Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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IBM Targets Enterprise Video with Clearleap Deal 

Unstructured data in the form of video continues to make inroads in large enterprises as it becomes as a service as well as source of business intelligence.

With that in mind, IBM (NYSE: IBM) said Tuesday (Dec. 8) it has acquired cloud-based video provider Clearleap Inc. in an effort to provide video access from more devices while making it a key data source and a platform for applications like webcasts.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Clearleap, Duluth, Ga., will be integrated into the IBM Cloud to provide video streaming over the web or mobile devices. Its latest acquisition is part of IBM's strategy to add video to the growing list of data sources used for business intelligence. It is also seeking to develop video as a revenue source on its cloud platform to deliver webcasts, training and education, customer service and tutorials.

Current users of the Clearleap video platform include A+E Networks, BBC America, HBO, Time-Warner Cable, Verizon Communications and others.

IBM also stressed Clearleap's open API framework that is designed to allow enterprises to add video to applications ranging from advanced analytics to custom workflows. The framework allows access to third-party applications that customers may already be using.

The deal also gives IBM access to Clearleap datacenters that host video assets and provision multiscreen video. Those video services will now be offered through IBM Cloud datacenters, and the company said clients will able to share data and content across hybrid clouds.

The Clearleap acquisition is the latest by IBM as it seeks new users for its cloud platform in areas like video and large data file management. Among other applications, it wants to use its cloud platform to help enterprise customers deliver personalized content in real time. IBM said it would begin offering the Clearleap APIs on its Bluemix application development platform in 2016.

Last year, IBM acquired Aspera Inc., a developer of technology used to speed large data transfers over broadband networks. At the recent SC15 conference, Aspera showcased wide-area network file transfer speeds of up to 100 Gb/s, auto-scaling for clustered transfers for the cloud and HPC along with a data ingest capability targeting HPC analytics.

As the amount of unstructured video data piles up in datacenters, IBM also moved last year to acquire Cleversafe Inc., which develops object-based storage software and appliances designed to manage and retrieve unstructured data.

Integrated together on IBM Cloud, the company said the video and storage technologies could be leveraged to store, index and retrieve video content through the cloud.

Clearleap was founded in 2008. It currently operates datacenters in Atlanta, Las Vegas and New York as well as Amsterdam and Frankfurt, Germany.

Over the last year, IBM has also acquired the Weather Company and medical imaging specialist Merge Healthcare as it seeks to gain traction in the big data market.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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