Search and recommendation vendor ThinkAnalytics is opening a new office in Silicon Valley and has hired industry veteran Rich Soucie to work with the company’s new and existing business partners in the San Jose area.

Soucie, who previously worked for Arris, was named vice president of business development for Think Analytics. ThinkAnalytics CEO Eddie Young said Soucie would work in tandem with Christy Martin, the company’s chief technical advisor, on business development out of the new office.

“It’s a small, local office mainly for Silicon Valley,” Young said. “By the end of the year we’ll have four to six people. It’s going to be a small operation but quite focused.”

Young said the concentration of technology companies in Silicon Valley, especially the middleware and metadata companies that ThinkAnalytics works with, were the main reasons for the new office.

Soucie has over 20 years of product management, marketing and business development experience in the telecommunications and networking industry. Before ThinkAnalytics, he was director, global telecom operations at Arris and was on assignment with Google Fiber.

Prior to Arris, Soucie was responsible for customer operations, integration programs and strategic technology partnerships at Comcast (formerly Radiance Technologies).

He was also director of product management at Alopa Networks which was later sold to C-Cor., where he was responsible for the strategic planning and direction of Alopa's multi-service broadband provisioning and management products. Earlier in his career, he held various senior product management roles for P-Cube, Copper Mountain Networks, Nortel, and others.

“Rich is a pretty experienced guy,” Young said. “He knows the cable market well, so it’s a very good business fit for both of us.”

TiVo/Digitalsmiths deal

Young said TiVo’s deal last month to buy Digitalsmiths for $135 million put a smile on his face. Young said that while ThinkAnalytics has dominated the search and recommendation sector in Europe, it was battling Digitalsmiths in the United States.

“It’s a good deal for Digitalsmiths,” Young said. “I’m pleased for those guys. I have a double smile on my face because I thought they got a pretty good price for the business and also it took out a competitor. In the U.S., it really was down to Digitalsmiths and ThinkAnalytics and now we see our main friends move on so we think the landscape is much more open for us.”

ThinkAnalytics’ customer list include Cox Communications, Fox, Liberty Global, BSkyB, Swisscom, Optus, Unitymedia in Germany, Zon in Portugal, and Nordic operator Canal Digital.

With Liberty Global, ThinkAnalytics has its search and recommendation platform in place on the cable operator’s Horizon platform. ThinkAnalytics could also see a bigger deployment across Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media. In the past, Virgin Media has used both ThinkAnalytics and TiVo, but having Virgin under the Liberty Global umbrella could lead to Virgin Media using more of ThinkAnalytics. Young said Liberty Global CEO and president Mike Fries was a big advocate of search and recommendation technologies.

ThinkCloud ramping up

In December, ThinkAnalytics announced it had expanded the capabilities of its hosted ThinkCloud platform for programmers and service providers. In that announcement, ThinkAnalytics had three European service providers using ThinkCloud, but that number will double by the middle of this year.

"We have the early guys in Europe using ThinkCloud successfully for the last 6 to 12 months, and we’ll be adding three more,” Young said. “Cloud deployment is becoming more important.”