Arkona targets tier-1 productions and ramps up sales network

Arkona is ramping up its sales and distribution network as the IP core infrastructure provider continues to move away from being a pure original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and development company.

Left to right: Wiggo Evensen, Rainer Sturm, Erling Hedkvist

Arkona’s Blade//runner offering is a suite of live broadcast software apps running on the AT300 Accelerator Card which provide a variety of tools for live broadcast productions. Arkona showcased its AT300 edge compute processor at IBC in September last year, and since then the Germany-headquartered business been building a network of channel partners and systems integrators.

Arkona is targeting tier-1 live productions as users of its products, with the company’s sales and business development manager Erling Hedkvist pointing to large global sporting events or national news broadcasts as typical use cases.

“You should expect us to handle the very highest-level sports productions and live productions in general,” said Hedkvist. “That is not only because I think we have the technology to handle that, but we also have the experience and have proven that we can handle these kinds of events.”

Hedkvist added: “Our strength is in core infrastructure, that is audio and video infrastructure and processing. In terms of audio and video processing, that means any aspect of audio and video is processed, it can mean colour correction, frame synching, mixing, downstream keying, both audio and video mixing, colour space conversion, encoding, and compression services both in contribution and in distribution. Multiviewing is a big part of what we do, and probably our most popular product is the distributed multiviewer.”

Arkona partner manager Wiggo Evensen said: “With over 30 partners representing some 45+ countries we are thrilled to have ramped up our sales channels so quickly, considering that just six months ago we were only doing OEM business.”

Earlier this month, Arkona partnered with Finnish company Pipeline Media, a systems integrator based in Helsinki that specialises in the design, installation and implementation of IP solutions and automation systems for the media and entertainment industry.

In December, Arkona appointed broadcast and media technology integrator GTC as channel partner for Portugal, where it will be responsible for sales, marketing, training and service for Arkona’s Blade//runner portfolio.

In the same month, Arkona announced its entry in the Benelux region with the appointment of two channel partners in Holland and Belgium who will be responsible for sales and marketing of Arkona’s Blade//runner product line. It’s a region where Arkona partner manager Wiggo Evensen said Arkona already has a “huge” installed base.

Hedkvist added: “The markets that are probably the most important to us at the moment are the ones where we already sold products branded under a different name. These are the customers that we want to continue to support. The most important thing for us is to assure those organisations that made substantial investments in our technology that we are still developing products and software, and that there will be support and that they’re in good hands.”

Service-based architecture

Hedkvist added that Arkona is looking to move to software and service-based architecture. He said: “Our near-term future strategy is to port all the functionality that’s currently OEMed into our own named and branded platform, that’s the short term strategy for the next six months or so. And if you look a bit further ahead then the plan is to move to software-only solutions. That may be 12-18 months away.

“Arkona has a long history of providing cutting edge technology for the broadcast industry, and with our upcoming push towards a fully service-based architecture that provides the benefits of cloud while offering the performance and scale for tier-1 live production we believe we will continue to lead by example.”

Chief executive Rainer Sturm added: “Our current AT300 blade offers dual 100GE network interface connectivity with high-bandwidth memory for max throughput. We fully expect to move to 400GE shortly as those HBM powered FPGAs become available.”

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