Name: Mark D’Addio
Position: Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
Mark D’Addio: I’m the senior vice president of sales and marketing for VITEC, a privately held technology company that specializes in video encoding and decoding for recording, playback, and streaming. I manage our U.S. sales efforts, a role I’m really comfortable in since I previously held similar positions with other video technology companies.
VITEC is well established in video streaming industry and will celebrate its 30 anniversary this year. We’re not a huge company, but we have more than 100 research and design (R&D) engineers, which shows our commitment to product innovation. Although our company is headquartered in France, about 90 percent of our business is here in the U.S. And that’s where I come in.
SCN: How long have you been at this position?
MD: I took this position at the end of last year, but I joined VITEC more than seven years ago as vice president of business development and emerging markets.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
MD: I went from being a history major and being on the rowing team in college to working in technology. In some ways, rowing was excellent preparation for the kinds of challenges I would encounter in my career. It relies on absolute teamwork and perfect synchronization to make the boat move as efficiently and as fast as possible—therefore winning races. It’s a great metaphor for success in the video technology industry, which I got involved in right out of college.
I really enjoy building relationships with customers worldwide and helping solve media workflow challenges across many different verticals and applications. Today, I’m focusing those efforts on the U.S. market and managing a team at VITEC. I’m able to draw on 20-plus years of experience selling to the channel and working with partners, whether it’s dealers, integrators, or consultants focusing on key verticals.
SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
MD: As the leading provider for IPTV distribution and hardware-based HEVC solutions for enterprise, government, military, sports, and medical applications, we’re not just technology-driven, but also customer-driven. This is critical, given our vertical market approach.
Short-term, our sales teams are focused on delivering a solutions-based approach that looks at how we can benefit our customers the most. This has big implications for our long-term goals as well, which are to stay on the forefront of HEVC streaming technology. It’s an exciting time because we’re pursuing some unprecedented opportunities in vertical markets, and we’re continuing to move more toward a channel sales model versus direct sales.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?
MD: One of the greatest challenges we face is designing products that are unified yet meet the streaming demands of each vertical. I have a great sales team here that studies and understands what will benefit our customers the most. Since we’re a private company, we don’t have to be as concerned with month-to-month or quarter-to-quarter business; instead, we can keep focused on our customers to deliver outstanding, results-driven projects.
SCN: Where do you see the AV market heading?
MD: Displays are all around us, and with the proliferation of mobile devices, users expect every screen in the environment to deliver the same–if not better– experience than they can get on their own device. The sports and entertainment industry is the best example we’re seeing of facilities embracing the need to deliver on that expectation, and look at how they can support an experience that entertains them in and out of their seats.
More arenas are supporting a WiFi environment, which meets the demand for fans who want to look at their devices while their watching the game or attending an event. Driving content to their device adds to the experience while they’re in the facility. VITEC offers a customized app where fans might order food or merchandise while accessing the game day feed. As a result, facility owners can meet the fan expectation of delivering a new, rich video experience right to their mobile devices.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from VITEC?
MD: VITEC products really are on the cutting edge of streaming technologies including H.265 (HEVC), and we also offer workflow solutions for managing and viewing streams on a closed IP network.
Our innovative solutions can serve organizations in just about any industry, especially with today’s big movement away from RF systems and towards IT-based infrastructures. Our solutions lend themselves to any enterprise looking to do video distribution system over IP, but we’re committed to making sure our customers have a great video and audio experience regardless of the type of network they’re using.
We continue to add more functionality to our EZ TV IPTV and Digital Signage Platform, which is a unique and sophisticated solution for managing multicast streams using a server. EZ TV can manage any type of stream going over the network and then make it viewable from a set-top box or our browser player. It also allows users to create templated signs and display them over the same set-top box, and they can link any of the signs to external data sources. For example, at a sports venue you can link a sign to a point-of-sale computer at a food concession and then dynamically change items or pricing at different stages of the game. Maybe the manager removes beer from the menu in the fourth quarter that’s sold out, eliminating frustrated customers and speeding up service time. Or if there are excess hot dogs left in the second half, they can drop the price and manage that with dynamic signage.
SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?
MD: A key challenge for integrators is managing the sales process while ensuring their customers are getting a product that reliably meets their streaming needs and fits within their infrastructure. That’s why VITEC has an attractive channel partner program that includes training and equipment loaners for sales or project support. Our sales and field engineering teams are also dedicated to working closely with partners to help determine the best architecture for each project. In addition, we offer discount programs that allow contractors to resell equipment and bring additional engineering value to the end-user with an attractive overall ROI for their efforts.