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Tuesday, 14 December 2010 12:58

Virgin Mobile taps Ooyala for customer education videos


Virgin Mobile has become the first announced Australian customer of video hosting and analytics company, Ooyala, since the opening of its Australian office earlier this year.

Virgin Mobile is using Ooyala's Backlot video platform to host tutorial videos showing customers how to solve problems, rather than making them ring help lines or wade through pages of text. According to Ooyala, the first videos went live on the 5 November and there are plans to grow the volume of videos significantly over the next 12 months.

Ooyala claims that Backlot - delivered under software as a service model - "simplifies the entire process of bringing video online from transcoding to managing, publishing, analysing, and increasing revenues from online video assets."

For Virgin Mobile, "The videos are dynamically selected and displayed based on the content on a page, Ooyala says. "For example, customers in the 'billings' area of the website will be presented relevant video options such as 'Topping up your mobile' or 'How to understand your bill'. The Help & Support widget will give customers one-click access to support tutorials, simulations, frequently asked questions, tips and tricks, gadget reviews and more."

According to Ooyala, "Virgin Mobile went through an RFQ process and did due diligence with a number of possible video providers before choosing Ooyala for its overall quality of service, ability to deliver video to many different platforms, total cost of ownership and detailed user statistics."

Michael Ham, web project manager at Virgin Mobile, said: "The Ooyala system is so fast to upload and encode videos, and we can output into all different formats. It's web-based so we can access the platform from anywhere and it's great to also have Ooyala's local support team here in Australia if we need them."

Ooyala opened its office in Australia with the appointment of John Treloar as managing director for Australia and New Zealand in September According to Treloar, "Video is exploding on the Australian corner of the Internet and customers are demanding a reliable platform for hosting and analysing their online video'¦Ooyala's platform gives Australian publishers the ability to build, scale and promote global online video businesses."

President and CEO, Jay Fulcher, said at the time "We plan to not only grow in the local market, but to use this as a springboard into Southeast Asia."

In September, US based Ooyala raised more than $US22 million in a round of financing from new and existing investors, taking its total funding to $US42 million in three and a half years. The company claims to have "Google DNA," saying "All our founders are ex Google."

Ooyala said at the time that it had almost doubled its global customer base and that it had over 550 customers on 5,000 different sites, reaching over 100 million unique users per month. It reported record revenue and margins in 2010, with more than 300 percent year-over-year top line growth.

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