July 25, 2008

East Bay Business Times

Qumu's goal: make managing, sending video simple

Qumu Inc. will use part of the $10.7 million in new funding it has raised to bring its video-management software to market along with big partners that include AT&T and Polycom.The Emeryville company is looking to get in on the ground floor of a movement it sees of companies embracing video for education, marketing, communication and other purposes.Qumu's July 21 announcement of the Series C funding came just weeks after AT&T Inc. announced that Qumu's software would be part of its new Digital Media Solutions portfolio, a broad set of tools to package, deliver and distribute video and multimedia Web content across their networks.It was the latest of several key partnerships Qumu has made with companies like Pleasanton's Polycom Inc. and Microsoft Corp., among others.Qumu's software expands on the capabilities that these partners already have in place, said Ray Hood, the company's chief executive officer.Qumu's capture studio product, which captures and re-creates presentations, runs at $22,000. Its enterprise video-content product, which fully enables live video and video on demand, starts at $75,000.The company counts among it customers such names as Abbott Laboratories, Citigroup Inc., Dell Inc., eBay Inc., Raytheon Co., CapitalOne and UBS.Qumu does not disclose revenue. An estimate by the research firm Dun & Bradstreet put annual sales at $4.1 million.AT&T's package will offer Qumu's video tools through a hosted (software as a service) offering, as well as a package for companies that want the security of keeping their video content behind company firewalls.Through Polycom, whose voice and video conferencing systems are used in meeting rooms around the globe, Qumu offers the VMC 1000 system, which turns a Polycom conference room into a video media center, Hood said.The system allows a Polycom video conference or other video to be streamed to thousands of viewers live, and also stores video, creates portals directed to a particular audience and integrates with existing security and authentication standards.The company sees a huge market emerging. "Video is easy enough to create," Hood said. "The challenge for enterprises has been distribution."That means dealing with different portals, software, encoding and decoding and many other factors.Qumu's software overcomes that complexity, said Wes Raffel, general partner with Advanced Technology Ventures, which led the new funding. "They hide all that complexity and give you a very simple interface."Raffel also saw a huge emerging market, a "megatrend" of younger people today who are used to video as a communications tool, and the many companies that are adopting it."I think this is a fundamental change in the way people run their business," Raffel said.Hood likened the growing acceptance of video today to e-mail 10 to 15 years ago.And for conferencing in particular, it is getting a boost from rising travel costs."It is easy to justify a purchase of our technology based on travel costs alone," Hood said.The new funding brings the total Qumu has raised to date to $18 million. Qumu, originally named Media Publisher Inc., was spun out of Inktomi Corp. in 2002 as that company, a victim of the dot-com bust, was being acquired by Yahoo.