SeaChange arrives in Russia, emphasizing multi-vendor approach

After a rocky year prompted major changes at SeaChange, the US software vendor signed off 2018 on a positive note with a win at Russian OTT video platform provider TotalVideo. This is SeaChange facing up to its new future, swapping tier 1 pay TV accounts for contracts at virtually unheard-of companies – diving deeper into the back office supply chain as its recovery process kicks into gear.

TotalVideo is a vendor supplying cable TV providers in Russia and Eastern Europe with multiscreen capabilities, so essentially what SeaChange once was, and the deal is described as an agreement to develop a multi-operator, multi-tenant hybrid OTT/DVB/IPTV platform. This accentuates SeaChange’s multi-vendor approach and could even be interpreted as another sign of commoditization in the industry.

Importantly though, TotalVideo has selected SeaChange’s PanoramiC product which is a sort of mash up of technologies from a variety of OTT video technology vendors. The turnkey delivery system combines various components of its new cFlow umbrella portfolio – based on the code base of its old flagship Adrenalin technology – with elements from vendors Ateme, Ates Networks, Broadpeak and CastLabs.

As Faultline Online Reporter noted back in May when SeaChange announced its new streamlined product lineup, the new face of SeaChange is comprised of cContent (CMS), cBridge (transaction management), cAds (ad management) and cView (UX). While the core technologies of cFlow are essentially the same, there has been a big CMS effort focused on scalability. The updated cContent CMS product recently helped one unnamed customer handle over 1,000 content checks before the workflow process, as new VP or marketing Kurt Michel told us at the time, with cContent providing metadata enrichment for matching viewers with content and scaling this accordingly with subscriber base growth.

While there is precious little public information on TotalVideo, the firm is said to be closely associated with the Russian Cable TV Association and is providing live, linear and on-demand viewing capabilities across fixed and mobile devices. And of course, the Russian pay TV market is projected to be on the rise while the more developed regions of Europe and North America, where some of SeaChange’s largest customers reside, are markets on the decline.

It’s a similar story across the board of the old powerhouses of pay TV technology, but nevertheless, SeaChange has managed to stabilize annual revenues at around $80 million (down from $165 million in 2012) with a workforce of 300. If we look at Velocix, for example, coming out of Nokia with a team of 300, we can still see that SeaChange has a chance to recover here and claim new territories. Although, the company’s US headquarters in Acton has recently been placed on the market, leaving just three locations in Poland, Ireland and the Netherlands – meaning SeaChange is poised to become a purely Europe-based company, presuming it doesn’t plan to relocate its home base and will probably just retain a small technical services team there.

TotalVideo General Director Mikhail Silin said, “With SeaChange, TotalVideo has the scalable foundation to serve our customers as comprehensively and effectively as possible. The combination of software solutions and professional services provided by SeaChange will allow us to deliver a platform that video providers and operators can easily adopt, allowing them to offer their viewers an enhanced user experience. With our new platform, they will benefit with increased viewership and customer loyalty.”

SeaChange CEO Ed Terino said, “As consumers demand access to video on every device, video providers around the world must enhance their existing infrastructures to offer high-quality, premium video across any platform, with optimized and personalized user experiences.”