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36 TVBEurope Feature

Dalet’s deal is a dream come true

Mergers and acquisitions have been a highlight of the broadcast industry during the past 12 months. Philip Stevens talks to the two key players in one of the most recent deals

ONE OF the significant announcements that emerged around NAB this year involved the acquisition of UK company AmberFin by Paris-based Dalet Digital Media Systems. Dalet is one of the best known providers of Media Asset Management (MAM) solutions, software and services for broadcasters and content providers, while AmberFin specialises in video ingest, complex media manipulation, transcoding and quality control (QC) solutions. It is estimated that the annual turnover of the combined operation will be more than $55 million.

The melding of different companies and operations has become quite commonplace over recent months — and there are always good reasons for the moves. But what specifically is the rationale behind this particular acquisition? “Some of the recent merger activity has been driven by venture capital backers seeking greater efficiency in the company’s core operations and to reduce cost wherever this is possible,” states Raoul Cospen, Dalet’s director of marketing. “At Dalet, the motivations are very different. The one main goal? Combining the workflow expertise of Dalet on one side, and the media expertise of AmberFin on the other. AmberFin is well known for the quality of its products. Together, we are creating the best in class MAM/workflow/video platform for the high end broadcast and electronic media markets.”

He says that behind each good consolidation there must be a real industrial project with a match at the technology and product levels, and most importantly, staff that bring value and know-how.

Customer benefit “It’s important to understand what’s in the DNA of Dalet in order to explain the AmberFin

Bruce Devlin, CTO at Amberfin, chief media scientist, Dalet

Cospen adds, “Customers will have a wider choice of products, but also more technology and better quality. Let me give an example. AmberFin is spending a lot of R&D effort on video quality and, specifically, the AT3 toolbox, which is capable of making pictures look better. Whether a conversion requires de-interlacing or converting from US standards to European standards, there are unique algorithms that make the image quality better than any other products. But in the end, the objective of Dalet and AmberFin is the same — to provide solutions that allow customers to produce more, at better quality, with a lower cost of operations, and to seamlessly deliver more content to more devices. It is all about making customers’ operations faster and more profitable.”

“This is

a significant move. For

AmberFin, it is a great business enabler” Bruce Devlin, Amberfin

acquisition. The Dalet goal is not to become the biggest company in the world with thousands of employees sitting behind their desks. What we are trying to achieve is the development of a product line that brings real value and genuine benefits to our customers. This motivation is really about the long term customer relationship and solving complex business problems. In short, we will be

able to offer our customers a wider functional coverage with truly global reach.” Cospen stresses his next point. “I want to emphasise that we are continuing the AmberFin product line. There is no question — we will maintain the support for, and development of, the iCR product line.”

Bruce Devlin, CTO at

Amberfin, and now chief media scientist at Dalet explains more. “This is a significant move. For AmberFin it is a great business enabler. Dalet is a much bigger company with more reach and more leverage than AmberFin. Simply put, this will help us find more customers who need what AmberFin has to offer. And yes, the Amberfin name survives. The brand is seen as valuable by everyone, and we intend to continue offering packaged, easy to install transcode, ingest and QC software under that name.”

Company benefit That’s the overview, but how specifically will it help the two businesses? According to Cospen there are several sides to this. “First of all, at the technology level, we will integrate AmberFin components into Dalet Brio and Dalet Galaxy.

The other way around, AmberFin is currently integrating some Galaxy components. At the company level, it adds new talents in the organisation. Dalet is growing, and we welcome those new talents that we need for presales, July 2014

sales, project and support. Finally, we offer a wider choice of products to our customers. They will definitely benefit from it.”

Devlin picks up the point about customer benefit. “They will see more AmberFin products in Dalet workflows and more Dalet metadata in AmberFin workflows. Customers will always retain the power to choose. We believe that Dalet MAM plus AmberFin processing cannot be beaten. The customer can choose to use different transcoders in a Dalet MAM and they can choose to put AmberFin transcoders in their own MAM. They can also mix and match to their hearts content to get the best solution.” He adds, “The opportunities for merging talent are awesome. Each company has had different

The acquisition of AmberFin by Dalet was announced at NAB this year

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