Behind the Screens: Meet Senior Manager of Software Engineering Jibril Esa
Welcome back to ‘Behind the Screens,’ a monthly blog series in which we introduce members of our Cox Media team.
This month, I was joined by Jibril Esa, Senior Manger of Software Engineering for Cox Media’s Product and Technology team.
He shared exciting insights into our back-end process improvements, and how those will benefit our clients.
Thanks for chatting with me, Jibril. Can you introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about your role?
I’m Jibril Esa, Senior Manager of software engineering for Cox Media. I’ve been with Cox Media since 2019, but I’m a rehire. I started working for Cox Communications back in 2004 out of New Orleans. So, I left for a little while and then came back in 2019. My role is to help build an internal software development shop within Cox Media.
Before 2019, we were really focused on going to vendors at a large scale and bringing in applications to enhance the advertising solutions we offer to our clients, but it was found that for applications, sometimes there were things missing, and we wanted to quickly get to that feature set or be able to do proof-of-concepts and move on with other applications so we can get to market quickly. So, my role is to bring forward those types of applications to help optimize our offerings to clients.
I know this series is called ‘Behind the Screens’, but much of what you do takes place truly behind the scenes. What are some specific examples of projects or initiatives that you work on?
I’m currently working on a major initiative to improve the overall infrastructure for many of our internal applications. Our team is also working to consolidate our data from many applications for future state. The name of the game across all industries right now is data, and the more data you can capture from applications, the more it can be used to understand and improve your business. That’s the core of what I do.
How do this these projects impact our business?
This impacts our business on a daily basis. The more data that we can capture and use to gain insights will improve how we run the business. We can then use that data to provide insights to our clients, which helps them get a better idea of how to run their business and what is most effective for them in terms of advertising. Being able to grab those insights from our data is great for Cox Media itself, but more importantly, for our clients.
Can you describe your top three priorities as of right now?
My top priorities are improving our internal infrastructure, as mentioned above, and advancing our ad technology to evolve with the industry. The two primary advances in technology for cable advertising that we are working on is addressability and delivering ad programming via IP. I’ll share a little more about how these important projects will move things forward for our business and for Cox Media customers.
I touched on it some before, but the primary goal with improving our internal infrastructure is to upgrade our traffic and billing systems among many other components. These updated applications will allow us to streamline orders, improve invoicing, and further modernize our technology.
Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) is the evolution of everything we are seeing across technology. Just like we have seen in the Internet space, where almost everything is transitioning to IP – everything from video to phone systems – is pretty much done from an IP. The same thing is now happening with cable delivery and our back-end systems, which shifts the technology required to continue to deliver cable advertising. This is the direction of technology that will both simplify our processes and will open the door to a lot of other pathways, applications, and products for us and our customers.
Addressability will allow us to target our TV advertising to a single household. Usually, we provide one commercial across several households on live TV, but this new targeting opens the door to have opportunities where each individual home will see a tailored advertisement, even though they may be watching the same station or network as their neighbor. This is big news for our clients, who will be able to improve how they reach customers through television.
Wow! There’s so much happening across the organization, both for us and our clients. How is Cox Media innovating the technology space?
In addition to streamlining and automating our processes, we’re making these changes scalable and reusable so that we have a whole component structure that we can use to build future applications.
Since I’ve been in my role, we have submitted our applications over to the Technology Association of Georgia. We have placed in the Top 40 for the Technology Association of Georgia for the work that we’re doing across our applications and how we are building out a space where we have a lot of reusable components to use across applications. We are striving to be innovators in advertising technology, and we strive to make sure that we’re giving our teams the technology the industry requires to move forward.
So this is the last question that I ask everyone: If there was something that you want Cox Media clients to know, what would it be?
I want our clients to know that everyone across Cox Media is working to provide the best experience and the best products for them. We’re ensuring our internal processes are working to create the best environment so that they can get what they want and get their message across to their customers.
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