March 29, 2016

Technology leaders Introduce Suite of Microsoft Azure Cloud Solutions

Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, announced that its market-leading playout, live encoding and dynamic ad insertion solutions are now available on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. In addition to providing new monetization opportunities for broadcasters, video service providers and other media companies, this suite of solutions offers the potential to dramatically improve the speed, efficiency and flexibility of media workflow operations by enabling secure, scalable and on-demand access via Azure.

This collaboration between leaders in the media and technology industries represents the most ambitious action to date to provide broadcast-quality video origination and distribution capabilities in the public cloud.  Thousands of media companies from around the world can now have instant access to market-leading playout, encoding and dynamic ad insertion technology from an efficient, centralized and virtualized workflow environment made available through the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

“With more video content being managed and distributed over IP, media companies gain the benefit of network agility, flexibility and elasticity that cloud-based video capabilities offer,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO, Imagine Communications.  “Imagine has been investing in hybrid IP, software-defined and cloud-enabled solutions to future-proof today’s buying decision and ensure our clients are prepared for the network of the future.  Our collaboration with Microsoft advances the industry by providing incremental optionality for deploying our market-leading production, playout and distribution solutions in Azure.”

The following Imagine Communications solutions are Microsoft Azure Certified and available through the Azure Marketplace.  Microsoft Azure Certified solutions have passed stringent testing and compatibility requirements to operate seamlessly in Azure.

Versio™:  The 100%-software, cloud-enabled Versio solution, now available in the virtualized Azure environment, offers market-leading integrated channel playout capabilities, including graphics, automation and master control.  This award-winning solution simplifies the creation and management of channels and enables media companies to extend their brands and content with more freedom, visibility and control than ever before.  Versio enables channels to be developed and deployed in the cloud, with options for OTT distribution through the cloud and for traditional distribution, including OTA, cable, satellite, and IPTV. Media companies can now use the combined flexibility of Versio and Azure for a variety of revenue-enhancing and cost-reducing applications.

SelenioFlex Live™: SelenioFlex Live provides high-quality live encoding for high-value applications, from cloud DVR to live-event streaming to over-the-top (OTT) delivery of linear channels. With multiformat output flexibility and rich adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming support, SelenioFlex Live enables operators to reach audiences with superior-quality, live viewing experiences across the broadest range of devices.  SelenioFlex Live in the Azure cloud provides media companies with affordable scale to match their rapidly evolving business needs, while avoiding the expense of purchasing premises-based, underutilized encoding and transcoding systems.

xG™ Ad Insertion for Multiscreen:  xG AIM supports advanced ABR streaming to deliver hyper-targeted ads to smartphones, PCs, tablets, connected TVs and virtually any other device that receives live or on-demand video programming. The software-based xG AIM provides relevant ads in real time across various stream types — including live, VOD and cDVR — and on subscribers’ preferred viewing devices.  With xG AIM now available on Azure, media companies can further monetize their media content globally with higher-value advertising.

These solutions are the latest in an ongoing collaboration between Imagine Communications and Microsoft to bring end-to-end processing and distribution capabilities to Azure by offering Imagine Communications’ software-based ad management, playout and networking and distribution products as cloud-ready, Azure Certified solutions.

By moving operations to a cloud environment, media companies can realize an array of cost, service and performance advantages:

  • No upfront hardware investment
  • Simple provisioning and decommissioning of resources
  • Virtualization of operations
  • No additional datacenter footprint investment
  • Ability to use elastic capacity to support new launches or peak events
  • A geographically dispersed platform with built-in security and reliability
  • Media companies now have a choice of on-premises, private or public cloud or hybrid deployment models for video processing and distribution

“Microsoft and Imagine Communications share the same vision of revitalizing media operations through the flexibility, scale and operational efficiency of cloud-based services,” said Steven Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President & Chief Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation.  “Together, we are accelerating solutions for the media industry by providing broadcasters, content distributors and others with the ability to reduce time-to-market while moving from a capital-intensive business to a pay-as-needed operational model.”

As part of the Azure Marketplace, Imagine Communications’ software solutions are now available in 20 Azure datacenters, which serve businesses in 140 countries, including China.

The solutions will be demonstrated at the Imagine Communications booth (N2502) at the NAB Show 2016. Microsoft executives will also participate in knowledge-sharing sessions hosted by Imagine Communications at the annual tradeshow and exhibition.  In addition, a joint webinar, The Cloud for Video: Seizing the Opportunity, scheduled for April 6, will cover these solutions in depth. A detailed description and registration instructions can be found here.

Additional information about the Microsoft Azure playout, live encoding and ad insertion services can be accessed from the Azure website.

For more information about Versio, SelenioFlex Live, xG AIM and other solutions, please visit


About Imagine Communications
Imagine Communications empowers the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation. Broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on our optimized, future-proof, multiscreen video and revenue enablement solutions every day to support their mission-critical operations. Today, nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse our products, and our software solutions drive close to a third of global ad revenue. Through continuous innovation we are delivering the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the industry. Visit for more information, and follow us on Twitter @imagine_comms.

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portatif of Steve Reynolds


Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is President of Imagine Communications, a global leader in multiscreen video and ad management solutions that broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on to support their mission-critical operations.

Steve brings 25 years of technology leadership in the video industry to Imagine Communications. He has served as the CTO at Imagine Communications and Harris Broadcast, Senior Vice President of Premises Technology at Comcast, Senior Vice President of Technology at OpenTV, and CTO at Intellocity USA.

Steve earned a MS in Computer Engineering from Widener University and BS in Computer Science from West Chester University. As the Chairman of the AIMS Alliance and a member of SMPTE and SCTE, he has participated in numerous standards-making bodies in the cable and digital video industries. Steve also holds over 40 patents relating to digital video, content security, interactive television and digital devices.