AiThority Interview with Paul Scott-Murphy, VP of Product Management, Big Data/Cloud at WANdisco
Tell us about your journey in technology and how you started at WANdisco?
My childhood coincided with the emergence of the personal computer. My father, who was a Civil Engineer by trade and was familiar with all things technical, brought home a PC – giving me my first introduction to technology. Growing up in Western Australia meant that I lived in a relatively remote environment. But, like most things with technology, particularly in the IT industry, you don’t need much in the way of resources to establish yourself, build up an interest and learn about what’s going on.
After graduating from the University of Western Australia, I worked for a variety of technology firms in Australia, when I first started working for WANdisco out of their Sydney, Australia office. I then had the opportunity to work within Product Management at their headquarters in San Ramon, CA. So I took the leap and moved to the U.S. to work there.
What is WANdisco and how does it empower businesses with real-time Cloud analytics?
WANdisco makes data transfer secure and seamless by enabling enterprises to automate the movement of huge volumes of data to the Cloud without any disruption of usual business operations. Any changes made to data sets on-site are replicated within Cloud environments consistently and at scale. The core of WANdisco’s intellectual property brings together distributed systems to enable applications or environments that would otherwise be incapable of working with one another to coordinate their activities and work toward a shared outcome.
Our LiveMigrator reduces the risk of migrating applications and data to the Cloud, particularly where those applications are at scale, using petabytes of data. LiveMigrator addresses the challenges around replicating and keeping data at scale consistent. Unlike any other product on the market, WANdisco’s solution enables organizations with access to large volumes of data to take advantage of multiple environments, and bring their data at scale to the Cloud.
In the last 5 years or so, how have Cloud environments evolved with maturing of Distributed Computing and Architecture?
There is no doubt that the Cloud is really one of the most fundamental shifts in information technology over the last decade, and it’s going to continue to be a fundamental shift and driver behind a lot of the change that we’re seeing. Jeff Bezos is famous for constantly stating “it’s still day one” and that’s the ethos within the organization. Amazon Web Services really see the emergence of the Cloud in exactly that form and rethinking legacy approaches to building IT systems, or to accommodating the scale of data that are present today is fundamentally changed when you think about the opportunities that come forward.
The emergence of the Cloud means that a lot of the things that have been done in the past can be addressed and challenged by the differences in how readily IT infrastructure can be acquired, the wealth of services and the opportunities that they bring forward to process data differently, to generate different outcomes, is really fundamentally different today than it was going back five or 10 years. And the Cloud has been a significant driver for that and shows no signs of stopping. It’s going to really change the IT industry going forward, even more so than we’ve seen it do so far.
What is the most contemporary definition of decentralized data? Tell us about the tools and technologies that form decentralized data stack for modern businesses?
Decentralized data/storage is a system of being able to store your files without having to rely on large, centralized silos of data and thus removes any single point of failure which is the main issue when comparing against centralized systems. To run a decentralized data/storage requires at its heart a consensus algorithm to coordinate changes between the distributed nodes in the data network.
What kind of skills/technical specializations are you currently hiring to lead Product and Marketing teams?
I look for candidates who are customer-centric and will keep the needs of the customer front of mind for every decision. They also need to be strategically-minded, and understand the implications and drivers for key decisions. Finally, it’s important they are detail-oriented, and can understand the impact of options that they consider.
The Crystal Gaze
What digital technology start-ups and labs are you keenly following?
I’m keeping my eye on Microsoft Research, and particularly the work done by Chris Bishop’s lab. I’m also closely following Google, including DeepMind, who contribute to vast swathes of Machine Learning research with a very practical focus. There’s the work communicated through conferences like VLDB and Usenix HotStorage which draws my attention as well.
What technologies within your industry are you interested in?
All things related to distributed systems, distributed storage, and Cloud-scale architectures. I’m also interested in the interface between Blockchain technologies and organizational needs, particularly for permissioned Blockchains. I have my attention on distributed consensus research and the ways in which practical implementations of consensus adds or avoids complexity.
What are the new emerging markets for these technology platforms?
We are absolutely at day one of these platforms, with huge opportunities for fundamental improvements in how systems, organizations, and people coordinate to shared goals. Distributed systems will continue to impact every market, in unexpected ways, and I hope can play a role in solving some of the larger challenges that we face around sustainability, creativity, and empathy.
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Mick Liubinskas, Australian startup technology evangelist extraordinaire.
Thank you, Paul! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.
Paul Scott Murphy is the VP of Product Management, Big Data/Cloud. He previously served as Regional Chief Technology Officer for TIBCO Software in Asia Pacific and Japan. Paul has a Bachelor of Science with first class honours and a Bachelor of Engineering with first class honours from the University of Western Australia.
WANdisco is the LiveData company for machine learning and AI. WANdisco solutions enable enterprises to create an environment where data is always available, accurate and protected, creating a strong backbone for their IT infrastructure and a bedrock for running consistent, accurate machine learning applications. With zero downtime and zero data loss, WANdisco Fusion keeps geographically dispersed data at any scale consistent between on-premises and cloud environments allowing businesses to operate seamlessly in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment. WANdisco has over a hundred customers and significant go-to-market partnerships with Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Oracle, and others as well as OEM relationships with IBM and Alibaba.