Jef Graham is chairman & CEO of RGB Networks.
What products or services are you developing over the next few years, and why are they important to cable?
RGB will continue to offer solutions that optimize bandwidth and accelerate operators’ move to all-digital, allowing for enhanced revenue-generating services, including more programs, a wider variety of programming, additional HD channels and more VOD offerings. We will also continue to develop products that enable the move to a fully personalized, on-demand environment, allowing operators to increase revenue through targeted advertising, on-demand and switched digital ads, and other new approaches to the delivery of addressable advertisements.
During your meetings with cable operators, what areas of concern do they mention most frequently?
Operators realize that in order to expand their service offerings and stay ahead of the competition, they need to migrate to a fully-digital, switched, on-demand environment. We frequently hear concerns about the costs, resources and operational complexities involved in this transition. RGB has listened to these concerns and developed cost-effective solutions for operators to make this move, while increasing revenues through enhanced services and targeted advertising.
Do you have an international presence? If so, what’s your strategy?
RGB already has customers in Canada, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean, and we’re rapidly expanding into Europe and Asia with the recent hiring of executive staff to open sales and support offices in those regions. We’ve shipped to all of the top North American cable operators and plan to build on this tremendous success. Operators appreciate the high densities, flexibility and ease of installation offered by our VIA technology, as well as our support, and we believe that these benefits will translate to other markets where operators are also looking to simplify their networks, make a cost-effective transition to all-digital, and rapidly deploy the most advanced video services to their subscribers.
If you had to pick one area for the cable industry to become more focused on, what is it and why?
The personalized delivery of services and advertising—whether it’s through more on-demand services, more switched services allowing for more programming tiers, or the delivery of targeted ads, this is where the industry is going.
What service or product will have the biggest impact on cable subscribers over the next five years?
On demand will have the biggest impact on subscribers—viewers will be able to watch what they want and where they want it. As a result, targeted advertising will become a necessity for the cable operators, allowing their advertisers to reach specific groups of subscribers with a message that resonates with them.
What is the defining moment for your company over the past five years?
When RGB saw a huge opportunity in digital simulcast, we were able to harness the power of our flexible Video Intelligence Architecture—the core technology behind all RGB products—and quickly develop and bring to market the Simulcast Edge Processor. Since we began shipping last year, the product has been accepted by all of the top North American MSOs, and more than 1,000 units have already shipped. Our ability to react so quickly to market needs has proven the value of RGB’s technology and firmly placed RGB in a winning position with MSOs. We continue to build on our VIA technology and deliver advanced digital video solutions that enable a more rapid, cost-effective move to all-digital, more on-demand services and an open switched architecture.
Any horror stories and/or shining examples from the field you’d care to relate?
There are always challenges (and even a few horror stories) involved with launching a new company; however, by sticking to our core belief of working closely with both our customers and partners, RGB has been able to successfully deploy our advanced technology while building trust and a strong reputation.