NAME: Manny Patel
COMPANY: IHSE USA
OVERTIME: Patel’s work with experts in security and fiber optic communication provided him with detailed glimpse of transmission and communication technology capabilities now and in the future.
SCN: At what point did you realize that you were destined for a career in technology?
Manny Patel: The turning point in my career was in the mid 1990s when I was the COO of a New York-based company which was involved in the manufacturing of audio, video, and data transmission equipment. My involvement with industry experts, especially the ones that were involved in security and fiber optic communication, gave a detailed glimpse of what technology in transmission and communication can do, and what it is capable of doing going forward. It made me look at this technology development from a completely different perspective.
SCN: How did your mechanical engineering background translate into a career in video technology?
Over the past five years, Manny Patel has led IHSE’s expansion into the U.S. market.MP: A mechanical engineering background prepared me to be very analytical. My initial exposure on the electronics side of the business was implementation of SMT (surface mount technology) in the early ’90s for a power analyzer manufacturer. Being a mechanical engineer, my then current employer had tasked me to implement the SMT line for their plant. This in turn got me lot of accolades in the SMT industry and I also received a lot of recognition in the electronic manufacturing industry as an SMT expert. Since SMT at that time was the new technology, various corporations had contacted me to accept a position with their organization.
By mid ’90s I had joined the New York company that was into manufacturing of video, audio, and data transmission equipment. The clientele ranged from federal agencies, state departments, local governments, systems integrators, and defense contractors. They all had one thing in common with our product line that we manufactured, and that was video. Constant issues and discussions with all this clientele on video and its related topics and manufacturing of the video transmission equipment for the past 17-20 years by default makes you a video technology person.
SCN: Throughout your career, you have developed expertise as a security consultant for highly sensitive applications. What data security concerns do you expect will become more significant in AV systems design in the future?
MP: The first and the foremost concern I always have is the SDK from various manufacturers that the systems integrator uses in a systems design and its implementation. The breaches and voids from different manufacturers’ communication protocols always possess a big threat. Unless the systems integrator is an expert on the design methodology of proper secured communication it is always going to be a big security risk, especially in today’s world, when most of the controls can be handled either from a public network or handheld device. They ride on public networks, and even though enough measures are in place to secure, there will always be a way for the hacker to get in.
Fancy handhelds or remote login also give away the security due to third-party applications that make it versatile for the client, but at the same time, compromises the integrity on the robustness.
SCN: What has been your greatest challenge in developing Germanybased IHSE’s presence in the U.S. over the past five years?
MP: There have really been none. We have been manufacturing the products in Germany since 1984, and a few industry clients knew that. Although there was a small concern in the first year for name recognition in the U.S. as a significant player, our first InfoComm show in Vegas and our marketing campaign with SCN gave us instant recognition in the AV market segment. The NAB show followed, and that gave us the recognition in the postproduction/ broadcast market. With the help of strategically located and handpicked approved integrators (who really have to go through rigorous training with us), we became the choice in the U.S. in the last four years.
SCN: Looking ahead, what will be the most significant demand placed on video extenders and switchers?
MP: Features that are absolutely demanded lately in the video extenders and switcher are:
Infrastructure independent switcher—The switchers should be capable of accepting both a copper (Cat-x) or a fiber input or output. The reason being that just for a switcher the user should not be spending additional money on the infrastructure for rewiring.
The extenders should support single link, single link dual head, single head dual link, HDMI, digital audio, high-speed USB, RS-232, display port, and up to a minimum of 6.5 gig support.
Switchers should also have the features for instant switching, KVM along with SDI video on the same switcher, multi-signal support, virtualization support, third-party controller support, OSD anywhere control, cascadability, redundancy and hot swapping, redundant power supply, redundant cooling, and be modular and scalable.
Kirsten Nelson is the editor of SCN.