Kaltura bares its teeth, has APAC wins in sight

Kaltura was quick to get in touch with Faultline Online Reporter following our suggestion two weeks ago that its newly inked deal with Nokia could be a precursor to a potential takeover. While Kaltura’s Co-founder and GM of Media and Telecom, Dr. Shay David, dismissed the notion of Nokia putting in an acquisition bid, one thing he adamantly agreed upon was another leap we made – that Nokia could open the doors to some lucrative wins for Kaltura in the Asia Pacific.

A new contract could come as soon as this summer, according to Shay, as the deal with Nokia is putting a large amount of focus on that region. Both companies are strategically expanding outside of North America and Europe where the major deployments are all spoken for, and Shay noted that several years down the line, opportunities could present themselves where Kaltura’s end to end OTT technologies could grab some major North American accounts. This is the ultimate goal for every video and network technology provider alike – one that is easier said than done.

For now, Kaltura’s focus is elsewhere, said Shay, while it waits patiently for the “dinosaurs” of video technology to consolidate and cut off the legacy hardware arms of their business.

Kaltura’s deal with Nokia involves the combination of the Kaltura TV Platform and Nokia Velocix suite of products, and Shay provided some additional detail this week, adding that Kaltura is working closely with the Alcatel-Lucent team within Nokia. The pair have “a few interesting bids” and expect to make announcements later this year, along with additional vendor partners in the venture, for areas such as encoding.

Concerning the recent launch of Vodafone Deutschland’s cloud-based multiscreen 4K UHD video service GigaTV, built around Cisco’s Infinite Video technology, we assumed this spelled bad news for Kaltura as Vodafone has been a stronghold for the company for several years. However, Shay claimed the Cisco announcement was actually a three-year old deal purely for set tops, and had not encroached on Kaltura’s contract to the extent that the Cisco press release had suggested.

The same is apparently true for TiVo’s February win for its next-generation user experience and cloud DVR at Vodafone Spain. “There is not a single contract in the world that Cisco or TiVo will steal from Kaltura,” added Shay.

Shay spoke at length about the convergence of traditional cable, conditional access and OTT, giving the example that there are markets such as Spain where there is a high prevalence of relatively simple and affordable set tops for IP delivery. On the other hand, a market like Germany will take years to fully converge these technologies.

To this end, Kaltura is working intensely on the user experience layer, building systems to identify and target users from where its customers can communicate directly with users, by methods such as sending notifications to mobile devices or IP set tops.

Looking to what the future holds for the set top industry and how Kaltura’s plans to position itself, Shay concluded, “the future is Android.” We would add that some of the set top giants are becoming inclined to agree.