Imagine, HP Tighten Tech Ties

HP Enterprise to Resell Imagine’s Product Portfolio
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In a deal that should help Imagine Communications scale up to address the industry's ongoing IP video transition, Imagine and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have inked a broader strategic deal that will call on HPE to resell its partner’s full product portfolio around the world.

HPE will also tap Imagine as its preferred partner for software solutions in the media and entertainment segments that cover the telco and service provider markets, setting the stage for more of Imagine’s software-based systems to run on HP’s COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) servers/hardware.  That will play into a more general trend in which the industry is moving away from proprietary, purpose-built hardware for functions spanning playout, compression and distribution.

In turn, HPE becomes Imagine’s preferred partner for systems integrations, a shift that will help Imagine pursue large platform deals that involve, for example, the building out of broadcast media centers and distribution centers that require large storage platforms.

The broader deal follows one announced last April between the two that involved collaborating on IP-based solutions for media, broadcasters and the service provider industry.

“This builds on top of that and expands relationship pretty dramatically,” Steve Reynolds, Imagine’s CTO, said.

On the product end, the HP Enterprise unit (HP also runs a consumer-facing division that makes and sells products such as laptops, printers, and tablets), will sell-in products from Imagine’s stable, including its Platinum routers, Nexio servers, Versio (IP playout), and CloudXtream portfolio, which covers areas such as dynamic ad insertion and cloud DVR apps and services.

Reynolds said the agreement with HPE is non-exclusive, but added that there are already several projects underway in which Imagine and HPE are working together, including some “large video service providers” that already used products from both, as well as a “large broadcast group.” Notably, Imagine is a key tech partner for Disney/ABC Television Group's virtualization initiative. 

Among the advantages that come way of the deal, Reynolds said the tighter relationship with HPE will give Imagine access to a full range of hardware and enable it to work more closely with the HP engineering team.

“We look at it as being the next step in [enabling] the migration to a software, IP and COTS-based platform,” he said.