Charlie Vogt outlines investment plans

Imagine Communications' and GatesAir CEO outlines plans for year ahead
Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications and GatesAir.
Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications and GatesAir.


Imagine Communications, the US media technology and video software company, is planning to direct its $100 million annual innovation investment towards IP-enabled, software-defined and cloud-virtualised solutions, according to the firm’s CEO, Charlie Vogt.

Vogt said that the company also aimed to protect its customers’ current technology investments with a “migration path to the future based on open standards and industry interoperable solutions”.

He added that Imagine Communications, which was formerly known as Harris Broadcast, was also working on the broadcast industry’s migration from baseband to baseband-over-IP with a Media Orchestration Layer, which ties baseband infrastructures and IP networks together with "seamless interoperability".

Imagine Communications and its sister company, GatesAir, will discuss and demonstrate the media software and video infrastructure solutions required to evolve and migrate to IP-enabled, cloud-virtualiSed, software defined network and workflow solutions during IBC in September, Vogt added.

But the CEO admitted that the “technical complexities” of broadcasting have resulted in a slower rollout of Media-over-IP compared to other industries such as IT, mobile and cloud-based operators.

“Storing, manipulating, playing and transporting media files that are orders of magnitude larger than typical voice and data requirements, and must play flawlessly regardless of the destination, create unique demands and requirements for innovation,” he said. “These advances include compressing files using innovative compression algorithms/technology, improving processing speeds through today’s multi-core blade servers, and creating more deterministic and affordable networks.”

Vogt also discussed the changes that mobile technology has brought to the broadcast industry, and how Imagine Communications and GatesAir, are addressing this.

“We are living in a mobile-enabled world, and video is increasingly becoming the center of all that we do,” the CEO said. “With 7 billion wireless devices, video consumption has rapidly moved beyond the confines of broadcasting, cable, satellite and the family room.

“This pace of change has catapulted our industry to an inflection point that requires a change in technology, networking architecture and business models.”

To monetise and gain market-share, Vogt explained that the industry must migrate away from “inflexible, proprietary infrastructures” and instead adopt IP-enabled, cloud-based, software-defined networks and workflows to improve flexibility and deliver profitable growth.

Charlie Vogt became CEO of Imagine Communications and GatesAir – both formerly known as Harris Broadcast – in July 2013.

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