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Envivio sales slump and it fires the COO

By PETER WHITE

Published: 7 December, 2012

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While Elemental, the US encoder designer which harnesses the natural parallelism within Nvidia GPUs, boasts this week of it passing 250 customers, there is a sense that in order for it to do well, elsewhere other's must be failing. As if to highlight this, Envivio has fired its COO, and added new VPs of sales in the US and AsiaPacific. It announced numbers half what they were last year, when Envivio did $50 million, and first went public.

Real time encoders used to be built around highly specialized chips, but struggled when HD came along, and are changing radically in design as the multiscreen world emerges. Operators will continue to buy in replacement devices from Tandberg TV (Ericsson), Harmonic, Cisco and Motorola, but it is the other, smaller operations that innovate.

In 2011 Envivio won almost all the publicly cited design wins for exciting new multiscreen formats, but already the transcoding wind has changed. This year Elemental has won nearly as many.

The problem for all of the broadcasters and pay TV businesses is that tablet and smartphone video is happening now and they can't wait. They need to add multiscreen in order not to LOSE their customers and want an off the shelf quick fix for as little cash as possible.

Envivio may have to swallow its pride and adopt GPUs in order to catch Elemental, because the sales ledger does not lie.

Of course Elemental is not home and dry. It does not have a pure play cloud encoding strategy, and prefers both installations and cloud capacity to work in tandem. This model may work fine for major video players, but as TV changes, and we have said this time and time again, the winners in digital TV change. That's why our paid version of this product is called Faultline, one day you are, like Envivio mining a rich seam, and then next day it has moved and it is being mined by someone else.

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