IBM's Ustream Acquisition Lays Groundwork For Major Enterprise Video-Delivery Play For Channel

IBM took another deep stride toward positioning its cloud as a go-to platform for delivering video services Thursday with the acquisition of Ustream, which will join a new unit focused on enterprise video services.

Ustream, based in San Francisco, offers a platform used by many name-brand customers to deliver both live and on-demand video, including Facebook, NASA and Samsung.

The IBM Cloud Video Services unit will merge homegrown technology with products from Ustream and a few other recent acquisitions: Clearleap, Asperta and Cleversafe.

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Last month, IBM purchased Duluth, Ga.-based Clearleap, which owned another video platform optimized for massive scalability and used by leading media and entertainment companies -- including HBO, Verizon and the NFL.

Clearleap's former CEO, Braxton Jarratt, will lead the new cloud video unit as general manager, IBM said.

The vendor based in Armonk, N.Y., said it believes it's attacking a market of $105 billion.

IBM plans on leveraging the Cleversafe and Aspera acquisitions to help video-enabled clients store, index and retrieve video content through the cloud.

Aspera develops a technology to speed large data transfers over broadband networks. And Cleversafe delivers object storage.

"IBM will deliver a powerful portfolio of video services that spans open API development, digital and visual analytics, simplified management and consistent delivery across global industries," IBM's news release states. "The move will extend the IBM Cloud platform to help enterprise clients unlock the value of video, a rapidly-evolving digital media and data asset."

IBM sees video becoming a major enterprise play, which means a channel opportunity.

Products to come out of the new unit will help customers looking to offer webcasts, training webinars, how-to videos and the like, IBM said.

While Big Blue did not release the financial terms of the acquisition, the Wall Street Journal reports a $130 million purchase price tag.