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Orban, Axia Are Friends (Say What?)

Processor maker signs licensing deal

Business sometimes makes for strange bedfellows.

We’re not used to receiving press releases from the Telos Alliance that have Orban logos at the top; but that’s what happened Thursday when Telos company Axia Audio announced that processor maker Orban had signed a licensing deal to make Orban products compatible with Axia’s Livewire audio over IP technology.

Axia is sister company to Omnia, long-time Orban competitor in the broadcast processing realm. The fierce competition over the years between the two “O” companies makes this Axia development particularly fun to note.

Really though it’s just another example of how modern business relationships can evolve in unexpected ways. A company you compete with over here might be the same company you cooperate with over there. That’s even more so in an era when manufacturers like Axia introduce technology standards in the hope of making themselves indispensable at the core of industry infrastructure.

Axia appears to believe it has succeeded with that; it counts among its Livewire partners such companies as 25-Seven Systems, AudioScience, Broadcast Electronics, BSI, Digigram, ENCO Systems, Fraunhofer, Nautel, OMT, RCS, Studer and WideOrbit. Livewire-compatible products run the gamut from codecs and consoles to transmitters and automation systems. (Orban signed an “L3” deal, a Livewire Limitless License agreement that allows for a blanket license to build Livewire interfaces into its gear. The deal also allows the company to work with otherLivewire partners in developing technologies that use Livewire.)

Of course, small agreements like this can also sometimes presage larger cooperation between traditional competitors. I’ve heard nothing to indicate that’s pending, but who knows. We’ll watch with interest.