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Mon 9 Apr 2001 04:00 AM

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SGI brings Media Commerce to the region

Services such as video on demand, interactive television and video conferecing are ready for launching in the region, as broadband services bring media commerce closer to reality, say SGI.

Media Commerce – using broadband infrastructure to transmit multimedia content – is set to hit the region, as SGI releases the first media commerce solutions in the region. The range of solutions aims to allow content creation, management and delivery over the Internet, as improved communications infrastructure opens up regional opportunities for interactive television (ITV), video on demand (VOD), video conferencing and other emerging multimedia deployments.

“The Middle East’s media industry is growing exponentially, with new production facilities opening from the UAE to Egypt, new TV channels being launched and websites springing up daily,” said Jean-Philippe DeGrendele, general manager for SGI MENA. “At the same time, telecoms, Internet, satellite and cable service providers are increasing their capacity this wealth of content. Where content, networking, and commerce collide is SGI’s Media Commerce strategy.”

SGI says it can already capitalise on its expertise in multimedia production – every film nominated for a special effects Oscar since 1994 has utilised SGI technology – and Internet infrastructure solutions, that handle 30% of all email in the world. Among the products that SGI is offering as part of the Media Commerce vision are SGI Internet Server, an integrated thin server solution, Media Server for production and broadcast for serving video, audio and data, and Media Server for broadband for integrated media delivery of web-based content.

“SGI will initially present the Media Commerce concept to its digital media client base in the Middle East, said Peter Gebara, SGI business development manager for MENA. “Other potential Media Commerce adopters are the Middle East production houses currently working with SGI and SGI plans to educate the telecommunications service providers, ISPs and publishers throughout the Middle East about the revenue potential that Media Commerce can bring to their organisations.”

Although the concept of Media Commerce is heavily reliant on broadband, SGI is confident that the region is taking the right steps to putting the infrastructure in place. “We are highly aware that broadband is arriving in the region, and we expect it to grow very quickly,” explained Rob Morrison, SGI’s business development manager for the broadcast and broadband industries EMEA. “There are 5,000 broadband users in the UAE already, and media rich portals will be happening very soon in the region.”

To handle the problem of local language content SGI has a number of Arabic plug-ins for some of its solutions, and packages can be tailored to each particular deployment, says Morrison.

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