TV Connect Interview – Marco Bonomi, regional vice president of sales, EMEA, Minervo
What have you brought with you to TV Connect MENA 2014?
We recently announced a number of new deals, not specifically in the Middle East but throughout the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. At IBC we announced that we had acquired Albania Telecom in Eastern Europe, they’re a major new client and we’re also now pushing our new version of the Minerva Television platform, which is composed of three aspects: back office, edge and clients. Back office is a more advanced backend solution for broadcasters and operators, edge introduces even greater scalability to the product when it comes to OTT delivery of content and then client includes a redeveloped user interface.
What makes this product relevant to the Middle East broadcast market?
This is the first time this redeveloped platform has been presented in the Middle East here at TV Connect and the response from the market has been very good. One of the problems that users often face with TV platforms is that there is a lack of a proper next-generation interface, with images and an intuitive design that makes navigation easy. This is something that needs further development in this region, so what we’re trying to do is create an eco-system of partners for local channels and this is the message that we’re pushing. In the first quarter of next year we’re hoping to fully launch the redeveloped Minervo Television platform.
What is the television platform's USP?
The edge component is what really sets this platform apart. It is a proper server with a database that contains information about which kind of clients are accessing the data and accelerates the rending of the data, such as the images, because they’re all cached there. If you tried to present a platform like this without the edge component, you would have to wait for all the images to load, which would take more time than is acceptable in the current market.
Are there any personalisation options?
We also have some new concepts, such as a personalised landing page. Your profile dictates what content is displayed by the recommendation engine. For example, if you watch recorded TV more than live TV, you would find it at the top of the page and easily accessible. We also have the ability to change the views of the content on the platform. We’re very excited about this new platform, we see this as a major step forward for both Minerva and the industry.
How has it been received by the market globally so far?
We have more than 300 clients worldwide, ranging from pure broadcasters to telcos. In the Middle East, in countries such as Saudi Arabia, we’re focusing on gaining a foothold in large residential projects because this provides fast and large scale roll out of our services to many new users.