An open letter to Ooyala employees from CEO Jay Fulcher

By Jay Fulcher on Aug 11 2014 at 3:15 PM

This is a great day for Ooyala.

With today’s news we catapult Ooyala from innovative online video start-up to market-leading cloud TV juggernaut. We accomplish this as an independently managed, yet fully backed subsidiary of one of the world’s largest and most powerful telecommunications companies in the world.

Our strategy for leadership in this market is now backed by Telstra’s full-throttle commitment to establishing an independent, world-leader in cloud-based personalized TV and video technology. Our shared vision is one of a seamlessly converged broadcast and broadband television landscape. It’s the future that every broadcaster, media company and operator around the world is moving toward. As the world’s collective definition of TV and video blurs across multiple devices and a more personalized viewing experience, the technologies and measurement tools for content delivery and monetization will evolve.

For several years now Ooyala has been at the forefront of this evolution, delivering innovation to the industry faster and more effectively than any other company. To continue our leadership in this market, we must not just keep up with what is happening in the industry, but continue to set the pace going forward.

With the backing of Telstra, we will double down on key investments by accelerating our hiring, deploying innovations faster, and teaming with new global partners who will help us drive the adoption of the world’s cloud-based TV and video services on Ooyala technology.

A lot goes into this ambitious vision for where we are taking the company. To distill it down to it’s essence, there are three things that underscore why this is a great next step and accelerant for our company:

Independence

Ooyala will remain an independent, disruptive force in the industry. The Ooyala leadership team will remain in place as we enter our fastest phase of growth to date. We will continue to operate independently and move our HQ to a brand new 65,000 square foot facility in the heart of  Silicon Valley. Ooyala will have its own board and governance separate from Telstra and we will continue to think, compete, and execute independently. I am excited to remain as CEO, and both Sean Knapp and I have been appointed to the company’s new board of directors. Telstra recognizes that executing an ambitious strategy requires a different operating model, talent pool, level of flexibility and pace of innovation. Allowing Ooyala to operate as a fully independent and distinct entity maximizes our mutual opportunity, while at the same time leverages the size, scale and global reach of Telstra.

Recently, there has been a period of consolidation in the video and TV ecosystem. Some companies have faltered, some have found limited success as part of an adjacent solution, and some struggle to meet investor (and customer) expectations as larger companies. Ooyala emerges now as the company who can become the next-generation market leader who will enable the future of cloud-based TV and video. We’ve learned the lessons of those that came before us, but we’ll be as aggressive and fearless as ever in building a business that our customers and partners can depend on.

Telstra, our new parent company, is a top 10 global Telco and one of the most successful companies ever in its industry, with its own set of IP-based TV and entertainment services that dominate its market. Telstra is now looking to build new businesses in new high-growth markets around the world, and video is one of their key focus areas. Ooyala will be the centerpiece of this video strategy.

Velocity

In the course of the last 24 months, there has been a sea change in the mindset of the world’s largest media companies. As IP-delivered video has grown from being a small fraction of overall video consumption to a significant and fast-growing percentage of TV and video viewing as a whole, multi-screen distribution and monetization has become a business imperative; a mandate for growing and preserving lucrative online audiences in what is now a device-fragmented world.

While evolution doesn’t happen all at once, the time span in which the world’s content creators and service providers will acquire and deploy new technologies for servicing mass multi-screen audiences will be highly compressed in the coming few years. Ooyala is now well positioned to capitalize on this tremendous market opportunity, as we will have the capital and partnerships and vision to win.

We are about to witness the introduction of new video services that take on new characteristics enabled by ubiquitous broadband and video-capable devices in every pocket or purse. They will come in all forms, from the world’s most established players focused on extending their traditional broadcast business to the online world, to challengers with new business models targeted at purely untethered audiences.

And they will come fast.

Expanding on our leadership as a core platform that enables these services requires us to move faster, and be more bold, and execute even better. Telstra’s backing will help us do just that.

Scale

Our opportunity is enormous. The market for the technologies and services we provide is will be worth tens of billions in the next few years. To win requires a heavy investment  in people, infrastructure, R&D and technology. We must scale even faster than we have over the past year – a year in which we’ve hired staff at a clip of up to 50 people per quarter. Telstra gives us the opportunity to operate at this scale and provides access to global partners who can help us exponentially in the coming years. Along the way, we’ll need to earn the right to go at this pace by continuing to execute and grow and develop our company as we have been the past several years.

I want to acknowledge the great support we have received from our customers and partners. For many years now, they have helped make us the envy of the enterprise SaaS space,  collaborating with us in ways that has helped us achieve some incredible growth and innovation milestones. Our success quite literally would not have been possible without their support. They remain the core of our focus and the ones that inspire our innovative spirit.

So as we enter this new phase of Ooyala’s journey, I'd also like to acknowledge the relentless creativity and passion of our employees -- each and every one of you. You have put your hearts and minds to work every day, overcoming obstacles and making personal sacrifices. Over and over the past 7 years, you have come together as one team -- unified in your commitment to be the best company we can be -- to make our customers successful, to push the industry forward and ultimately change the world.

Ooyala would not be in this position today were it not for your dedicated and fearless work. I salute all ‘Ooyalans’, past and present, who have made incredible contributions that got us to this day -- and especially to those who will be the driving force for where we’re headed.

With this news we are letting the market know that we are keeping the pedal down, that we are determined to lead the way, and that we are ready to take our place as the market leader.

So, please join me in celebrating this major milestone in Ooyala's journey. However, a word of caution: we’re not done yet... not even close. Buckle up for the ride of your life. Our best days are ahead.

Now, more than ever before, the world is watching.

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