Time flies when you're having fun. It's been almost three years since I joined the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) with a "to do" list from our Board that included creating new educational programs for our members; working with operators, programmers and vendors to drive increased innovation and standards activity across the industry; and creating new templates for increasing the value of SCTE and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo to the industry.
Funny thing about to-do lists. The more you get done, the longer they seem to become. The past three years have had more than their share of surprises, as we've responded quickly to new and sometimes unanticipated needs of cable in general, and our members in particular. "Plans are useless," General Eisenhower once said, "but planning is essential."
With that in mind, here's a sneak peek at some of the things we intend to accomplish at SCTE during the coming year:
Business services: Cable system operators are committed to moving beyond the low-hanging fruit of small businesses, and unlocking the larger revenue streams from mid-size and large businesses with significantly more stringent service requirements. One of the first tasks for Marty Davidson, our new vice president of engineering and operations, will be to create and oversee a Business Services Installer Training and Certification program. (See Comcast Vet Joins SCTE.)
Energy management: Since its launch two years ago, our SEMI (Smart Energy Management Initiative) has grown by leaps and bounds to include energy efficiency, cost reduction and power availability. Look for intensified work on energy standards by our Sustainability Management Subcommittee, including development of the Adaptive Power Systems Interface Specifications (APSIS) that will vary consumption based on network traffic demands for hardware coming to market in 2014 and beyond. (See SCTE Drives Green 'SEMI'.)
Installer training and certification: Just before the New Year, The New York Times ran a story about how demand for new services is raising the bar for cable installers. Fresh off the introduction of our comprehensive Broadband Premises Installation and Services Guidebook last year, we'll be fast-tracking to scale training and certification programs for contractors.
SCTE Leadership Institute: And finally, we will be lifting the curtain on new programs that are designed to expand on the success of our inaugural SCTE-Tuck Executive Leadership Program at Dartmouth College. A select group of executives at or near the top of the workforce pyramid will be heading to Dartmouth in late April for the second SCTE-Tuck class; in early May we'll launch our first Cable Industry Management Development Program in conjunction with Georgia Tech.
So no matter what your role in cable engineering and operations, get ready for a busy year. And if you don't see what's important to you among the above, let us know. As the past few years have shown, there’s always room on the to-do list for a few items more.
— Mark Dzuban, President and CEO, SCTE
This is the latest installment of "Technically Speaking with SCTE," a monthly blog of interviews and columns to provide Light Reading Cable readers with timely updates on the SCTE's initiatives and activities.