NAME: Eli Garten
POSITION: VP of IPTV and Enterprise Solutions
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail?
Eli Garten: I oversee the company’s IPTV video streaming strategy, identify short-term and long-term goals, and evaluate the market for strategic partnerships that will grow the company and add value to our customers. I bring together our product management and our field engineering teams to deliver solutions that answer real-world challenges, as well as manage our EZ TV Platform, which powers many of our large-scale IPTV deployments in the enterprise and federal markets.
SCN: How long have you been at this position?
EG: I have been in my current role for one year, which is a culmination of my 15 years of experience and various positions with VITEC, most recently as VP of product management, a position I held for six years.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your new role?
EG: My exposure into the technology began as a video professional, serving in an elite Israeli air force intelligence unit. When I joined Optibase, one of the leading video compression companies at that time, as a programmer in the engineering group, I learned the underlying challenges of developing software and hardware for video streaming products. Optibase was acquired by VITEC in 2010. When I transitioned into field engineering, I gained an understanding of the sales cycle and working with customers to find a solution to meet their specific needs. Finally, I moved into product management, bringing all aspects full circle to ensure VITEC’s innovative hardware-based and IP video solutions have strong impact in the market.
SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
EG: We are the dominant provider for IPTV distribution and hardware-based HEVC [high efficiency video coding] encoding and decoding solutions for enterprise, government, military, sports, and medical applications. Short-term, to continue our momentum in real-time, high-quality video streaming, we’re focused on HEVC solutions that will ease demanding video workflows. We’re also designing additional capabilities into our solutions, bringing value to our existing customers. Organizationally, to support our dramatic growth, we’re expanding our teams with subject matter experts in each vertical. Long term, to maintain our strong position, we are focusing on form factor, performance, and cost of H.264 and HEVC HD/4K streaming technologies.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?
EG: One of the greatest challenges we face is finding a way to design products to have a unified core design, yet excel in every application and be developed by a single team per product. Second, prioritizing resources so we make significant advancements in all domains and maintain leadership in each vertical. To solve these challenges, we created a core team that develops the video hardware and software frameworks that our other teams use to create full solutions. This model prioritizes our engineering resources to optimize our roadmap and advance in each application.
SCN: Where do you see your market heading?
EG: In sports and entertainment, venue operators need solutions that will enhance the user experience, and they’re re-evaluating how to affordably distribute and create eye-catching content, stream to every screen including mobile devices, and provide premium content in VIP areas. They’re ramping up for IP delivery, especially as their requirements for digital signage become more demanding and sophisticated.
Our EZ TV IPTV and Digital Signage Platform answers these needs in one comprehensive solution. In the enterprise, medical, and military sectors, building architects and existing IT teams are abandoning legacy TV-over-coax technologies and specifying IPTV solutions, such as our EZ TV Platform, as the desired method for offering live and on-demand content to local and remote employees.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from VITEC?
EG: We are always innovating. Our customers will see continued advancements in our IPTV distribution and digital signage solutions. As a leader in HEVC, we are adding to our comprehensive offering, providing customers with end-to-end solutions for artifact-free HEVC, real-time HD, and 4K streaming utilizing 100-percent hardware-based compression as opposed to software-based processing, which is limited in bandwidth, video quality, and latency. In the growing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) market, we continue to develop ultra-small, hardware-based appliances that take form factor, cost, and performance to the next level.
SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?
EG: VITEC has an attractive channel partner program, which 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.
Matt Pruznick is senior editor for SCN and Residential Systems. Follow him on Twitter @Pruznick.