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Akamai 'Zooming in' On Demand

Akamai's EdgePlatform is used by many companies in order to make sure their content is served up fast and reliably across the globe.

Now, the distributed hosting platform is moving to offer utility-style dynamic imaging that lets Web sites plug-and-play image manipulations as they need the services on their sites.

Called Dynamic Imaging On Demand (DIOD), the service is a collaboration between Akamai and imaging platform company Scene7.

The deal will serve up the DIOD imaging services across Akamai's 14,000 servers and will deploy Novato, Calif.-based Scene7's Infinite Imaging Platform. That's the key technology behind the DIOD initiative.

Already, the technology is in use by global brands online such as The Home Depot, Victoria's Secret and Restoration Hardware, among others.

For example, Akamai said, online retailers can tap into Akamai's on-demand computing infrastructure in support of their commerce applications. The idea is that improving online shoppers' ability to study and manipulate the item images will help boost conversion rates on sites. That's why Akamai and Scene7 rolled out the turnkey offering to make sure customers don't have to add internal IT resources in order to add the dynamic imaging capabilities.

Officials said the DIOD platform serves virtually unlimited image variations dynamically from a single master image file. The image can be dynamically manipulated with zoom, rotations, graphic template and a host of other graphic viewing and manipulation features. The entire offering, which includes automated image preparation and publishing to Websites, is browser-based. With the help of Akamai's EdgePlatform, it is also globally scalable.

Tony Henning, a senior analyst at digital image research firm Future Image, said online retailers and publishers could essentially flip a switch in order to take advantage of the ASP version of Scene7. "It's a best-in-class solution," he said.

Akamai is scheduled to hold its first quarter conference call on Wednesday afternoon.