc., a provider of cloud based video services, to boost its cloud computing initiatives. The move aims to empower users to access video from any device at any time and use it as a strategic source of data.
Clearleap will be integrated into the IBM Cloud platform to provide enterprises with a fast and easy way to manage, monetize and grow user video experiences and deliver them securely over the Web and mobile devices. The news is part of IBM’s broader strategy to help clients unlock the value of video as it grows in importance in business. IBM is advancing its cloud strategy to improve the performance and management of this powerful tool, and help clients extract insight from it.
Financial details were not disclosed.
Increasingly connected consumers want video delivered when they want it and to the multiple devices they use for entertainment and information. In business, video has become a staple of communications across all industries as a primary method to engage with customers and employees for CEO webcasts, conference keynotes, training & education, customer care, how-to videos, and more.
As a result, clients across industries are demanding a secure, scalable, and open cloud-based solution to manage their video services. This is especially significant given researchers estimate that 80% of the world’s data is unstructured and dark to computer systems that cannot effectively manage or exploit it. Video makes up a significant part of that data.
The Clearleap video platform is optimized for massive scalability, which enables clients to ramp up and support millions of concurrent users within seconds to support special events. The innovations have attracted leading brands such as HBO, A+E Networks, the NFL, BBC America, Sony Movie Channel, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon Communications, among others.
This platform, which has been tested and proven by leading media and entertainment brands with millions of subscribers will provide a strong foundation for enterprise, education, and government customers as well.
“Clearleap joins IBM at a tipping point in the industry when visual information and visual communication are not just important to consumers, but are exploding across every industry,” said Robert LeBlanc, Senior Vice President, IBM Cloud. “This comes together for a client when any content can be delivered quickly and economically to any device in the most natural way.”
Clearleap’s open API framework enables organizations to easily build video into applications and to adapt to specific business needs such as custom workflows and advanced analytics. The framework also enables access to key third-party applications that customers may already have in their environments.
In addition, the Clearleap platform includes subscription and monetization services, and data centers from which to host digital video assets. As a result, organizations are able to provide clients with secure, reliable, and complete multiscreen video experience.
Clearleap’s video services will be offered through IBM Cloud data centers around the world providing clients global 24×7 service and technical support for rapid problem identification and resolution capabilities. Clients will have the ability to securely share data and content across geographies and across hybrid clouds. IBM will offer the Clearleap APIs on IBM Bluemix in 2016 to enable clients to build new video offerings quickly and easily.
“With consumer demand for video growing exponentially, the business of creating compelling and personalized video experiences is booming. This makes the acquisition by IBM, a global leader in technology, a perfect fit,” said Braxton Jarratt, CEO of Clearleap. “As a part of IBM, we can extend the capabilities and global reach of the Clearleap innovations to grow and scale like never before.”
Today’s news is the latest in a series of organic and external investments IBM has made in recent years in the areas of video and large data file management to help clients overcome those challenges.
In 2014, IBM acquired Aspera Inc., which develops a technology to speed large data transfers over broadband networks. In November, IBM completed the acquisition of Cleversafe, Inc., a developer of object-based storage software and appliances that enable organizations to quickly store, manage and retrieve unstructured data. Also integrated into the IBM Cloud, the Cleversafe and Aspera technologies will be leveraged for use with Clearleap to help clients more quickly store, index and retrieve video content through the cloud.
IBM itself has been a long-time developer of video and digital media innovations and has been awarded more than 1,000 patents in the field since 1995, and has won four Emmy Awards for video related innovations.
“IBM is focused on being an essential partner to the rapidly changing M&E industry by helping our clients deliver personalized content to the right customer in real time anywhere in the world,” said Steven Canepa, General Manager, Global Media & Entertainment Industry, IBM. “The combination of Clearleap with our proven analytics and hybrid cloud capabilities will deliver exciting new video solutions that will fundamentally change communications across every industry.”