Apalya Technologies: Enabling Entertainment Everywhere

Date:   Tuesday , January 31, 2017

Apalya Technologies has transitioned over the years from a mobile TV managed service for more than 30 operators in 11 countries reaching to build their proprietary OTT platform (\'myplex\') that is now available for licensing and deployment. \"From a large Indonesian telco hosting a global football event in Indonesia and an Indian telecom major like Vodafone Play launching their OTT service to building the full-spectrum OTT service for one of Asia\'s largest media networks, our OTT platform continues to be tested at many levels and is delivering very effectively. Apalya reaches more than 100 million subscribers through various partner platforms. To put it very simply, Apalya can get you OTT ready in weeks!!\" speaks Vamshi Reddy, Chief Executive Officer, Apalya Technologies.

India is among the top three content markets in the world with a very diverse content offering by a multitude of content creators that is distributed by a large number of platforms and hence building a one-stop solution for content in India is an extremely complex task. The need to strike a delicate balance between acquiring and hosting native content and integrating some prominent third party services is imperative; even more because you ensure that the user experience doesn\'t get compromised. Taking note of it, Vodafone Play, a seamless blend of native content and branded third party content/ services all part of one service, presently offers a wide range while keeping the user experience consistent! Thanks to Apalya Technologies. With the current obsession with going OTT, Apalya offers media owners and distributors (like telcos, cable & dth operators) a quick-to-deploy and easy-to-customise solution that can get them up and running in weeks! Apalya\'s unique blend of technological capability and content understanding combined with their decade long experience with mobile video deployments is a potent combination for effective and efficient OTT deployments!

The Genesis

It is said that the entrepreneurial bug is infectious. Often, we hear success stories about friends and relatives who left their successful jobs to do things their way. And succeed as well. Set up in 2005, the inception story of Apalya is one of enthusiasm and entrepreneurship. It was that point of time when Vamshi Reddy and Shiva B quit their jobs and kicked off the ambitious project to deliver live TV over mobile phones. Bitten by the entrepreneurship bug, the duo took the plunge to fight the sad state of data networks and usage of unsophisticated mobile devices that existed in 2006. Working with a typical Indian \'jugaad\' mindset, they figured out ways of streaming TV over 2G networks and very soon had all the telecom operators in the country hosting their idea.

But not everything in the garden was rosy. The ecosystem was nascent and the content owners were willful to provide their content for streaming. A worthy mention of their perseverance and faith in the product that not only encouraged them to get every telco in the country to adopt Apalya\'s mobile TV/ video platform but also every content owner big and small to offer their content for this platform. As a result, Apalya today works with 30 plus operators and have a subscriber base of 100 million spread across 11 countries serviced by several dozen content owners. Additionally, Apalya has emerged as India\'s leading managed service provider of video streaming to all the leading telecom operators, handset manufacturers and content owners throughout India and now also in Sri Lanka & Indonesia.

Apalya has been able to combine their technological capability and content understanding with their eagerness to customize solutions for the unique needs of emerging market players! They offer a unique partnership-based approach in helping their customers negotiate the uncharted waters of OTT and it seems to be working!

Why Fit in When Born to Stand Out!!

A lot of businesses are of the opinion that Amazon Web Services (AWS) shows no sign of handing over the throne as cloud king. AWS lets companies buy powerful computers cheaply and whenever they need them to handle traffic, to store video, to power a database. Itjs not an understatement to say that AWS is the piece of infrastructure that has enabled the current tech boom. Conversing about the opportunities in the current AWS industry, Shiva B, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Apalya Technologies, speaks, \"We are really excited with AWS opening new region in Mumbai with two availability zones. Earlier for some of our customers we had restrictions with respect to hosting content in India Data Centres. With this footprint expansion we can see AWS commitment towards Indian Market and growth opportunities. This brings lot of expertise to local markets and helps partners like us in bringing better product experience to our customers. By working closely with AWS team we are able to leverage AWS experience to deploy and manage quality products for our customers\".

When it comes to partnerships for technology, Apalya settles for none but the best in the business who knows their trade inside out. For this reason, the company has tied up with Amazon Web Services and Akamai to ensure seamless streaming and delivery of videos to the customers. Additionally, Apalya also has partnered with PayU and Evergent to ensure state-of-the-art payment mechanisms, resulting in safe and hassle-free transactions, be they credit card, debit card, internet banking or operator billing, across all platforms.

\"We are proud to be associated with the biggest names in both the satellite television space as well as the film industry. We have entered into partnerships with names like Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Viacom18, Sun Network, ETV Network and are in the process of signing up with even more entertainment houses for sharing of content,\" he adds.

Apalya aggregates premium entertainment content over 120 linear channels, catch up and on demand content owners including music and full movies from all leading Broadcasters, content owners and labels in the country and globally. Apalya\'s unique technology works on delivering the best possible entertainment experience based on the type of the device and the type of network being used.

Dare to Succeed

Team Apalya derives its strength from a unique blend of qualities they have acquired over their decade long journey. The company is not only familiar but also pretty comfortable dealing with content right from sourcing, programming to promoting it. \"Having seen the Indian mobile and Internet ecosystem evolve, we are able to combine technological proficiency with an in-depth understanding of how emerging markets can be penetrated and served meaningfully. When these qualities come together, it makes Apalya a very reliable and resourceful partner to work with in this fast-evolving landscape,\" mentions Vamshi.

Believing them as OTT enablers, Apalya no wonder is deemed as the one stop plug and play solution that customers can regard as. \"Given the entire buzz about OTT today, there are quite a few conversations going on. In a market place like India or many emerging markets that we are familiar with, monetization is a major challenge. This means that our customers have to be very careful in the business models they use. And one size doesn\'t fit all. Also, it\'s not only the cost you need to be careful about. We help our customers achieve the right balance between value-pricing, a scalable approach for emerging markets, partnering on effective strategies (content and customer acquisition and retention),\" he explains.

With such growth in terms of products, Apalya\'s traditional business of managed mobile services has doubled internationally and the company is further setting its footprints into the newer markets of Middle East, Africa and South East Asia. This business operates on a revenue share model. \"OTT platform solution is a licensing model where customers/ clients pay for a fixed number of user licenses to use the platform. This has been the most encouraging aspect for us with endorsement by major players. And what\'s even more gratifying is that each of these was won against competition from global players,\" he adds.

Apalya: A Reflection of Success

Vamshi Reddy takes great pride in a fact that Apalya is a quality conscious organization that continuously strives to establish and maintain strong relations with its clients. The determination of the team underlines the success of Apalya and the company ensures offering a flat structure, and an open work culture inside the office. Apalya leaves no stone unturned to encourage employees to give feedback on the organization, products and processes at the quarterly meet ups or at townhall meetings. The quarterly meet ups are fun filled with activities including sports and outdoor activities such as Kayaking or sometimes just a picnic in the park which helps people loosen up and share their views.

With all such growth contributing factors, Apalya, undoubtedly holds an advantageous position of having the digital distribution credentials and the media skills to help realize the OTT ambitions of many media majors, telcos, Cable and broadband service providers in the emerging markets. \"Anyone who is on the lookout for a scalable, adaptable and well-priced OTT solution and seeks a partner in their OTT journey will find tremendous value in our partnership. This fairly defines our roadmap - to be at the cutting edge of digital media distribution in every form,\" concludes Vamshi enthusiastically.

Key Management

Vamshi Reddy, Co-Founder & CEO

Driven by a desire to fill a gap in the ecosystem, he quit his job with Cisco systems in the San Francisco Bay area to come back to India and establish Apalya.

Shiva B, Co-Founder & CTO

Shiva is responsible for the company\'s technology roadmap, R&D and Engineering. Prior to this, he has worked in the US and Finland & has extensive experience in the field of real-time systems/telecom and mobile OS technologies.

Venugopal Iyengar, COO

A hardcore media professional having over 18 years of experience across broadcast media and DTH with brands like MTV, Disney, Zee and Sun, Venugopal specializes in product and consumer marketing, brand development, content and subscriber management.