Ooyala Laying Off 14% Amid Restructuring: Report

Ooyala, the Telstra-owned online video company, has laid off about 70 people, or 14% of its total workforce, amid a restructuring that will open up jobs focused on new product areas, Dan Rayburn, EVP of StreamingMedia.com and principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, reported Tuesday, citing a memo to employees that announced the changes.

Ooyala, acquired by Australia-based telco Telstra in 2014, did not confirm the headcount figures, but did confirm that it had “reduced part of its workforce” as it looks to create headroom, reinvest in the business, and hire in new areas of expertise tied to its media logistics and ad-tech products that are “above and beyond its continued investment in its OVP [Online Video Platform] business.”

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The restructuring of its global software and services organization also aims to place more sales and support resources in the field “to streamline customer adoption and deployments of its comprehensive suite of video software and services,” a company official told Multichannel News via email.

Ooyala issued this statement from acting CEO Issac Vaughn:

“We are fortunate in that over the last two years we've made significant headway across all of our product lines. The next phase must be about realizing the potential of our R&D investments. The restructure we announced today will put more specialized product, sales and channel resources in the field, and significantly grow our technical support staff to improve customer enablement and long-term customer success."

Rayburn reported that Ooyala plans to rehire about 7% new employees in pursuit of its plan to focus on areas outside of its OVP product line. A major focus, he said, be on selling a suite that includes the Ooyala Flex (workforce automation) and Ooyala Pulse (advanced/programmatic advertising) products.

Citing the memo, Rayburn said Ooyala’s decision comes as the online video market is “becoming more commoditized by the number of competitors and large enterprises entering the business.”  

Ooyala’s online video competition includes companies such as Comcast Technology Solutions, Brightcove, IBM (which recently acquired Clearleap and Ustream), BAMTech, and Kaltura, among others.  Notably, Telstra’s BigPondTV service tapped thePlatform (now part of Comcast Technology Solutions) a few years ago to serve as its central video management system.

Update: Ooyala said BigPond has since migrated back to Ooyala's technology platform.  

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