Ooyala's CEO says Telstra's ownership, other partnerships enable OTT video advances


Jonathan Huberman, who is firmly planted as Ooyala’s new CEO, plans to focus on how best to leverage the relationship with its parent Telstra and partnerships with other key OTT video enablers.

A 30-year industry software veteran, Huberman came to Ooyala from Syncplicity, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company for enterprise file collaboration. By taking a customer-first focus and focusing on operational efficiency, he helped make the company a major player in the cloud services space.

Huberman told FierceOnlineVideo that as Ooyala pursues customer opportunities inside and outside of the United States, Telstra will be an enabler.

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“The fact that we can leverage the Telstra relationship, especially outside of the United States, is an added benefit,” Huberman said. “Some of the private equity firms I worked for before provided cash and much benefit, but here you have a parent that can add real value.”

One of the benefits of the Telstra relationship is that Ooyala can tap into the Australian incumbent telco’s technical capabilities, including its network operations center and other support facilities.

“We now have live NOC that’s run by Telstra,” Huberman said. “It’s not some rinky-dink operation, but we have one of the largest telcos in the world that is running our NOC.”

But the Telstra link is just one part of Ooyala’s strategy.

As Ooyala pushes forward its integrated video platform (IVP) strategy to help OTT players further monetize their offerings, the company is combining functions like audience metrics and ad consumption metrics. The company’s Flex platform provides OTT players asset and metadata management plus workflow orchestration with an aim on streamlining operations.

“The next phase of being able to figure out how to monetize ad inventory is really going to come from co-mingling previously separate data sets,” said Belsasar Lepe, co-founder and VP of products and solutions for Ooyala. “Being able to figure out the optimal ad load for a particular type of content or particular type of device or some intersection is where we see things going.”

To reach its goals, Ooyala is establishing partnerships with other key OTT ecosystem players like Adobe and Microsoft.

“The significant experience John brings to the table is really around how we can make those products together,” Lepe said. “We’re going to combine the scale that our partnerships with Adobe and Microsoft bring to be able to achieve monetization in a cross-functional means that you can’t do unless you spent hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Adobe is combining Ooyala’s Integrated Video Platform (IVP) solutions with the Adobe Experience Cloud. This partnership will enable media and entertainment companies to build best-of-breed digital TV and OTT solutions for greater engagement, measurement and recognize greater returns with video.

No less compelling is Microsoft.

In 2014, Ooyala formed a strategic relationship with Microsoft that combines its software as a service (SaaS) products with Microsoft's Azure Media Services. The two companies also work collaboratively on global sales and marketing efforts.

“I am excited about partnering with both Adobe and Microsoft to create joint product offerings that are best of breed for the industry, solve needs, reduce costs and increase monetization,” Huberman said.

Overall, Ooyala wants to help OTT providers not just make more revenue, but also automate their processes.

“Coming from outside of this industry, one thing that surprised me is that how many processes are still manual,” Huberman said. “I think with Flex and our IVP strategy we have a huge opportunity to bring what is workflow processes for other industries into the media business.”