Five of the top ten U.S. cable operators are using the Verspective data analytics platform from Verimatrix, Steve Oetegenn, President of Verimatrix, revealed at IBC earlier this month. Although Verimatrix used the Amsterdam show to announce its Verspective evaluation programme, these cable operators represent full deployments and not evaluations.
The company is also signing up non-U.S. and non-cable customers – a further sign that the market likes its concept for a secure data analytics framework that provides a common data gathering and warehousing infrastructure that can be used by different analytics applications.
The quick-start evaluation programme for Verspective Operator Analytics was demonstrated during IBC. It uses a pre-configured analytics platform that is implemented as a private cloud instance. This integrates operational and consumption data including from VOD and CDN infrastructure and client devices. Service providers also receive a set of report templates that help analyze data and determine ROI (Return on Investment) potential.
Verimatrix knows that data analytics solutions require an internal champion at a service provider – someone who will identify the business benefits and drive a deployment. The evaluation programme makes it easy for them to start demonstrating the benefits. “The evaluation programme is designed to show companies that it is easier than they might think to hook up their information streams and start making productive use of them,” Oetegenn confirms.
The cloud-based approach means the evaluation programme is scalable – so operators can keep adding data sources into the platform. Ultimately it allows them to transition from the evaluation platform to a fully-fledged Verspective solution, which could include data analytics applications from partners like ThinkAnalytics (for content recommendation) or Genius Digital (for a host of data-driven business solutions including subscriber retention and churn reduction, multiscreen audience measurement and content and package marketing). These companies are not currently plugged in to the evaluation package – but it would be easy for them to be added to a trial.
Service providers do not have to be Verimatrix content security (CAS/DRM) customers in order to use the Verspective platform or use Verimatrix to secure their data pipelines. Companies using other content security can still use a Verimatrix software client to protect data between devices and headends, or use Verimatrix only to protect data between the headend and the cloud (including the cloud data storage).
Like other content security providers moving into the data protection space, Verimatrix benefits from the fact that with existing security customers it has client software already embedded in display devices (whether set-top boxes or multiscreen devices). This provides access to consumer viewing data at a granular level, for example.
Oetegenn is pleased with the market reaction to the Verspective platform and the analytics applications already available. He says operators are becoming much more conscious of data security needs, including who is allowed to access data. This is not just about securing pipelines, but about authentication management as well. You can read a comprehensive Videonet report about ‘Securing Video Analytics Data to Enhance Pay-TV Profitability’ here.
According to Oetegenn, “When you think about the volume of data and the potential for misuse or breaches, it becomes quite daunting. We are already a trusted custodian of subscriber data and guardian of the crown jewels within media companies – their content. It makes a lot of sense [to use a security specialist] for the bigger picture [of data protection] as well.”
About the Verspective data analytics platform
The Verspective platform is designed to make comprehensive data analytics, which can improve business outcomes across multiple departments, realistic for all service providers. Media companies are starting to understand the power of data analytics. But if you work with a QoE analytics vendor and a content recommendations vendor and a company that provides audience insights to help reduce subscriber churn and increase VOD buys, each of these companies could need their own data gathering and storage infrastructure – if each implementation is treated as a separate solution.
Verspective is designed to avoid this. The idea is to let different vendors use a common data gathering infrastructure. Crucially, this must be secure, with data protected from accidental leakage or deliberate hacking at every point of its journey, from viewing devices through network equipment to headends and data warehouses. And if the data is stored in a common repository rather than held at multiple locations (each one overseen by a different vendor) then it becomes easier to manage data security.
The Verspective platform provides this common, secure data framework. Operators can choose what analytics applications they use, from the holistic security threat monitoring provided by Verimatrix itself to the services of partners – currently Think Analytics and Genius Digital, with others to follow. Each application is ‘plugged in’ to the shared data ecosystem.
Videonet recently published the report: ‘Securing Video Analytics Data to Enhance Pay-TV Profitability’.
For video service providers, adopting a data analytics solution is fast becoming a must-have but it exposes them to new security and privacy risks. The report outlines the challenges and solutions, with contributions from Unitymedia, Deutsche Telekom, KPN, Telefónica, Verimatrix, GroupM, Parks Associates, Olswang (international law firm) and many others.
Download the report (free) here.