Virgin Media

  • Technical Management
  • Supplier support and coordination
  • Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) testing and build control
  • Middleware testing and build control
  • Interfacing with Digital Rights Management and Encryption Teams
  • Alpha, Beta, and Pilot Deployment Field Trial Support
  • Management of Compliance Testing
  • Interfacing with network infrastructure teams
  • Network rollout and change control

Technical Delivery Manager

I joined Virgin Media to become the Technical Delivery Manager (TDM) on a new HD PVR Set Top Box (STB) project that had already been running for a few months.

The TDM role has an amazingly wide range of responsibilities within Virgin Media (VM). I was working for a VM Project Manager and liaising directly with the on-site and off-site project managers of the hardware and driver layer manufacturer, which was Samsung (their first language not being English).

I also dealt directly with the on-site and off-site project managers of the TIVO middleware and UI application provider to ensure compliance to all interfaces with Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) provided by the Samsung team. All three companies were in different time zones with VM in the middle of a 16 hour spread.  Finding suitable times for conference calls was certainly challenging!

Internally I dealt with all the engineering, test, and compliance teams as well as the outward-facing customer and network management teams. This included the CE certification of the actual Set Top Box, but also the propriety penetration security testing required to be allowed on the VM network, and the extremely rigorous third-party DRM and encryption compliance testing.

All the compliance testing and field trials had to be coordinated with a weekly bug fix and build cycle for all three of the software components. That resulted in a weekly build, rapid test cycle, and then deployment for beta customer “homework” testing.

I was responsible for running the Alpha and Beta field trials, as well as supporting the much larger Pilot deployment of the new STB.

I was recognised within VM as having completely transformed this development from a three-way confrontation into a very supportive and productive collaboration. I also received personal thanks from very senior people within the company delivering the new Set Top Box to Virgin Media.

Having delivered the new STB, I was then moved across to support the testing and roll out of the new Virgin Media app. This was an extremely interesting foray into the world of streaming, iOS, Digital Rights Management (DRM) – even leading to direct dealings with Adobe.