Over the past few weeks, I've been getting many questions from Wall Street analysts as to when Akamai will hire a VP/GM for their licensed CDN (LCDN) initiatives. Normally I don't highlight when vendors fill job openings unless they are at the C level, but in this case, since I'm being asked so often I'll share what I know. While Akamai didn't respond to my request when I checked with them recently about the position being filled, I have learned that Akamai has promoted someone internally to fill the position and the job opening has since been removed from Akamai's website.
Lior Netzer, who was the VP of mobile network strategy at Akamai is now taking on the role of VP/GM of carrier products at Akamai. Lior worked at Akamai from 1999-2002, left Akamai and started some mobile startup ventures, and then came back to Akamai in 2010 to take on the VP role for mobile. For a product that is going to be targeted to carriers, it's odd that Akamai would promote someone internally instead of hiring someone from outside the company who has deep domain expertise with carrier software deployments and comes from a telco background. Also, considering that Lior was one of the main point people working on the mobile product with Ericsson, one has to wonder what that now means for the Ericsson offering and who Akamai is going to have leading that development.
Some in the industry have told me that no one outside of Akamai wanted the LCDN job as they don't think Akamai can be successful with an LCDN product and two people that Akamai was considering for the position essentially told me the same thing and didn't take the job. Whether or not Akamai can be successful with an LCDN product is anyone's' guess, but they have a lot of work to do to get the product to the market and they are pretty far behind EdgeCast and Jet-Stream who have been very successful with their LCDN offerings.
While Akamai talked a lot about an LCDN offering at their analyst day in November, I haven't seen the company provide any kind of guidance, as of yet, on how big of a market the LCDN opportunity represents. I get asked that question all the time and while I have never put out numbers on the size of the market, it's very small. If I had to estimate the market size for 2012 based on the revenue from some of the companies who offer an LCDN product, specific to video, and the data I collect from dozens of carriers and telcos around the world on what they are buying, I would say the total market opportunity for an video based LCDN offering is probably under $50M. It's small, we expect it to grow, but that won't happen overnight and as many know, carriers, telcos and ISP take a long time to test carrier grade solutions before they roll them out on their network.