CHICAGO – Representatives from eight different IT providers strutted their stuff yesterday in front of two panels of judges, hoping to win bragging rights for the most innovative cable-TV related product or service in a number of different categories.

“Industry executives are turning to cable IT tools to make their infrastructure more efficient, improve process and work flow to benefit cable customers and viewers, and to improve the integrity of the cable plant and network,” says Frank Boncimino, senior vice president/CIO at Time Warner Cable and chair of the CIO.IT executive committee. “In this competition, we’re seeking ideas from our vendors to further improve cable IT, and ultimately, the customer experience.”

The finalists, selected from a group of more than 45 applications received earlier this year, span a variety of major issue areas for cable IT professionals, including back-office requirements for TV Everywhere-type services, dynamic advertising insertion in online video and on-demand programming, harmonizing IT functions, managing advanced services over cable networks and geo-spatial information analysis tools.

The first competitive session of the day featured presentations related to the best ideas in cable IT architecture and strategy. The following is a short synopsis of the offerings:

  • David Jacobs, CTO/broadband, cable & satellite at Amdocs, talked about a new hybrid product-centric/user-centric BSS idea aimed at bolstering the trust consumers need to have in their TV Everywhere service provider that will give MSOs the tools to be an advocate for their customers while still being able to make money.
  • Alec Petterson, senior vice president/media at EDGE Technology Services, provided ways of how to integrate the IT team into being a “trusted advisor” by improving its strategic role in day-to-day operations.
  • James Rice, president & consultant/strategic product & service development at VectorTech Inc., introduced his SmartAdvertising idea that allows customers to get relevant ads when they want on the devices they want while allowing operators to view all the clicks. His company still is in the process of staffing up, and it seeks both leadership and venture capital.
  • Jeffrey Sherwin, founder, This Technology, talked about SpotLink dynamic ad insertion, which he said allows for the separation of inventory for local and national ad decision systems.

The second session featured presentations related to the best ideas in cable IT service assurance.

  • Pete Cruz, senior director/product management & marketing at SevOne, discussed his ideas for monitoring the IMS/LTE/backhaul environments, saying the offering can manage and optimize a network while reducing infrastructure spend and consumer churn.
  • Randall Franz, telecommunications & LBS industry manager at ESRI, showed how GIS can pinpoint business opportunities, via mapping, for both cable and wireless.
  • Art Lancaster, CTO & co-founder at Affinegy, unveiled Home Portal v2.0, a cloud-hosted application designed to manage home networking.
  • James Field, director of technology/new initiatives at NDS, showed off a home-networking application he says is self-healing, uses enablement and reduces vagueness. It allows consumers to troubleshoot their home networks and all devices using the networks, thus reducing carrier truck rolls by as much as 18 percent.

No winners have been announced, but CT Reports will provide that information when it becomes available.

-Debra Baker

The Daily

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