10.29.2008 11:50 AM
Front Porch Digital Acquires SAMMA Systems

Front Porch Digital, a Louisville, Colo.-based provider of content management systems for the broadcast and entertainment industries, announced today that it is acquiring SAMMA Systems, a developer of technology that automates the migration and preservation of videotapes to digital files.

According to Front Porch executives, integrating Front Porch Digital’s DIVArchive platform with the SAMMA (System for the Automated Migration of Media Assets) system has the potential to rapidly accelerate the migration of vulnerable videotape assets, giving customers more reliable, secure and easy access to valuable content housed in digital storage.

“In a very short period of time SAMMA has become the global leader in the automated migration of videotapes to digital files,” said Michael Knaisch, president/CEO for Front Porch Digital. “Every broadcaster in the world and beyond that, any business that has a videotape library really needs the SAMMA products if they care about what they have and want to preserve it.”

SAMMA products include the SAMMA Robot, a fully automated multichannel videotape to digital file migration system; SAMMA Solo, a semi-automated single channel version of SAMMA Robot, SAMMA Clean, an archive quality videotape cleaner; and the SAMMA Motion JPEG 2000 MXF player. Front Porch Digital’s DIVA product line includes the DIVArchive content management system, DIVAdirector, that allows users to search, view and manage archived content on DIVArchive, the DIVAnet network system for global sharing and disaster recovery and the entry level, single-box DIVAworks content archiving system.

SAMMA’s automated system is being used to migrate the vast repository of material in the Library of Congress’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Va. Other customers include the United States Holocaust Museum, ABC O&O’s and Crawford Communications in Atlanta. FPD has more than 280 installations in more than 55 countries.

The market for videotape migration is vast. According to Front Porch Digital, of the more than 6 billion videocassettes worldwide, 1 billion of them contain historic, important and valuable content, representing more than 7,000 petabytes of high-value data stored only on videotape. An estimated 5 percent of this content is lost to deterioration each year.

Knaisch thinks the combination of the two companies is an ideal fit and will allow both companies to penetrate industries beyond their core markets.

“For us this is a homerun in the broadcast space because SAMMA hasn’t penetrated that market very broadly yet,” he said.

The acquisition has been finalized, resulting in a company with more than 80 employees worldwide. Mark Gray, current president of SAMMA will become executive vice president and general manager of the company’s Americas division, reporting directly to Knaisch. Jim Lindner, SAMMA founder, will continue in his role as “evangelist and visionary” in the preservation of A/V content.


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