IBC 2017

IBC 2017: Imagine’s Open Zenium program enables Sky Italia to customize encoding workflow

Imagine Communications (Stand 4.AO1), provider of transformative innovation to the media and entertainment industry, is working with Sky Italia through Imagine’s new Open Zenium program, enriching the European broadcaster’s compression operations with the addition of artificial-intelligence capabilities. Customizations made possible through Open Zenium are expected to enable Sky Italia to automatically optimize the quality of content and reduce costs through the insertion of machine learning directly into the data flow, bringing new and unique functionality to an existing product.

The Open Zenium program is designed to stimulate innovation through collaboration by sharing source code of the Zenium microservices library with a community of Imagine customers and partners. Zenium is the company’s pure microservices platform for building smarter, more efficient, and future-proof media operations. Open Zenium puts the power of microservices in the hands of innovative media companies, empowering them with the ability to customize, optimize, modify, design, and deploy next-generation workflows and services of unparalleled efficiency, scalability and performance.

“We immediately recognized the power and potential of the Open Zenium program to streamline and enrich our services,” says Massimo Bertolotti, director, innovation and multimedia distribution, Sky Italia. ”By integrating our unique technology into Imagine’s microservices-based solutions, we are now able to introduce technology enhancements that improve our ability to meet business objectives much faster and more efficiently than was possible in the past.”

Sky Italia is also one of the first adopters of Selenio One, Imagine’s next-generation compression platform that offers media companies a single solution for performing a range of encoding, transcoding and related processing operations. Powered by Zenium, Selenio One is a cloud-native solution built on a pure microservices architecture that uses discrete, single-function components that can be updated or even replaced as market conditions require, ensuring that media operations are continuously optimized for peak performance and efficiency.

Participation in Open Zenium puts the power to customize Selenio One, as well as other microservices-based solutions from Imagine Communications, in the hands of customers and partners. Through access to the Selenio One platform, Sky Italia was able to incorporate into its encode workflow custom-designed algorithms that use machine learning to optimize and automate the allocation of resources.

Among the benefits of the customization project is Sky Italia’s ability to streamline its service chain, eliminating a separate and external function by incorporating it into an existing workflow. A related benefit is associated with the software-only nature of the Selenio One platform. Previously executed in hardware, Sky Italia’s AI-oriented technology can now be deployed in essentially any environment, including the cloud, enabling the company to optimize the performance and efficiency of its operations.

Sky Italia and other members of the Advanced level of the Open Zenium program have access to developer support and are assigned a developer ID that allows them to create unique components and register them with the Zenium platform. Open Zenium members also have access to more than a thousand existing microservices components and rigorously tested workflows. An automated-testing framework that is part of the open program also ensures reliability of customized components.

Speed to market is another major benefit of the customization capabilities of a microservices architecture. Less than a month after initiating the process through the Open Zenium program, Sky Italia was able to test and evaluate the newly designed workflows.

“It’s partnerships like the one we have with Sky Italia that drove us to release our Zenium platform under the Open Zenium program,” says Brick Eksten, chief product officer, Imagine. “We knew that customers would benefit tremendously from having direct access to the flexibility and capabilities of the platform, and they would be able to achieve greater service velocity by being able to directly leverage the power of the Zenium software developer kit. The capabilities enabled by Open Zenium give Sky Italia the ability to directly innovate, integrate and optimize our products for specific use cases, while reducing costs and providing greater control over network functionality.”

At IBC 2017, the Zenium platform is being featured in a series of thought-leadership and educational presentations on microservices and cloud-native technologies at the Imagine stand.

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