Expanding the Mission of Expo


When the Society of Cable Telecommunications
Engineers announced our joint program with the
Tuck School of Business last year, I fielded several questions
about whether an Ivy League business school was really a
good fit for cable’s engineering workforce.

Never mind that the answer at the time
— and since borne out by the success of our
SCTE-Tuck Executive Leadership Program
— was an unqualified “yes.” The point is that
there was and is an evolution under way that
is transforming the face of SCTE and increasing
its value to cable operators, programmers,
vendors and members that it serves.

One of my primary missions since joining
SCTE in 2009 has been migrating it from
a trade association to a business whose deliverables
are the education, innovation and
industry best practices that will help cable
to deliver new services, reduce costs and increase
customer satisfaction. Like any business, SCTE
is adapting to an environment that is creating new demands
and opportunities for us to serve our customers.

As we approach what has historically been our signature
event, SCTE Cable-Tec Expo (Nov. 14-17), the change
has never been more evident. When the Expo and the Capacity
Management Symposium convene in two weeks in
Atlanta, the “Expo Experience” will include a significantly
expanded atmosphere of education and innovation that’s
reflective of the exciting things going on in our industry.

Under the leadership of Daniel Howard, our CTO, and
Terry Cordova, senior vice president and CTO of Suddenlink
and chairman of the Cable-Tec Expo Program Committee,
Expo is taking on a new personality. They have
worked with the MSO community and vendors to create
a new template that brings increased value to the entire industry
by serving as a forum for technological approaches
that are state of the art. Among the things you’ll see:

• An opening session that features a tsunami of top
executives, including Cox Communications
president Pat Esser, Motorola Mobility
chairman and CEO Sanjay Jha, and CTO and
vendor partner panels that will be mined for
nuggets of wisdom by longtime industry expert
Paul Kagan and John Schanz, Comcast’s
executive vice president, national engineering
and technical operations.

• An unprecedented lineup of 70-plus individual
presentations — more than 125%
above our 2010 total — that will underline
Expo’s position as the place “where problems
and problem solvers meet.”

• Partnerships with WICT and other groups,
as well as new approaches to our Green Pavilion
and our Spotlight Pavilion on Next-Generation Video
Architecture. While Expo remains the locus of learning for
engineers, we’ve designed it to increase understanding
of cable technology within new areas such as marketing,
administration and finance, as well as such new potential
partners as energy management and IT innovators.

There’s one more change that bears mentioning: While
Expo remains a cornerstone of SCTE activities, we are surrounding
it with a year-round schedule of virtual and live
learning events. We are becoming a force multiplier — not
only transforming SCTE, but driving the education that is
accelerating our industry’s growth in the years ahead.

Mark Dzuban is CEO of the Society of Cable Telecommunications