Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Akamai Drives a Fiat, Level 3 Chases a Triathlon

Akamai Drives a Fiat, Level 3 Chases a Triathlon
April 17th, 2012 by Robert Powell

Two interesting items this morning from NAB coming out of two very different CDN operators whose paths have been diverging further lately. Obviously both companies still target many of the same opportunities, but lately they have chosen to emphasize different aspects of their offerings.

Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) followed up yesterday’s CDN expansion announcement with one of its bread-and-butter niche sporting event wins. The International Triathlon Union has selected them to provide both live broadcast and streaming services for the ITU World Triatlon Series. The first event will be in Sydney, with later ones to follow in San Diego, Madrid, Kitzbuhel, Hamburg, Stockholm, Yokohama, and Auckland. It’s the kind of deal that simultaneously leverages both their Vyvx division’s strengths and their global CDN footprint. And after detailing the latter’s recent expansions and future plans yesterday, Level 3 did the same thing today for the Vyvx side of things. They plan to expand HD transmission and JPEG2000 compression services beyond sports venues to other customers such as TV stations and production companies.

Meanwhile, Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) chose to emphasize a new corporate contract with Italian car maker Fiat. Fiat has implemented Akamai’s site and application acceleration and mobile optimization services for both its corporate and brand sites across multiple devices. They’re seeking to reduce abandonment rates by making pages load faster, succeeding with Alfa Romeo to the tune of 66% and their CRM application by up to 300%. Akamai has been directing most of its efforts toward a move up the food chain where its core CDN underlies a wider range of cloud and managed services. Akamai’s announcements for the past several quarters have been focused on either this type of deal (e.g. Dolce&Gabbana) or on new, tightly focused products & services.

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