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Rimage Becomes Qumu: Fully Committing to Video Communications

September 16, 2013 | David S. Maldow, Esq.

Qumu

Today, Rimage announced it is changing its name to Qumu. In reality, there is a lot more than a simple name change and new website, happening here.�The company is working hard to stay ahead of a changing market and changing business model. Currently, 78% of their revenue is derived from the mature disc market, and 22% is from the video offerings of their Qumu subsidiary. However, the disc market is undergoing a measured decline, while the market for video is expanding by leaps and bounds. The good news is that Qumu is uniquely well suited to not only survive this sea change, but thrive from it. We called the folks at Qumu to get the inside scoop.

The first piece of good news for Qumu is its current growth rate. Their video based revenues have been increasing at 70% annually, and are expected to continue at similar rates for years to come. This is partially a result of the massively increasing market for video, and partially due to the strength of Qumu's offerings, which received the highest score in a recent analyst report on video platforms. Another piece of good news is that their existing (global) customer base from their disc based offerings is a good source for new Qumu video customers (although Qumu will certainly not be limited to these customers, considering how the market for video services is expanding).

Qumu

The big question regarding the future of this company is whether they will embrace the market shift to cloud video and transition accordingly, or remain stuck in the hardware DVD based past/present, which has served them well to this point. In some ways, their fate may be analogous to certain hardware based videoconferencing companies, which have had various levels of success transitioning to the new software hungry market. Qumu is determined to let the world (including their investors) know that they are giving their Qumu video platform 100% support. Changing their stock ticker to QUMU may be a symbolic gesture, but it is part of an important message about the seriousness of Qumu's commitment to their new strategy.

Another thing working in Qumu's favor is the luxury of time. Their existing revenue sources are not about to drop off a cliff. Without going too deep into the weeds, they currently provide specialized services for customers which will require a gradual transition, and in fact are expected to continue providing significant revenue for years to come. The expectation is that the rapid increase currently being experienced by the Qumu video services will more than compensate for the expected gradual decline of other business assets. In addition to time, they have resources. The company has no debt, ~$46 million in cash assets, and plenty of cash generation from both the Qumu video platform, and their disc based business. Considering the fact that their platform is already leading, they certainly seem to have the resources needed to stay ahead of the curve.

So what is the Qumu platform and why is it so popular among industry critics? To vastly oversimplify, think of Qumu as YouTube for the enterprise. Today's organizations have a number of video assets to manage and distribute (think of training videos, for example). Previously, this was accomplished by making physical copies of DVDs, and mailing them to the appropriate intended viewers. The fast rise of cloud based storage services has everyone asking the same question, "Instead of sending me a DVD, can't I just get it online?" Or even more directly, "Why don't we just put all our videos up on YouTube?"

Theoretically, an organization could use YouTube to host internal video assets, but most companies would prefer to use a more secure, private, solution. YouTube is great, but it was really designed to be primarily a public, consumer, video sharing network. As such, it lacks many features and capabilities required for the enterprise.

The Qumu platform is more than just a privately hosted YouTube. In addition to enterprise level security, management, sharing and distribution of recorded videos, it can support live broadcasts, such as a CEO Quarterly Message, or other high profile events. Qumu also does a good job of empowering employees to create and share their own content. If a salesman on the floor discovers a quick tip to highlight a product benefit, he can record a 30 second video demo and share it with every salesperson in the company, without requiring any help from the IT team or video production team.

Another Qumu benefit is its integration into systems such as MS Sharepoint and IBM Connections. This is a powerful feature, from a workflow perspective. In the simplest terms, your video library should be a natural, integrated, part of your overall online company "library." If you keep your documents and images in Sharepoint, it makes sense to keep your video assets there as well. Qumu also gives users a choice of deployment types for their video libraries. Some organizations will prefer to keep everything in the cloud, avoiding the hassle of on prem hardware. Others will want a physical box on their premises, to keep everything within their internal network (usually for security reasons). Qumu allows the best of both worlds by also offering a (very popular) hybrid solution. Keep traffic local when you can, but enjoy the flexibility (and scalability) of the cloud when you need it.

Armed with a leading offering, a deep knowledge of enterprise content management, and a forward looking plan for the video market, Qumu appears to be ready for the challenges ahead. Every transition comes with risks and opportunities, but in this case the risks seem manageable and the opportunities are vast. We will be keeping a close look at Qumu and their cloud centric video future.

About the Author
David_Maldow, Esq.David Maldow, Esq. is a visual collaboration technologist and analyst with the Human Productivity Lab and an associate publisher at Telepresence Options. David has extensive expertise in testing, evaluating, and explaining telepresence and other visual collaboration / rich media solutions. David is focused on providing third-party independent analysis and opinion of these technologies and helping end users better secure their visual collaboration environments. You can follow David on Twitter and Google+.







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