Collette, Soderquist not away for long

Sat, 08/31/2002 - 8:00pm

Michael Collette and Craig Soderquist–two cable industry veterans–resurfaced over the summer after brief respites, each assuming the top slot at their respective companies.

Media software provider Ucentric Systems named Collette, a former OpenTV and ICTV marketing executive, as its CEO. At Ucentric, Collette will direct the company's strategies involving media distribution software for set-tops that combines home networking technology with PVR capabilities. Ucentric teamed with box maker Pace Micro Technologies earlier this year on a networked multiple-TV/multiple-DVR and demonstrated that combo at the National Show in New Orleans.

Collette says Ucentric will continue to focus on this type of system, but hopes the company can drive business into other niches in the set-top market as well.

"I think today, Ucentric is correctly targeting the media center business, but…to really broaden the appeal of the company, I'm looking to actually give it a wider footprint in set-top types," Collette says. "Media centers are obviously the biggest and baddest boxes on the market, but there are other areas in the set-top and software market that I think we can go after."

That diversification will likely take the form of Ucentric software platforms for standalone and thin-client set-top boxes. He also plans entry into the satellite and telco realms, as well as into the European and Asian markets.

"There's no question that domestic broadband cable is the big enchilada. But as you're working to get that business, [you find] they're the slowest enchilada. We've got to diversify our business. We've got to hedge our bets. We've got to have more places to sell our product than just that," he said.

Soderquist, meanwhile, joined Core Networks in late July as the OSS provider's new president and CEO, taking over for the departed Jeffrey Campbell. Soderquist, the former chief of Com21 Inc., said Core Networks is in somewhat of a re-launch phase, and plans to introduce a line of new products, including a modular "carrier-class" OSS high-speed data package designed for large MSOs. Longer-term, Core is also looking into the development of products that provision and manage cable IP telephony and video services.

Core Networks is also in the process of finding a new home, moving the company's headquarters from Halifax (Canada) to California's Bay Area by late October to help the company "be closer to our customers and partners," Soderquist said. Core's engineering team will remain in Canada.


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