John Clark, president and CEO of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers

CED’s “View from the top” is an ongoing series of interviews with leaders in the cable and broadband industries. CED Editor Brian Santo met with John Clark, president and CEO of the SCTE.

View From The Top - June 2007
You can view the seven-minute interview in its entirety, click here.

Recently, the professional organization has undergone a rapid evolution, redefining the way it approaches serving its members and expanding its slate of activities aimed at serving its membership.

What follows are excerpts from Clark’s comments.

On the SCTE mission
The SCTE mission has two parts. We have professional development, where we serve 14,000 individual members from 70 countries, [handling] their training, certification, knowledge building — helping them with their careers. And then we have standards. SCTE is the cable industry’s standards development organization, working with the American National Standards Institute.

We serve the whole variety of member segments, going from installers and technicians, all the way up to chief technology officers.

On changes in SCTE’s approach
(Yvette Kanouff is SeaChange International’s SVP, strategic planning, and has just completed her second year as chairman of the SCTE board.)

When Yvette originally ran, her platform was one of change. And the fact that Yvette was unanimously re-elected as chairman shows the board really bought into change. The whole tenor of what our board does has changed significantly over the last several years, moving away from an operational/tactical mode of monitoring things and hearing reports, and helping to define what SCTE will look like in 2010.

Who will our members be? We believe a lot of our members in 2010 may not consider themselves cable engineers right now. They may be in telephony, they may be in IP, they may be in business services. That’s the exciting part — helping shepherd that change.

On new SCTE directions
As far as topics go that we’ve expanded into, a big one is business services. We’ve got a two-day Hot Topic Symposium. It’s supposed to be about the hot topic of the moment, and three in a row have been on business services.

We’ve upgraded our professional development programs in the area of IP, and one of the areas we’re monitoring is the digital transition, which is right around the corner for all of us.

As for delivery, we have our mainstreams. Cable-Tec Expo — that’s all engineering all the time. Live learning — we have our monthly webinars on different topics. We’ve added the Hot Topic Symposiums. And there will be some new things on the table.

In the changing world of professional development and certification programs, we’re very excited about adding a DVEP certification — Digital Video Engineering Professional — to our program that targets the engineer who completely covers the technology of digital telecommunications.

On the new SCTE Foundation
The new SCTE Foundation is now fully functional, up and running. Simply put, the SCTE Foundation is here to help our members build their education, whether [via] courses, college credits, training programs — a broad cross-section. We believe in education and professional development, and the Foundation is here to help deliver it to our members.