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article imageIBM sets its sights on cloud video with Ustream acquisition

By Michael Thomas     Jan 21, 2016 in Business
IBM confirmed Thursday its acquisition of video conferencing service Ustream. It will join three other IBM acquisitions to form the company's new cloud video unit.
TechCrunch reported on the acquisition, which was first discussed Wednesday on Fortune. Fortune said the deal was worth $130 million, though IBM has not confirmed the amount.
Ustream will become one piece in IBM's new cloud video unit, which features three other companies the tech giant bought over the last few years. Joining Ustream is CloudLeap, a video management service; video storage service CleverSafe; and Aspera, a large-file transfer service.
Braxton Jarratt, who moved over to IBM after the CloudLeap acquisition in December, will lead the unit. He described Ustream as the final ingredient in IBM's move to provide full-service enterprise video.
In its press release announcing the move, IBM said it "will deliver a powerful portfolio of video services that spans open API development, digital and visual analytics, simplified management and consistent delivery across global industries."
IBM hopes, TechCrunch says, that developers will use its video services when their APIs become available in Bluemix, the company's cloud development service. IBM's cloud video unit could also feature other IBM services like Watson to provide deeper analytics.
Of course, the success of the cloud video unit could also help IBM's falling profits. This week, IBM announced a fall of 8.5 percent in profits over the fourth quarter of 2015, While its fourth-quarter revenue of $22.06 billion just beat analyst expectations, it was nonetheless the company's 15th straight quarter of declining profits. The company is hoping to rely less on hardware sales and more on cloud services, analytics and software security.
Forbes reports Ustream's ties with IBM go back to 2014, when it became the only video service available in IBM's cloud marketplace. Ustream raised $50 million in venture capital, with its last round of funding in 2011.
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