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As Pay TV operators evolve in the multi-screen era, they are leaning on technologies that help them broker content with endpoints in new ways. One component of the Motorola Medios service management software is playing that role for Bouygues Telecom.
The third largest telecom operator in France, Bouygues boasts more than 11 million mobile and 1.2 million fixed broadband subscribers. In 2010 Bouygues unveiled its Bbox fiber-based Internet, television and telephony solution and last week began selling the Bbox Sensation gateway for its ADSL customers, with the fiber-based version slated to be available this summer.
Amidst this activity surrounding the Bbox brand, Motorola announced this week that Bouygues has deployed Merchandiser, a component of the Motorola Medios platform. Likened to the “brains” of Medios, Merchandiser acts as a repository of subscriber data (likes, dislikes, purchases) that it algorithmically analyzes to generate improved recommendations and make offers to subscribers on an individual basis, said Andy Hooper, Motorola Director Converged Experiences, EMEA.
Motorola launched its Medios Xperience platform at the NCTA Cable Show in 2011, but Hooper emphasized that Merchandiser was breaking new ground. “We’re not trying to repurpose an older cable or TV middleware,” he said. “We really have designed this from the ground up to be delivery-point agnostic.”
To that end, Merchandiser’s user interface (UI) is directed to the back office, for marketing, reporting and analysis, rather than to the end video subscriber. “The presentation layer is completely and intentionally separated from Merchandiser, so that we can fit into a variety of presentation layers, depending on what an operator’s circumstances are,” Hooper said.
Merchandiser is also agnostic to content sources. When customers search for content, it taps into not only on-demand assets, but also those linked to a provider’s program guide. It can additionally touch over the top (OTT) content sources, depending upon an operator’s content policy and content rights, an admittedly moving landscape.
“In this new world with an abundance of content and multiplicity of choices, content management is a core competency of IPTV operators,” said Yves Caseau, EVP, Technologies, Innovation & Services, Bouygues Telecom, in a statement. Caseau said that Merchandiser fit its requirements and offers its customers the “proper combination of recommendation, meta-data enrichment, as well as efficient browsing and delivery.”
Bouygues already has gone through two release phases of Merchandiser, each about six months, a typical time frame for enterprise-class software, said Hooper. As its name would suggest, Merchandiser also includes t-commerce functionality, enabling operators to bundle on-demand content with offline products, such as movie-related merchandise.