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Ooyala looks to re-enter Japan following unit sale to Dalet, says exec

California-based cloud video platform and software provider Ooyala Inc. may soon have a physical presence in Japan again, Patricio Cummins, vice president for Asia-Pacific and Japan, told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The company closed its Japan office in April after selling its online video platform business to Brightcove Inc., a global provider of cloud services for video, Cummins said. Ooyala has had a presence in Japan since 2010, when it partnered with NTT Smartconnect, a unit of Tokyo-headquartered telecom company NTT.

French provider of media workflow and asset management solutions Dalet SA is set to buy Ooyala's Flex Media Platform business. Cummins said the sale to Dalet will put Japan "back on the map" for Ooyala as the French company already has a seven-person team in Japan.

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Patricio Cummins, Ooyala's vice president for Asia-Pacific and Japan.

The senior executive said Japan was one of the more "difficult" Asian markets to do business in due to its long sales cycles. Following the Brightcove transaction, Ooyala had no Japanese customers.

"Asia is a mosaic of different cultures which is why it is important to have a local presence, the right local contacts and relationships. It is challenging to serve any market from the outside — we experienced that in Japan," Cummins said when asked about navigating the region's fragmented over-the-top market.

Within Asia-Pacific, Ooyala operates in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore and is "opportunistic" about the rest of Southeast Asia and South Korea, according to Cummins. Customers in the region include Fox Sports Australia Pty. Ltd., HBO Asia and Media Prima Bhd.

Cummins took his current role in May 2018 after being vice president for Latin America. His title may change following further announcements regarding the Dalet acquisition.