Goodbye to NDS

This is a very emotional day for me, normally I do not have a written speech, but due to my emotional state I will make an exception this time.

After working at NDS for 18 years it has become a part of me, and I guess in some way I have also become a part of NDS. Being here has shaped my personality and leaving will it affect me as well.

Initially I had no idea what to say, how can a person possible summarize 18 years? I thought that I would focus on teamwork versus individual contribution. So I decided to try to list all of the items that I had initiated at NDS. There are actually quite a few so I broke them down into categories. I am sure that many of these things would have happened without me over time, I was just the lucky one assigned to get the ball rolling.

Things that affect everyone every day at work: For those who don’t recall I was responsible for IT.

  • Brought in the first rack mounted computers
  • Created the first network patch panels
  • Set up the first helpdesk
  • Created the first Intranet
  • Created the first purchasing system and document database
  • Created the first standard computer configuration and moved all computers over to windows
  • Got rid of CCMail and moved to Outlook
  • Set up the first corporate backup
  • Set up the first WAN
  • Hired the first female programmer at NDS (she is still here)
  • Hired the first female IT person at NDS (she is also still here)

NDS Products

  • Designed, developed, installed, tested and delivered our first digital Headend. This was then called CAMC, and CAUS now called EMMG and ECMG. The first version was numbered 3.3, why start at 1.0. I am farily sure that some of my code is still running today after all these years (this scares me)
  • Built csscamc. Our first headend test tool (I believe it is still in use today)
  • Created NDS first Horse race gambling smart cards
  • Moved the company for DOS to UNIX
  • Move from a File manager to a Relational database
  • Created our first redundant headed configuration  based on Switchover
  • Benchmarked and picked HP computers
  • Picked our first X.25 backbone network
  • Picked Informix as a database (Oracle wanted to charge us for the benchmark so we passed)
  • Was present at the first callback ever made (me in Los Angeles, David Shlacht in Indy)
  • Invented CAPIMS, I wanted to call it the Program Management System but Stephanie wouldn’t let me name it PMS.
  • Was the first person with the title Chief System Architect (there have only been two)
  • Invented the name ICAM with Wilf Harding (I had nothing to do with the actual work done on the chip just the name)
  • Created the name “Open VideoGuard”
  • Created the name Value@TV with the support of Beth Erez
  • Create our first and only photo processing system
  • Set up the SVP alliance
  • Defined our “Secure Headed configuration standards”.
  • Teamed up with Dovid to lead the team that created VGS
  • Managed the team that built our initial product offering for mobile
  • And lastly, participated in the creation of Infinite TV

NDS Customer Support

  • Responsible for the support of our first digital customer
  • Invented the first change request process
  • Helped set up our first office in California (they moved)
  • Helped set up our first office in New York (they closed down)
  • Set up our first offices in Japan (they closed down too)

Sales and Sales support

  • Sold CAS and CAPIMS to Galaxy Latin America
  • Sold CAS and CAPIMS to DIRECTV Japan
  • Sold Interactive to Galaxy with Raffi
  • Sold CAS and Stream server to Cablevision
  • Sold photo applications to AT&T, Rogers and Cablevision
  • Sold CAS and Stream server to VOOM
  • Signed our partnership agreement with Sandisk, creating sales to EMI music, Disney and more.
  • Trained NDS Korea about Open Cable
  • General technical support and standards support for NDS China

I am sure that there is more, but this is getting to be long winded and we all get the picture. I was very fortunate. Fortunate to be at NDS at the right time to have the opportunity to create some many things, and fortunate enough to have my management believe in me, to have trust in me and to give me enough room to build.

I would also like to use this opportunity to try and provide you with one important lesion. This lesion is believe in yourself and never accept conventional wisdom especially if it is negative.

Conventional wisdom told NDS that we could never sell product to Cable. NDS convened a strategic warfare committee and the committee decided that we did NOT have the products and services to sell to Cable and therefore we should only sell to satellite and terrestrial. Regarding the USA market it was 100% clear that no CAS vendor would ever succeed in the states and that the market was owned by GI and SA. Many people would get discouraged for me this was just more of an incentive. Nine months after Dov Rubin introduced me to Cablevision I sold our first digital cable system to them. Today NDs selling to cable is 100% obvious, Cablevision and Matav had a lot to do with this change in the company. Never accept no for an answer, believe in yourself, a single person can do almost anything, even the impossible if they try.

Before I sign off there is one more thing I must do. I know that working with me has not always been easy. During these last eighteen years I have not always been pleasant, quiet, or politically correct. I get emotional about my work and the people I work with. I also know that I don’t fit in, metaphorically, sort of like an extra spicy pepper in a bowl of green salad.  Sometimes biting into that pepper can be a little irritating and hard to deal with, but on the other hand a bowl of plain lettuce is just boring and not that tasty.

I want to thank everyone for putting up with me over all these year, I hope that I have had a positive effect on you all and added some spice to your lives. I can say that you all have had a very positive effect on mine. As I leave planet NDS for some unknown spot in corporate universe “So Long, and Thanks for all the fish”