CED Magazine | September 20, 2018
IP video solution vendor Evolution Digital has named former WideOpenWest chief operating officer Cash Hagen as the company’s new head of operations.
Hagen will take on the COO role effective Oct. 1, where he will help build out and expand the Centennial, Colo.-based company’s IP-based video and broadband technology solutions for cable operators.
“My initial focus, in many respects, is to build upon Evolution Digital’s proven recipe for success and, based on my experiences, I will bring a different perspective on how the company can further improve upon its technology, product delivery and operational execution, which will be very complementary to the existing team,” Hagen tells CED.
Hagen left WOW in May after serving as COO since 2016, as CEO Teresa Elder changed up the operator’s executive team. Hagen was WOW’s CTO from 2008 until 20016. Prior to WOW, he held technology and operational leadership positions at Nortel, BigBand Networks, ADC Telecommunications, Arris/Antec, and Cox Communications.
Hagen brings with him the benefit of previous work at a large cable operator.
“Based on my experiences on the customer side of this business, I understand the many challenges that operators, both big and small, face as it relates to technology decisions, operational implementation, resource constraints and competitive dynamics. I feel this perspective is, at times, a missing link for some vendors,” Hagen explains.
“While having the better mousetrap may get you in the door, it is the combination of the right techs and specs with a deep understanding for the various financial and operational elements that lead to sustainable and long term growth,” Hagen says.
He notes that he has seen, first-hand, many vendor partners not succeed due to a lack of full understanding of the real needs for operators in the rapidly-evolving space of video services.
“Evolution Digital is best-equipped in addressing the necessary adaptations in the market and has proven itself to be the leader in innovation for its loyal customer space.”
When it comes to where Hagen sees growth opportunity for Evolution Digital, he notes that a big part of the company’s makeup is in the digital and IP video space – but that it is impossible to think about the future of video without considering the broadband space as a whole – and what Hagen refers to as “Internet adjacent” type offerings.
“There is a lot of gray area around these concepts, and vendors and operators alike can’t and shouldn’t think and operate in a siloed fashion. This is not specific to how the customer is being served (cable, satellite, wireless, telco, or other), as much of what is happening is driven by consumer expectations. Whatever the service is and regardless of the delivery method, consumers have come to expect that their video services work seamlessly without fail each and every time they turn on their TVs or connected devices,” Hagen says.
This means operators can’t have buffering, latency or content disruptions, he notes.
“Evolution has, and will continue, to innovate in the video space with solutions to help operators transition to IP in the effort to eliminate legacy technology, which is ridden with technological constraints and limitations, and reclaim much needed bandwidth to remain competitive against emerging video sources penetrating the marketplace,” Hagen says.
Hagen will report directly to Evolution Digital CEO Chris Egan.
“Cash’s experience as a senior executive at a large broadband and pay-TV provider is invaluable to Evolution Digital in this next stage of transitioning operators to IP video delivery and continued acceleration of broadband growth,” says Egan in a statement. “He has proven to be a successful and trusted leader with a strong reputation for driving growth, enhancing profitability and efficiency while delivering long-term value for cable and telecommunications providers. I have unwavering confidence in Cash’s ability to build on Evolution Digital’s many competitive advantages.”
Evolution’s latest appointment follows on executive additions earlier this summer, when Panneer Ramalingam was named CTO and Brent Smith moved into the newly created position of chief strategy officer.
By Bevin Fletcher, CED Magazine