Name: Michael Kornet
Position: Executive Vice President and General Manager, NDI
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
MICHAEL KORNET: I get to come to work each day with a singular focus on helping manufacturers develop and successfully release their Network Device Interface (NDI) products to customers worldwide. In a few short years, NDI has grown an ecosystem to thousands of products and millions of customers. An example is Skype for Content Creators, which now allows hundreds of millions of customers with Skype on their PC or Mac to have their Skype video calls available as a source in real time on their local network.
SCN: How long have you been in this position?
MK: Three—what seems like very short—years. That said, I have been with NewTek for over 17 years. I’ve worked in a number of roles, including serving as executive vice president of business development and as chief marketing officer.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
MK: I had a chance to build NewTek’s Developer Network, and through that experience I gained critical relationships in the industry. What looks like an overnight success was really many years in the making for NDI. NDI began as IP technology we created for our own products over 10 years ago. From there, it went through technological advances and we opened it up to our developer network—which I had earlier created for the company—so that third-party products could easily integrate through the IP network input on NewTek products.
But about three and a half years ago, we crystallized in our minds that it’s is a foregone conclusion that the video world is going to IP and that we should open up the technology we had created more than 10 years earlier for our products and for our developer network tied to our products. We wanted to make it available to everyone, all products (including our competitors), and make it free. That is what we have done, and although you can imagine how controversial this was internally with some of our teams in the beginning, it has proved to be the right decision many times over.
SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
MK: We believe there is no doubt that the world is moving to IP video. My goals always come back to one thing: to help IP video grow as rapidly and widely into the hands of customers as possible. NDI is the standard NewTek created that allows for bidirectional transport of video, audio, and data over standard networks. It is the quickest and easiest way for manufacturers and customers to get the benefits of IP video because NDI is software-centric, royalty-free, and already connects to the largest ecosystem of IP products in the industry, including cameras, monitors, CG, encoders, and many other NDI products from respected companies in the AV market, like the industry-leading lecture capture products from Mediasite by Sonic Foundry and Panopto.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge you face?
MK: We are also seeing a major shift to AV over IP, just as IP video is taking over the broadcast world, the gaming market, the enterprise market, and is used every day in our phones. So, choosing what opportunities not to spend time on is a great challenge for me. These opportunities are all so fun and there are so many of them, but we don’t have the ability to go after them all. That said, we believe the AV market is a huge one for IP video, and so these days, providing NDI to the AV market is at the top of the list of my priorities and passions.
SCN: Where do you see the AV market heading?
MK: I see it moving to IP video with software that auto-detects thousands of products bidirectionally in real time, and away from fragmented hardware proprietary solutions. This is important because customers needing solutions for sports arenas, education, house of worship, enterprise, and other verticals are seeing the need to connect more and more video content with the audiences they serve.
By offering this level of simplicity driven by software, networks, and computers, we’re enabling these customers to become more efficient and more creative in how they implement and access video. For integrators, this is a tremendous opportunity because it means they have a chance to move deeper into the businesses they serve in terms of value and expertise, to grow their business, and become leaders in what we know is where everything is going: IP video.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from NewTek?
MK: Yes, an IP solution on monitors, new types of IP cameras and encoders from NewTek, and a continuing dedication to advancing NDI—we are currently working on NDI 4.0. All I can say is, stay tuned!
SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you offer?
MK: If you know that the world is moving to IP video, then NewTek’s NDI is your conduit to providing solutions for customers who want to gain the freedom of an IP video-connected world. Systems contractors can partner with the many manufacturers that are making NDI products, understand the value of IP video so they can pitch it to clients, and be prepared to offer it as a core competency of their business. Systems contractors can access those resources at www.NDIcentral.com.