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50 Most Admired Companies of The Year 2017

“Our scalable, software-based solutions make it easy for the world’s leading media companies to deliver TV everywhere today and provide a seamless migration path to next-gen infrastructures”: Imagine Communications

thesiliconreview charlie vogt ceo imagine communicationsUntil recently, there was a clear recipe for success in media and entertainment: multiple revenue streams, scarce distribution outlets, and distinct exploitation windows. To thrive in today’s (and tomorrow’s) environment, however, companies need to drive both innovation and efficiency, embracing new approaches to content development, distribution, operations, technology, and monetization.

Imagine Communications empowers the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation. Broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on its optimized, future-proof, multiscreen video and ad management solutions every day to support their mission-critical operations.

Imagine Communications is propelling the media and entertainment industry forward through transformative innovation. Through continuous innovation, the firm is delivering the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the industry.

Imagine’s Inception

Imagine Communications was created in March 2014, when formerly Harris Broadcast split into two standalone companies – Imagine Communications and GatesAir.

CEO Charlie Vogt recognized that the media and entertainment industry needed to undergo a massive transformation away from traditional proprietary hardware and towards IP, software and cloud-based technologies that would provide the flexibility, scalability and agility needed to compete and keep up with consumer demands. Imagine Communications was created to innovate for the media and entertainment markets.

Firm’s expansion

Imagine Communications is one of the largest investors in innovation, spending over $100 million a year on R&D in next-generation technologies. In addition to this organic growth, the company expedited growth through technology acquisition. By completing four acquisitions in the span of twelve months, from January 2014 to January 2015, Imagine Communications advanced its leadership position in video infrastructure, advertising management and workflow solutions. Today, it has the most comprehensive portfolio of end-to-end video infrastructure and ad management solutions in the market.

Hassles addressed

Though there has been alignment among media companies about the need to transition operations to next-generation IP, software and cloud-based infrastructures, there was a period of pause as the industry weighed the difficult decision as to when and how to make the transition. Adding to the challenge was a lack of industry-wide support for open protocols for media over IP, which can cause market turmoil product delays, confusion and wasted money.

 To avoid this threat, Imagine Communications became a founding member of the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), which was launched in December 2015 to promote standards that foster the transition of the broadcast and media industry from SDI to IP. An open and multivendor approach avoids vendor lock-in and encourages innovation and interoperability to facilitate the modernization of broadcast and media facilities. It ensures that investments – made today or tomorrow — will be fully realized and that media companies will be able to navigate future technology transitions, seamlessly and at a pace that best meets their business objectives. 

In chat with Charlie Vogt, CEO

Could you elucidate about what learnings helped you to establish the firm?

When it comes to innovating, you’re either first or you’re last. You can either be a fast follower or define the market. We made the decision four years ago that we wanted to define the market. This is a big risk/reward type strategy, so we have spent a lot of time working closely with the largest TV networks, broadcast stations and MVPDs to ensure that we had the right kind of buy-in before making innovation investments.

What is the rationale behind your product popularity and your consistent growth as an organization?

Product popularity: Imagine Communications embraces practical innovation. When we began pursuing our vision a few years ago of helping to shift the industry to next-generation IP, software and cloud infrastructures, we did not abandon our commitment and support for existing SDI baseband solutions that customers still rely on. Our brand of innovation comes with a roadmap and practical plan to help customers get their business from where it is today to where it needs to be tomorrow, on their own terms and their own pace.

Secondly, as mentioned above, Imagine Communications has been at the forefront of the creation and adoption of open standards for how video travels over IP and facilitating interoperability between industry innovators.

Your consistent growth as an organization: The media and entertainment industry will experience more change in the next five years than it has in the last 50 as it moves away from legacy infrastructures and towards next-generation IP, software and cloud-based solutions. With the most comprehensive portfolio of video and advertising solutions, Imagine Communications is providing the technical pathway and vision that broadcasters, TV networks and content creators need to remain relevant and competitive in today’s multiscreen world.

Meet the astute persona

Charlie Vogt is the CEO of Imagine Communications, a global leader of video infrastructure, advertising and workflow management solutions serving media networks, broadcast stations, on-line and communication service providers, and enterprise markets spanning 185 countries.

Vogt has spent his career executing visionary strategies resulting in unprecedented growth in the communications markets. Prior to Imagine Communications, Vogt served as CEO of GENBAND, a global leader in IP networking and software solutions to the Communication Service Provider and Enterprise markets. During Vogt’s nine-year tenure, the company acquired and integrated 10 companies, expanded operations to more than 50 countries and secured 80 percent of the world’s largest service providers as customers.

“We have a keen eye focused on a new generation of media enabled by IP, virtualization, cloud infrastructure and software-defined networks.”

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