The movement to make your data earn money

Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc., and other tech giants offer us free internet services. And every time we use these services (in fact, Google tracks us even when we are not consciously using it), they collect data about us. From basic demographics to our secret desires, from our movements to our objects of hatred. It’s a boundless ocean of data about us that is fed to the artificial intelligence (AI) programs lurking behind these services. These are the most powerful surveillance machines the world has ever seen, which know a lot about what we are doing at any moment as long as we are carrying a smartphone.

Your data is crunched along with data from millions of other users so that the algorithms can learn and generate enormous profits for the companies. These are earned through what is still called “advertising”, but should possibly be called “behaviour manipulation”. Because Facebook not only knows to a great degree of precision whether you are the right person to be served a particular advertisement, but can also judge with some accuracy when should the ad appear on your wall, based on your past behaviour—maybe four seconds after you have “liked” a cat video, or violently disagreed with someone on the Sabarimala issue.

Now, consider the AI revolution that is supposed to engulf our lives in the near future. Many professions are already facing extinction. But more than “artificial intelligence”, AI is “collective intelligence”.

AI algorithms are not created in a flash of inspiration by genius programmers. The process works thus: enormous amounts of human data is collected (Big Data), and through machine learning, algorithms are created to fit the data. As more and more data comes in, through adaptive feedback, the algorithms become more and more accurate.

Data creates profits

It is the data—which we give away for free—that is the core of the vast profits of the world’s most valuable companies. Facebook, for example, pays only 1% of its value to its workers (programmers), because the rest of its work it gets free from us (Walmart pays 40% of its value in wages).

So, a small number of smart people become extraordinarily wealthy and the rest don’t get anywhere.

However, a few visionaries have been trying to introduce a radical new concept—“Data as Labour (DaL)”—that will make for a far more economically fair society in the digital age. The idea was first mooted by virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier in his 2013 book Who Owns The Future?

In other words, we should get paid for the data that we provide these companies because that is the real source of their profits. Hence, our online interactions are “work”. For instance, how would Google ever be able to direct us to our destinations without collecting data from the smartphones of millions of car drivers and passengers?

The tech companies today treat data as capital, which comes to them at no cost. Think of a company that is building nursing robots, which could become a reality sooner than we think. To create these robots, the company will collect huge amounts of data on how efficiently human nurses go about their work. The irony is that these robots will ultimately replace these nurses and take away their livelihoods because now they have ingested and been programmed with all the data these humans have generated—for free.

Or consider the Google translation software. It constantly searches the internet for translation work being carried out in the public sphere; captures that data; and the algorithms use that data to produce more accurate results.

Facebook pays only 1% of its value to its programmers, the rest of its work it gets free from us. Walmart pays 40% of its value in wages

Languages are living entities, changing over time, with new words, expressions, idioms and slangs being added ever so often. Google is constantly monitoring all this activity and making its translation function more and more precise. There may come a day when professional translators will be put out of business by Google, which has developed its expertise by gorging—without any cost—on all the data that these people have been generating. Should not the translators have been paid?

Throughout human history, profession after profession has become obsolete due to technological progress. But usually, this has meant people upgrading their skills and getting better-paying jobs. When horse carriages were replaced by automobiles, carriage drivers became car drivers. In the print media, when the job of the cut-paste artist became defunct, he quickly learnt page-making software. But in the coming revolution, all of us can hardly become AI programmers. There will be massive job losses and possibly social unrest.

Users are generally unaware of the riches that they are creating for the tech titans through their online interactions. But there is a massive transfer of wealth taking place in our economies that may lead to a disturbingly inegalitarian future.

Siren servers

In the early days of the growth of the internet, when the idealists were in charge, there came to be some sort of a consensus that the internet would be a medium for free exchange of information and ideas. So how would the firms make money?

Entrepreneurs turned to the advertising model. And advertising needed targeting of consumers. The result was that a few clever people built what Lanier calls “siren servers”, gigantic computational facilities that could out-compute anything else on earth. This led to enormous user bases which used the services for free in exchange for their data. These firms became monopsonies (a market situation in which buyers are few and sellers are many) whose interests, by definitions, lie in keeping prices low—in this case, the price of data, on which they could build their empires.

In the last few years, there has been growing awareness of the user’s rights to his data, though principally through the data privacy route. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations, which came into effect in May this year, give people extensive rights to check, download, and even delete personal data held by companies. That is a beginning.

Competition could be another way forward. If other tech giants like Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., and Inc., which use some free data but are far behind Google and Facebook on this, and also on the AI front, start paying, it could force the Big Two to follow. Google already outsources work like testing the efficacy of its searches to more than 10,000 human beings (and pays them), but had been trying to keep it a secret.

Data as labour could even help tech giants. As AI grows more advanced, it will require better data, which people may provide if they get paid

A third way could be if data labourers unionised and could collectively bargain with these companies. No individual has any bargaining power, but a union that can filter access to user data could possibly call a powerful strike.

As Lanier et al write: “Such a union could be an access gateway, making a strike easy to enforce. On a social network, where users would be pressured by friends not to break a strike, this might be particularly effective. A union could also be useful in certifying data quality and guiding users to develop their earning potential.”

The first such union was launched in the Netherlands in May this year—Datavakbon or Data Labour Union. It hopes to elect leaders to directly negotiate with Google and Facebook over what they do with users’ data.

According to Reuters, “volunteers are working on tools to make it possible for the union to organize a ‘strike’, which would involve temporarily depriving the companies of some of the most valuable information they sell to advertisers, such as location data. Possible demands could include payment for the data that users supply to the companies; more information about how the data is used; and a direct channel for communicating grievances.” Membership is free.

But how do you price data as labour? The first hurdle is that the concept blurs the boundaries between work and leisure. After all, much of the data the monopsonies are glutting on is produced during consumption rather than any dedicated activity. This will require a great amount of economic and technical sophistication.

However, the production function for AI may not be too difficult to measure because the relevant machine learning algorithms and their performance at different times and with different data sets are usually well-documented, at least within the companies. Research is already on to determine the marginal effect of new data on predictions, though there are several conceptual and technical questions that still need to be worked out. This could be very useful for valuing data.

Win-Win for all

The funny thing is that Data as Labour could even help the tech titans in the long term, though in the short run, their profits will be squeezed. As AI grows more advanced, it will require more and better data.

Right now, through their surveillance, companies get mostly random data. As AI services get more sophisticated, algorithms will need to be fed a higher-quality diet of digital information, which people may only provide if they get paid.

In a recent book, Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy For A Just Society, Glen Weyl, an economist at Yale University, and Eric Posner of the University of Chicago, write: “Appropriate technological systems have to be developed for tracing and tracking the value created by individual users. These systems would have to balance a number of competing concerns.

On the one hand, they should try to measure which individual user is responsible for what data contributions, especially when these contributions are disproportionately large, and/or these individuals would be unlikely to supply or invest in this unique data that make these exceptional contributions unless they are monetarily incentivized. Creators of valuable entertainments, experts in obscure languages who can aid computer translators, specialized masters of video games who can help teach computers to play them expertly in multiplayer settings, these are unique skills worthy of exceptional rewards. On the other hand, tracking every detail of the ordinary use of a Facebook post would be overkill, and certain classes of data should be ‘commoditized’ and paid an ‘average price’ based on meeting basic quality standards.”

Maybe all this seems somewhat far-fetched. But the times we live in today, the things we do, what we see around us, would have seemed utterly incredible even 30 years ago. Google is only 20 years old and it’s already possibly the most powerful company on earth. Facebook was set up in 2004. Things can change very fast.

Sandipan Deb is a former editor of The Financial Express, and founder-editor of Open and Swarajya magazines.

Magic of Equinix: On the Edge of a global revolution

Data Economy is proud to run for the first time the “Americas 50”, showcasing the 50 personalities who are leading data centres, cloud, edge computing and data through charting new innovations or technological breakthroughs, sheer investment or business acumen, or exceptional entrepreneurial skillsets.

Andy Jassy


American businessman Andy Jassy heads the world’s largest public cloud provider, Amazon Web Services. A graduate from Harvard Business School, Jassy first joined Amazon in 1997, just three years after the company was created. He has been the CEO of AWS since 2016 and has led the expansion of the cloud computing business in and out of the USA.

Antonio Neri

President & CEO – HPE

Antonio Neri has been with HPE for 23 years having been appointed CEO in 2017 following Meg Whitman’s resignation. He is responsible for the development and delivery of enterprise technology solutions and services that make Hybrid IT simple and power the Intelligent Edge. Neri graduated from Escuela Nacional de Educación Técnica in Argentina and attended the Universidad Tecnólogica Nacional. He is also a Professor of Drawing and Painting.

Aaron Levie

CEO, Co-founder & Chairman – Box

Aaron Levie launched Box in 2005 with CFO and co-founder Dylan Smith. He is the visionary behind the Box product and platform strategy. Levie leads the company in its mission to transform the way people and businesses work so that they can achieve their greatest ambitions. He has served on the board of directors since April 2005. The executive attended the University of Southern California from 2003 to 2005 before leaving to found Box.

Bill Stein

CEO – Digital Realty

Bill Stein has over 30 years of leadership experience at a wide variety of companies. Before joining Digital Realty in 2004, he was, for example, with GI Partners, Digital Realty’s predecessor private equity fund. Prior to being named CEO in 2014, Stein served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer. The CEO also serves on the executive board of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and is a member of the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics (FCREUE) Policy Advisory Board. Stein has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Science degree with Distinction from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Bill Fathers

Chairman & CEO – Cologix

Over the past 20 years, Father has held a variety of executive leadership positions in the global communications sector across data centres, cloud services and software. In addition, he has served as a Senior Operating Partner responsible for communications infrastructure investments at Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm specialising in North American infrastructure and the majority equity holder in Cologix. Fathers currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cologix and euNetworks.

Bill McDermott


McDermott leads SAP’s strong team of over 93,000 staff across the globe. He joined the company in 2002 and was appointed to the board in 2008 with the current term expiring in 2021. Since becoming CEO in 2010, McDermott’s innovation-led strategy for SAP has resulted in expansive increases in customers, total revenue, market value, and profitable growth. He resides in Germany, the United States, and, most frequently, at 39,000 feet.

Brian Stevens

CTO – Google Cloud

Brian Stevens is Vice President of Cloud Platforms, where he is responsible for leading product management of Google Cloud Platform. Brian joined Google from Red Hat, where he was Executive Vice President and CTO. Joining Red Hat in 2001, Brian helped guide Red Hat into the enterprise, with his responsibility for worldwide engineering spanning Linux, virtualization, storage, middleware and cloud. Brian began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation, where he was a developer on the first commercial release of the X Windows System.

Chris Torto

CEO – Ascenty (Digital Realty)

Chris Torto founded Ascenty Data Centers & Telecommunications to focus on the growing need for Internet Infrastructure in Brazil and Latine America. The company was sold to Digital Realty for $1.8bn in 2018. Prior to Ascenty, Torto was the founder and CEO of Vivax, the second largest cable TV company in Brazil. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maine and an MBA from Harvard University.

Chris Downie

CEO – Flexential

Chris Downie leads Flexential with deep expertise in the economics, delivery and operations of the data centre and hybrid cloud businesses. He is responsible for setting and managing the strategic priorities that drive profitable growth. He joined the company in 2016. Prior to Flexential, Downie was the CEO of Telx Holdings. He has over 25 years of combined executive leadership experience in finance and operations. Downie holds a B.A. degree in History from Dartmouth College as well as a M.B.A. degree

in International Business from New York University.

Chris Crosby

CEO – Compass Datacenters

Chris Crosby is a recognised visionary and leader in the data centre space and has served as founder and CEO of Compass Datacenters since 2011. He has over 25 years of technology experience and over 15 years of real estate and investment experience. Previously, Crosby served as a senior executive and founding member of Digital Realty Trust. He was also Senior Vice President at Digital Realty Trust. Crosby received a B.S. degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dan Caruso

Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO – Zayo

Dan Caruso, avid investor, is the chairman and CEO of Zayo Group Holdings and as a founder of the business in 2007, he has led the company from startup to IPO. Today, Zayo serves more than 8,900 carrier, content and enterprise customers and generates $2.6B in annualized revenue.

Dave Crowley

Senior Director of Global Network Acquisition Group – Microsoft

Dave Crowley is a Microsoft Executive with a history of leading strategic teams and adept contract negotiations to include network infrastructure (Terrestrial/Submarine Cable Systems, Metro/Long Haul Dark Fiber, Lit Services), content distribution networks, data centre relations and design, as well as internet peering/transit. He is highly regarded by partners, customers and executive teams as a creative problem solver, skilled leader, key adviser and astute business development strategy leader.

Diane Greene

CEO – Google Cloud

Diane Greene is one of the most accomplished North American executives and investors having founded giant cloud software company VMware in 1998, where she served as CEO until 2008. She joined the Google board of directors in 2012 and in 2015 she was named SVP of the cloud business. Greene received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont, a master’s degree in Naval Architecture from MIT, and a second master’s degree, in Computer Science, from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dianne Marsh

Director of Engineering – Netflix

Netflix is one of the world’s fastest growing data consumption websites with infrastructure expansion constantly needed to keep up with rapidly growing demand. Marsh is the company’s director of engineering and leads a team responsible for tools and systems used for continuous integration, delivery, and deployment to the AWS cloud by nearly all engineers in the company. She

holds a master of science degree in computer science from Michigan Technological University.

Ellen Rubin

Co-Founder & CEO – ClearSky Data

Rubin is an experienced entrepreneur with a proven track record in leading strategy, market positioning and go-to-market for fast-growing companies. Most recently she was co-founder of CloudSwitch, a cloud enablement software company that was successfully acquired by Verizon in 2011. She began her career as a marketing strategy consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard College.

Gary Wojtaszek

President & CEO – CyrusOne

Gary Wojtaszek is the president and chief executive officer of CyrusOne since 2012, a global highgrowth REIT specializing in engineering, building and managing massive data centre properties. His career spans to over 20 years, having also served as CFO of Cincinnati Bell. Wojtaszek holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and History from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree in Finance and Accounting from Columbia University. He also has an MBA from Columbia University.

Hans Vestberg

CEO – Verizon Communications

Vestberg is one of the Nordics greatest ecutive weapons that took the US by storm having been named CEO of Verizon in August 2018. Previously, he served as Verizon’s CTO and president of Global Networks. Before joining Verizon in April 2017, Vestberg served for six years as president and CEO of Ericsson, a company he joined in 1991. Vestberg earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Uppsala.

Jason Hoffman

President, CEO & Chair of the Board of Directors – MobiledgeX

Hoffman is considered one the architects of large-scale cloud computing, having led the development of container technologies, asynchronous, high concurrency runtimes, and converged server, storage, and networking systems. For over a decade, he was CTO and Founder of pioneering IaaS and software provider Joyent (now owned by Samsung). Most recently, he was CTO for Digital Services at Ericsson, where he led a 30,000-person unit responsible for the company’s multinational cloud and data centre infrastructure business.

Jeff Storey

CEO – CenturyLink

Jeff Storey is President and CEO of CenturyLink and most recently served as President and COO of CenturyLink and, prior to that, was CEO of Level 3 Communications. He has held numerous leadership positions in his 30-year career, including serving as President and CEO of WilTel Communications and

President of Leucadia Telecommunications Group. Storey holds an undergraduate degree in Physics and Mathematics from Northeastern State University and a Master’s Degree in Telecommunications from Southern Methodist University.

Jerald Kent

Chairman & CEO – TierPoint

Kent is a recognized entrepreneur and trailblazer in the telecommunications and technology industries with an outstanding track record for customer service and delivering superior returns for investors. Prior to assuming the role of TierPoint’s CEO, he served as its chairman. He also serves as CEO of Cequel III, which he co-founded in January 2002.

José Duarte

President – Vmware Brazil

José Duarte has been working in the technology sector for 25 years and before joining VMware he worked for Telecom Itália’s subsidiary TIM for 13 years. He graduated from UNESA in computational science and underwent a master’s in business management with the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), including an MIT extension for “Driving Strategic Innovation – Achieving High

Performance Throughout the Value Chain”. He is now responsible for driving VMware’s business in one of the fastest growing markets in the Americas.

Manuel D. Medina

CEO – Cyxtera Technologies

Manuel D. Medina, serves as the CEO at Cyxtera Technologies and he is also the Founder and Managing Partner of Medina Capital. Medina has more than 30 years of experience as a highly successful businessman with expertise in areas including technology, finance, international business, and government contracting. He has a track record of successfully raising funds across the entire capital structure during periods of rapid change in the macroeconomic environment and raised over $1bn for companies, significantly increasing value and providing growth to enterprises through all types of economic climates.

Marc Benioff

Chairman & CEO – Salesforce

A pioneer of cloud computing, Benioff founded Salesforce in 1999, which is now a Fortune 500 company with more than 30,000 employees. He has received numerous industry recognitions for his work including by Forbes, Fortune and Harvard Business Review. He is a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Board of Trustees. Before launching Salesforce, Benioff spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, where he was the youngest vice president in company history. He holds B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. In 2014, USC awarded Benioff an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Mark Collier

COO – OpenStack Foundation

Collier has spent his career working on technologies that disrupt industries, from “a computer on every desk”, when he worked at Dell in the 90’s as a product manager, to the digital music shift as Senior Director of Business Development at Yahoo! Music, to the cloud computing era, where as VP of Business Development at Rackspace he led the effort to embrace an open source development model and build an ecosystem and community around it, resulting in the founding of OpenStack in 2010. In 2012, he started the OpenStack Foundation, along with Jonathan Bryce.

Mark Russinovich

CTO – Microsoft Azure

Spanish-born Mark Russinovich is Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s global enterprise-grade cloud platform. Mark is a widely recognised expert in distributed systems and operating systems. He co-founded Winternals Software and joined Microsoft in 2006 when it was acquired. He is the primary author of the Sysinternals tools and website, which include dozens of popular Windows administration and diagnostic utilities.

Mark Hurd

CEO – Oracle

Hurd joined Oracle in 2010, bringing more than 30 years of technology industry leadership, computer hardware expertise, and executive management experience to his role with the company. He manages corporate direction and strategy at Oracle, facilitating company activity in consulting, sales, marketing, alliances and channels, and support. Previously, Hurd served as chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president of HP. Hurd graduated from Baylor University in 1979, earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Michael Seton

CEO – Carter Validus

Drawing upon his 20 years of real estate finance and investment finance experience, Michael A. Seton believes in challenging the status quo and specializes in identifying untapped potential. At Carter, Seton is responsible for all strategic and day-to-day activities of the Advisors, including acquisitions, capital market activities, asset management and operations across the portfolio which includes data centre properties. Carter Validus is behind the creation of Digital Realty. Seton received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University.

Michael Dorrell

Co-Founder, Co-Chairman & Co-CEO – Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners

Dorrell is a Co-Founder, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and has been involved in all phases of the firm’s development since its founding in 2011. He has 20 years of experience investing in infrastructure, and prior to forming Stonepeak was a Senior MD in Private Equity and co-head of the infrastructure investment group at Blackstone. Dorrell has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce, both from the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Michelle Zatlyn

Co-founder & COO – CloudFare

Canadian entrepreneur Michelle Zatlyn moved to the US with the idea of studying chemistry and later received an MBA from Harvard Business School. Before founding CloudFare with two other business partners in 2009, the executive worked for Toshiba, Google and launched two other startups. Today, CloudFare, a web performance and internet security unicorn, is one of Silicon Valley’s biggest cloud successes with a valuation of $1bn.

Miles Loo, Jr

EVP – Newmark Knight Frank

Loo is well recognized in the industry as a leading appraiser of data centre properties in North America. His experience includes advising private equity funds, institutional investors, large pension funds, Fortune 500 companies, cloud companies and Global IT conglomerates on investments in every type of data centre, including mission critical disaster recovery data centres; colocation facilities, carrier hotels, internet gateways and life science properties throughout the North American, APAC and EMEA regions comprising more than 55.0 million square feet of rentable space and 25.0 million square feet of technical/raised floor space. He joined Newmark Knight Frank’s Valuation & Advisory in 2017 in the Downtown Los Angeles office, where he serves as executive vice president and is global lead, Valuation & Advisory, for NKF’s Data Center Solutions Group.

Nancy Pearson

CMO – ION Investment Group

A global leader and executive in technology for over 20 years, Pearson excels in delivering results, creating new business opportunities and establishing strong brands to help drive digital transformation. She has been responsible for the integration of over 38 software acquisitions, and is an expert and industry speaker on cloud computing, cognitive business and digital disruption. She has helped launch many early-stage strategic solutions into globally recognized brands including Linux, Watson, IBM Cloud, WebSphere, Tivoli and others. Pearson holds a B.A. in psychology/human relations from Pace University, an M.S. in adult education/human resource development from Fordham University and an M.M. in market management from the Columbia Business School.

Nelson A. Weinstein

VP & Chief Accounting Officer – 365 Data Centers

Weinstein has over 25 years of senior financial executive experience in a range of industries including manufacturing, defence, construction and software related consulting. He has many years of experience as a CFO in private equity portfolio companies including a Carlyle company. Before joining 365 Data Centers, he was CFO of Torrent Resources, Inc. His core skills include administration of legal matters, human resources and risk management. He has also successfully managed large recapitalisations and merger and acquisition transactions. Weinstein received a Bachelor of Science in Business from New York University.

Paul Szurek

President & CEO – CoreSite

Paul E. Szurek has served as President and CEO of CoreSite since September 2016 and as a CoreSite director since September 2010. Prior to joining CoreSite he served as Chief Financial Officer of Biltmore Farms, LLC. Szurek has previously served as CFO of Security Capital Group Incorporated, a publicly traded real estate investment, development and operating company with extensive REIT engagement. Szurek received a J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in Government, magna cum laude, from the University of Texas at Austin.

Peter van Camp

Executive Chairman -, Equinix

Peter Van Camp was appointed as Equinix’s chairman in April 2007. Prior to this position, Van Camp served as CEO and as a director since May 2000 and as president since March 2006. In addition, in December 2005, he was re-elected as chairman of the board, having previously served in that capacity from June 2001 to December 2002. From January 1997 to May 2000, . Van Camp was employed at UUNET, the Internet division of MCI (formerly known as WorldCom), where he served as president of Internet markets and as president of the Americas region. During the period from May 1995 to January 1997, Van Camp was president of Compuserve Network Services, an Internet access provider. He has proved to be a pillar of stability at Equinix and helped guide the company into becoming the world’s largest data centre operator.

Peter Hopper

Co-Founder & CEO – DH Capital, LLC

Hopper is the Co-Founder and CEO of DH Capital, LLC and has led the firm since its’ founding in 2001. During the past 15 years Peter has been central to establishing the firm as the preeminent advisory practice in the data centre, cloud and managed hosting sector where DH has advised on transactions totalling more than $10.4bn. Peter has led many of the firms’ largest M&A transactions including advising Telx in its $1.89bn sale to Digital Realty, advising Softlayer on its $450m sale to GI Partners, advising Latisys on its’ $675m sale to Zayo and advising Cervalis on its $400m sale to CyrusOne. He is a graduate of Lehigh University where he received a BS degree in Finance.

Rachel Peterson

VP, Data Center Strategy and Development – Facebook

Peterson has guided Mark Zuckerberg’s global data centre infrastructure forward for the last five years to power the world’s largest social media platform with more than 2.2 billion users. Her duties include site selection, leased data centre portfolio, energy strategy and procurement, and data centre financial reporting and management. She has been the main face at Facebook when announcing the company’s multi-billion Dollar hosting builds. Prior to joining Facebook, Peterson held a variety of roles at Google and Cisco Systems.

Randy Brouckman

CEO – EdgeConneX

Brouckman has over 30 years experience in telecommunications, software and data centres. Prior to leading EdgeConneX, Randy served as a Partner and Entrepreneur in Residence at the telecommunications Development Fund (TDF). He has served as CTO, COO and CEO at several successful public and private enterprises, including BSG Clearing Solutions, Telispark, Wireless World Solutions and Iridium. He leads today the edge computing revolution at EdgeConnex, with expansion projects across the globe. Brouckman has an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Ricardo Alário Arantes

CEO – Odata

Arantes has over 18 years of experience in the TMT sector, having led some of the most prolific Latin American companies in the sector including Intel Capital, Eccelera e Latintech Capital. At Intel, he took to the role of director and was directly involved in over 30 transactions across telecommunications, media and IT in LATAM. He leads today Brazil’s Odata, a leading data centre player who has also partnered with American CyrusOne. Arantes has an MBA in Public Administration from the Kellogg School of Management.

Richard D. Celder, Jr

President & CEO – GTT

“Rick” D. Calder, Jr. is GTT’s president and CEO, appointed by GTT’s board of directors effective May 2007. He has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications arena. In his role, Calder has full strategic and operational responsibility for the company and also serves as a director on the company’s board of directors. He has led the company through much of its expansion and has become a crucial part of the board in pushing GTT into the edge computing era and helping to connect thousands of people and businesses worldwide. He received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Yale University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Rick Magnuson

Founder & Executive Managing Director – GI Partners

Magnuson founded GI Partners in 2001. He is also the co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Digital Realty Trust. Magnuson has investment responsibilities for, and currently serves on the boards of Flexential, Far Niente Wine Estates, and CenterPoint Properties Trust. He previously served on the boards of Duckhorn Wine Company, SoftLayer Technologies, STAG Industrial, Waypoint Homes, The Linc Group, Sunset Gower Studios, ViaWest, as well as Glenborough Realty Trust. He is a charter member of the San Francisco Bay YPO chapter and an active member of the Hoover Institution at Stanford.

Rob Roy

Founder & CEO – Switch

Rob Roy is a recognised world leader in data centre ecosystem design, development, and mission critical operations. In the year 2000, with a background in business leadership, engineering, commercial development and technology, Roy converged his areas of expertise to create Switch in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since founding Switch, inventrepreneur Rob Roy has transformed the way data centre ecosystems are engineered and utilized. As the chief inventor and designer of Switch data centre facilities and their technology solutions platforms, Rob Roy is widely considered the data centre industry’s most successful technology entrepreneur. He owns more than 500 issued and pending patent claims for data centre systems, designs, and related industry technologies.

Rocky Bullock

CEO – Open Compute Project Foundation

Bullock offers more than 40 years of experience in the technology industry, with expertise in professional services, systems integration, product design, new product introductions, technology development, sales, operations, manufacturing and logistics. He has held executive and senior manager positions at Dell, IBM, Digital Equipment, Pitney Bowes, Arvato, Quanta, Gateway, Sony OIA as well as several start-up and growth companies. Bullock earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and has served as CFO of OCP since early 2012 and was named as CEO in 2015.

Russell Reeder


A veteran technologist and chief executive to software and cloud businesses with more than 25 years of experience, Russell P. Reeder joined cloud company OVH US from icitizen, where, as president, CEO and co-founder, he led the creation of a software platform to increase civic engagement. He has a history of building businesses that achieve successful exits, including acquisitions with LibreDigital to RR Donnelly and Media Temple to GoDaddy. Reeder specialises in leading high-growth, disruptive businesses that marry a customer-centric vision and strong technology innovation – ranging from his enterprise software experience at Oracle to ebooks, IPTV, and web hosting.

Sanford Robertson

Co-Founder and Partner Emeritus – Francisco Partners

Prior to founding Francisco Partners in 1999, Sandy was the founder and Chairman of Robertson, Stephens & Company, a leading technology investment bank which was formed in 1978 and sold to BankAmerica in 1998. Since the sale, he has been an active technology investor and advisor to several technology companies. Sandy was also the founder of Robertson, Coleman, Siebel & Weisel, later renamed Montgomery Securities, another prominent technology investment bank. Sandy serves on the board of directors of JustAnswer, Pain Therapeutics (PTIE) and (CRM)

Satyen Yadav

GM – IoT Devices, Edge Computing, Machine Learning at the Edge AWS

In his more than 20 years of experience, Yadav has led many business transformations with demonstrated success in identifying new opportunities, launching innovative products and services, and driving business growth. At AWS, he leads the global product, engineering, and P&L for the IoT, IIoT Devices and Edge Computing and Machine Learning at the Edge businesses.

Tim Caulfield

VC & Private Equity Advisor/CEO – Antara Group

Caulfield is a results-oriented, global business executive who thrives in challenging situations where a growth driver and turnaround architect is needed. For the last 20 years, he has been deeply involved in the field of information technology for companies providing enterprise-class data centre services (cloud and colocation) and managed services. He holds an MBA from the University of Oregon and a BA from Clark University in Worcester, MA.

Virginia Rometty

Chairman, President & CEO – IBM

Since becoming CEO in January 2012, Rometty has led IBM through the most significant transformation in its history, reinventing the company to lead in the new era of AI, blockchain, cybersecurity and quantum technologies, all delivered on IBM’s enterprise-strength cloud platform. Today, IBM is the world leader in AI and cloud computing for business, underpinned with trust and security. Rometty has a Bachelor of Science degree with high honours in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University. She also has an honorary degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

William Meaney

President & CEO – Iron Mountain

Meaney is president and CEO of Iron Mountain and serves as a director on the company’s board. He is an expert in records management, data backup and recovery, document management and more. He previously served as CEO of The Zuellig Group, a $12bn primarily business-to-business conglomerate based in China – Hong Kong S.A.R. that saw sales triple during his tenure from August 2004-March 2012. Prior to leading The Zuellig Group, Meaney spent a number of years in the airline industry. Meaney’s first career was as a CIA operations officer. He is a member of the Asia Business Council, and he holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University.

Yuval Bachar

Principal Engineer, Data Center Architectur – LinkedIn

President and Chairman of the Board, Open19 Foundation Bachar is a principal engineer in the global infrastructure and strategy team for LinkedIn, which is responsible for the company strategy for data centre architecture and implementation of the mega scale future data centres. He drives and supports the new technology development, architecture, and collaboration to support the tremendous growth in LinkedIn’s future user-base, data centres, and services provided. Prior to LinkedIn, Bachar was the leader and architect for Facebook data centre networking hardware. Bachar is a contributor to the PCI standard and several IEEE standards. He holds six approved US patents in the networking and system design areas and three Cisco pioneer awards.

Zach Nelson

President & CEO – NetSuite

Nelson is an accomplished software industry executive and visionary with more than 20 years of leadership experience. His career began with executive positions in marketing, sales, product development and business strategy at some of the most influential and innovative technology companies, including Oracle, Sun Microsystems, and McAfee. While at McAfee he helped lead the company’s expansion into the network management arena with the $1.4bn acquisition of Network General. CEO of cloud computing NetSuite since 2002, Nelson led the company’s successful IPO in 2007 and its rise from startup to a slate of over 6,600 active customers. Nelson holds B.S. and M.A. degrees from Stanford University.

The final 50 personalities listed were selected based on a range of credentials, including expertise and experience, reach and overall footprint and achievements.

This piece originally appeared in the Vol 8 – Data Economy Magazine. Read more here.

    Connecting The Dots On Paying With Connected Devices

    Black Friday looms. The holidays loom.

    Time to take stock, then, of How We Will Pay – in the retail setting, of course, the focus of our latest survey of how devices and apps will drive sales. The registers, virtual ones and real ones, are set to ring – to peal, even – like carol bells.

    Ours is an age where the consumer is connected to an average of 4.4 devices, up from 4.2 last year. The more devices, the less cash we carry, where our findings show a rather slim number of bills in the average wallet, between $10 to $50. The cash is there to tip, say 39 percent of respondents to the How We Will Pay queries, done in conjunction with Visa across 2,800 individuals.

    As many as 75 percent of consumers use connected devices to buy, because doing so is convenient, with users having made purchases across seven of 13 categories in the past week.

    Retailers would dowell to consider that retail is truly an omnichannel experience for shoppers. A little more than eight in 10 – that’s 81 percent – do indeed go the brick-and-mortar route when it comes time to make a purchase. Drill down a bit into mobile commerce, and it turns out that about a third of consumers have used an app to buy items.

    A few more tech-driven data points: About 12 percent of consumers have used voice-activated speakers to make purchases, and smartwatches trail a bit, at 4 percent. There may be hope for traction gained across commerce via the spoken word, however – 27 percent of consumers own a voice-activated device, up from 14 percent last year.

    Within that 75 percent aforementioned stat, 26 percent of respondents say they’d consider paying with contactless cards as they eye frictionless shopping experiences.

    All of this data funnels down into the segmentation of consumers into “personas.” To get a taste of who wields what, how and when to buy, consider a few of those personas. The “mainstream mobile” shopper makes up 17 percent of all consumers, and they own tablets in addition to smartphones. No other devices are part of the pantheon. They are 60 years old on average, with roughly $60,000 annually in earnings – and when they buy, 70 percent buy groceries and 43 percent buy personal care items. There also is the “super connected” consumer, who earns $96,000 yearly and has six or more devices. When these folks buy items with their devices, 80 percent buy groceries, while 67 percent buy personal care items. The data shows that 82 percent of the super-connected shoppers have made an online purchase in the past seven days.



    Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our latest Real-Time Payments Playbook:

    Axios Future

    Amazon has pulled off one of the most successful public relations coups in memory, creating more than a year of wild public suspense and — among cities — deep longing to host its next headquarters.

    • But now comes the hard part: finding 50,000 engineers, computer scientists and other skilled workers to staff complexes in two of the largest cities in the U.S. amid the tightest job market in five decades.
    • There are already more than 1 million unfilled jobs in the U.S., according to figures for September, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 34,000 of them were in the information industry, which includes tech jobs.
    • Earlier this month, the WSJ reported that China’s Foxconn, the supplier for Apple, is considering shipping in engineers from China because of the difficulty finding talent in the U.S.

    The bottom line:In its announcement today, Amazon said that attracting tech talent was a primary reason for selecting Long Island City and northern Virginia. But very few tech grads or workers anywhere in the country appear to be begging for work.

    “If your background is data analysis, you are going to get a job right out of school, and you’re probably going to do something better than Amazon.”
    — Joel Kotkin, a professor at Chapman University
    • This lack of idle talent stretches across the industry, including into management. I asked Tim Derdenger, a professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, whether many of the school’s graduates are hard-pressed to find work. “Probably not,” he said.
    • Among last year’s graduates, one-third were hired by the tech industry — led by Amazon, according to Stephen Rakas, who runs the business school’s career center.

    The critical U.S. shortage of skilled workers appears to be the leading driver for Amazon’s decision, says Michael Farren, a fellow at the Mercatus Center, a think tank at George Mason University. Ultimately, Amazon spurned larger, more lavish subsidies offered by other cities.

    • Farren tells Axios that, for secondary U.S. cities to compete for jobs, they should invest in infrastructure with broad advantage — like strong education — rather than aim at a specific company. (In a new report, Farren and co-author Anne Philpot argue that most lavish subsidies are money thrown away.)

    In fact, a principal part of Virginia’s bid was a promise to invest $1 billion in pumping out thousands of added engineering and tech graduates.

    • The money will go to build a new Virginia Tech “Innovation Campus” near Amazon’s offices. The campus will produce 750 engineering master’s degree graduates a year, plus 125 Ph.D.s. Virginia Tech will also graduate an additional 2,000 engineering undergrads.
    • But, but, but: Even absent Amazon, there is sufficient jobs demand to absorb all the added Virginia Tech engineering grads, says Tim Sands, president of the college.
    • Sands tells Axios that the school already had expansion plans, which were accelerated to win the competition for Amazon.

    What’s next: Amazon will scour the schools and attempt to poach from other companies. Kurt Heikkinen, CEO of Montage, a tech recruitment firm, said that the company will have to be flexible as to the credentials of candidates.

    • It will have to ignore whether a candidate has a specific college degree or a certain number of years of experience and instead focus on aptitude.
    • “I also suspect that not 100% of the hires will be located” in the headquarters, he said. Amazon, he said, will probably permit some of the more specialized hires to work virtually from wherever they live.

    Go deeper: Big Tech riles academia in battle for AI talent

    M. Roy Burns

    There is seemingly no end to the phenomenon that is fintech. At $57.9 billion in the first half of 2018, global venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions investments in the financial technology sector exceeded the full-year 2017 total by more than $10 billion, according to KPMG.

    Simply put, this spells opportunity for the financiers and other transaction facilitators in Institutional Investor’s fourth annual Fintech Finance 40 ranking.

    They are fervid competitors who bring to their roles different perspectives and convictions. But they are unanimous in their optimism about fintech; about being strategic, often hands-on, partners with the companies they invest in; and about the value of networks — extended ecosystems of technological, industry, and investment expertise — in advancing the sector.

    The best excel through collaboration. “Capitalize on our connections,” beckons the website of FTV Capital (see No. 5–ranked Richard Garman and Brad Bernstein). FTV has been cultivating its Global Partner Network of technology innovators and industry incumbents for 20 years. In the 12 months through September, FTV arranged more than 350 of what it calls “business development introductions” for portfolio companies.

    “We recognize that we don’t have a monopoly on great ideas,” says M. Roy Burns (No. 34) of TA Associates. Besides keeping its ears to the ground in offices around the world, the private equity firm has a dedicated strategic resource group providing operational, strategic, and tactical support to companies it invests in.

    Some firms trumpet their networking capabilities, with entrepreneurs in residence — like Accel’s Cristóbal Conde (No. 21) — and advisory boards. The “limited partner advisers” of Nyca Partners (Hans Morris, No. 9) include not only industry veterans like Conde (who is an adviser to several investment firms), but also former senior Treasury Department officials Michael Barr and Neal Wolin. Ex–Treasury Secretary and Harvard University president emeritus Lawrence Summers is an adviser to Digital Currency Group (Barry Silbert, No. 19) and to Motive Partners (Stephen Daffron and Rob Heyvaert, No. 33).

    Networking, global scope, deal flow, and sheer energy distinguish the two individuals tying for No. 1. Steven McLaughlin (also No. 1 last year), founder and chief executive of boutique investment bank Financial Technology Partners, says the firm is “on pace for another record year” — which means approximately 40 transactions at various stages of financing, up to IPOs.

    The financial services sector of General Atlantic, led by Jonathan Korngold (No. 1 two years ago), in June participated in the biggest-ever fundraising by a private company: $14 billion for Ant Financial. That was just the biggest headline maker for the growth equity firm. But partnering with General Atlantic means “access to more than capital alone,” Korngold says. One of those resources is data science and artificial intelligence expert Justin Lindsey, formerly of Bridgewater Associates and the U.S. Justice Department, who joined the firm this year as an operating partner.

    The Fintech Finance 40 ranking was compiled by Institutional Investor editors and staff, with nominations and input from industry participants and experts. The evaluation criteria include individual achievements and leadership at the respective firms; influence in the community at large; and the size, reputation, and impact of the respective funds and institutions within the financial technology industry — particularly during the current wave of fintech financing.

    The Fintech Finance 40 was compiled under the direction of Senior Contributing Editor Jeffrey Kutler. Individual profiles were written by Kutler, Research Editor Amy Whyte, and Senior Writer Julie Segal.

    HPCwire Reveals Winners of the 2018 Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards at SC18 Conference in Dallas, TX

    DALLAS, Texas, Nov. 12, 2018 — HPCwire, the leading publication for news and information for the high performance computing industry announced the winners of the 2018 HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards at the Supercomputing Conference (SC18) taking place this week in Dallas, TX. Tom Tabor, CEO of Tabor Communications Inc., unveiled the list of winners just before the opening gala reception.

    “This year is a milestone year as it marks the 30th anniversary of SC and the 15th anniversary of The HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards. These awards serve as a pillar of recognition in our community, acknowledging major achievements, outstanding leadership and innovative breakthroughs.” Said Tom Tabor CEO of Tabor Communications, publisher of HPCwire. “Receiving an HPCwire Readers’ Choice Award signifies an undeniable amount of community support as well as continued success. We are proud to acknowledge our winners this year and as always to allow our readers voices to be heard. I would like to personally congratulate each and everyone of our winners, as their awards come well deserved.”

    HPCwire has designated two categories of Awards: (1) Readers’ Choice, where winners have been determined through election by HPCwire readers, and (2) Editors’ Choice, where winners have been selected by a panel of HPCwire editors and thought leaders in HPC. The process started with an open nomination process, with voting taking place throughout the month of September. These awards are widely recognized as being among the most prestigious recognition given by the HPC community to its own each year.

    The 2018 HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Award winners are:

    Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences

    Readers’ Choice:The PSC Brain Image Library supported by NIH

    Editors’ Choice: An international team led by SDSC and UCSD used Comet, built by Dell-EMC

    Best Use of HPC in Physical Science

    Readers’ Choice: A team from Northwestern University using PSC Bridges, Intel, NVIDIA, & HPE

    Editors’ Choice: SciNet using Lenovo and Mellanox technologies.

    Best Use of HPC in Manufacturing

    Readers’ Choice:University of Birmingham with Rolls-Royce using Lenovo, SLURM, Mellanox, and IBM, supplied by OCF.

    Editors’ Choice: Dr. Lawrence Cheung and a GE Global Research team used computational fluid dynamics on Cray supercomputers

    Best Use of HPC in Energy

    Readers’ Choice:PRACE, BSC and GENCI researchers

    Editors’ Choice: Italian energy company Eni leverages HPE and NVIDIA technology

    Best Use of HPC in Automotive

    Readers’ Choice:Uber Advanced Technologies Group (UATG) used ML/DL leveraging DDN storage technology

    Editors’ Choice:Rolls-Royce Corporation, LSTC, Cray, and the NCSA

    Best Use of HPC in Entertainment

    Readers’ Choice:The Open Shading Language leverages Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512

    Editors’ Choice:University of Notre Dame Rex & Alice A. Martin Media Center use DDN SFA7700X

    Best Use of HPC in Financial Services

    Readers’ Choice:Solarflare, LDA Technologies, Penguin Computing and Xilinx claimed record-breaking tick-to-trade networking performance

    Editors’ Choice:Verne Global announces a faster, higher-capacity and lower-cost connection directly into the heart of the U.S. financial markets

    Best Use of High Performance Data Analytics

    Readers’ Choice:NASA Twins Study of spacefaring and earthbound astronaut twins, made possible by Bridges’ large-memory nodes. Using Bridges’ large-memory, HPE ProLiant DL580 nodes, each with 3TB of RAM and 80 Intel Xeon cores.

    Editors’ Choice (TIE):IBM and Stop the Traffik: IBM is working in tandem with a UK-based NGO using HPC and data analytics to fight human trafficking.


    Aerofarms and Dell Technologies create IoT/ML-driven farm

    Best Use of AI

    Readers’ Choice: CMU Libratus running on PSC Bridges using Intel Architecture and CPU’s uses AI strategic reasoning with imperfect information to improve diverse fields

    Editors’ Choice: NCSA uses deep learning on Blue Waters, featuring Cray,AMD and NVIDIA technology, to enable real time gravitational wave discovery and new physics.

    Best AI Product or Technology

    Readers’ Choice: NVIDIA Volta GPUs

    Editors’ Choice: Lenovo Intelligent Computing Orchestration (LiCO)

    Best Use of HPC in the Cloud

    Readers’ Choice:The Wellcome Sanger Institute using a private OpenStack cloud enhances IT environment necessary to sequence and assemble 100 complete human genomes per day.

    Editors’ Choice:UberCloud,Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics and Microsoft Azure helped PBBL Law with first-time HPC Cloud in winning a lawsuit against the builder of residential condominium towers.

    Best HPC in the Cloud Platform

    Readers’ Choice: Amazon Web Services

    Editors’ Choice: Rescale ScaleX multi-cloud platform

    Best HPC Server Product or Technology

    Readers’ Choice: Cray XC50 Supercomputer

    Editors’ Choice: IBM POWER9 with NVIDIA Volta

    Best HPC Programming Tool or Technology

    Readers’ Choice: Singularity

    Editors’ Choice: Singularity

    Best HPC Interconnect Product or Technology

    Readers’ Choice: Mellanox HDR 200G InfiniBand

    Editors’ Choice: Mellanox HDR 200G InfiniBand

    Best HPC Collaboration (Academia/Government/Industry)

    Readers’ Choice: Researchers at the NIH and University of Delaware, in collaboration with PSC and using the D.E. Shaw Research Anton 2 supercomputer, discover how drugs stop HIV maturation

    Editors’ Choice: The Exascale Computing Project is a collaborative effort by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to accelerate delivery of a “capable” exascale system

    Top Energy-Efficient HPC Achievement

    Readers’ Choice:ORNL‘s Summit supercomputer demonstrates 13.889 GF/watt using Green500 Level 3 Measurement Fidelity.

    Editors’ Choice: Under LRZ’s direction, Lenovo and Intel built the world’s largest non-accelerated, general-purpose supercomputer (SuperMUC-NG at LRZ)

    Top HPC-Enabled Scientific Achievement

    Readers’ Choice: One year ago NASA and HPE launched the first supercomputer into space

    Editor’s Choice: NSF’s IceCube Observatory with PSC, SDSC, Stanford University, XSEDE, and Globus find first evidence of high-energy cosmic neutrino source to pinpoint the origin of cosmic rays.

    Top Supercomputing Achievement

    Readers’ Choice:ORNL, LLNL, IBM, NVIDIA & Mellanox for the launch of Summit and Sierra (#1 and #3 world-fastest supercomputers, respectively) under the CORAL acquisition project, the first-of-its-kind collaboration between the NNSA’s ASC Program and the DOE’s Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program.

    Editors’ Choice:ORNL, LLNL, IBM, NVIDIA & Mellanox for the launch of Summit and Sierra (#1 and #3 world-fastest supercomputers, respectively) under the CORAL acquisition project, the first-of-its-kind collaboration between the NNSA’s ASC Program and the DOE’s Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program.

    Top 5 New Products or Technologies to Watch

    Readers’ Choice: NVIDIA Turing GPU


    Mellanox Quantum 2000

    Intel OPA 2.0

    Intel for Python

    Editors’ Choice: NVIDIA DGX-2

    Fujitsu A64FX Arm processor

    Mellanox HDR

    Intel OPA 2.0

    DDN A31

    Top 5 Vendors to Watch

    Readers’ Choice: NVIDIA

    AMD Intel



    Editors’ Choice: NVIDIA





    Workforce Diversity Leadership Award

    Readers’ Choice:TACC, Cambridge University, CHPC, Dell, and the Department of Science & Technology (South Africa)

    Editors’ Choice:NSF INCLUDES

    Outstanding Leadership in HPC

    Readers’ Choice (TIE): Simon McIntosh-Smith


    Irene Qualters

    Editors’ Choice: Thomas Zacharia

    Best HPC Storage Product or Technology

    Editors’ Choice (TIE): DDN ES14KX Lustre appliance


    ThinkParq BeeGFS

    More information on these awards can be found at the HPCwire website at, or on Twitter through the hashtag: #HPCwireAwards.

    About HPCwire

    HPCwire is the #1 news and information resource covering the fastest computers in the world and the people who run them. With a legacy dating back to 1986, HPCwire has enjoyed a history of world-class editorial and journalism, making it the news source of choice selected by science, technology and business professionals interested in high performance and data-intensive computing. Visit HPCwire at

    About Tabor Communications Inc.

    Tabor Communications Inc. (TCI) is a media and services company dedicated to high-end, performance computing. As publisher of a complete advanced scale computing portfolio that includes HPCwire, Datanami, Enterprise Tech, andHPCwire Japan, TCI is the market-leader in online journalism covering emerging technologies within the high-tech industry, and a services company providing events, audience insights, and other services for companies engaged in performance computing in enterprise, government, and research. More information can be found at

    Tideworks, UMIP, MIT-Panama and CMU Formalize Agreement to Strengthen Professional Technical Maritime Education

    PANAMA CITY & SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov 12, 2018–Tideworks Technology, Inc., a full-service provider of comprehensive terminal management and planning software solutions, today at the Terminal Operators Conference (TOC) Americas announced the signing of a letter of intent for academic collaboration between Tideworks, International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP), Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) of Jamaica, and Manzanillo International Terminal-Panamá, S.A. (MIT).

    The agreement among these principal organizations is to pursue their mutual interest in strengthening professional technical maritime education in the region, which plays a significant role in maritime trade. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) ranked Panamá-Colón as the number one port and Jamaica as the number eight port in Latin America and the Caribbean based on container throughput. This initiative will further solidify Panama and the Caribbean region as a logistics hub by bringing together world-class technologies, an immersive real-world environment through access to MIT and educational and training facilities.

    As part of its participation, Tideworks will donate its world-class terminal operating system (TOS) for use at the Training Center of the Americas (TCOTA) at MIT in Colón, Panama.

    The mutual accord will address several key objectives, including the development of a technical maritime training program for UMIP and CMU students; the development of degree/diploma programs and hands-on cargo planning workshops in conjunction with MIT; and the promotion of technical training scholarships in the maritime port area.

    “The cooperative development of diploma programs and highly focused workshops, along with the availability of technical-training scholarships, will represent a significant contribution to the advanced learning of our university students,” explained UMIP rector, Aládar Rodríguez. “We believe this level of access to real-world terminal operations and the integration with hands-on TOS exposure will provide an unparalleled experience for professional development and training.”

    “As a strong partner in this region, we have an interest in continuing to innovate, develop and contribute to maritime education,” said Thomas (TJ) Rucker, president of Tideworks. “We are excited to provide access to our terminal operating solutions and TCOTA for the purpose of academic training in the area of port logistics, planning and execution of maritime terminal operations.”

    The letter of cooperation and the ensuing agreement will provide a significant impetus for maritime education. “We are proud to be part of this effort,” said Carlos Urriola, president of SSA International representing MIT, “and very much look forward to working toward its success.”

    “This partnership will greatly strengthen the educational opportunities in the region for port operations,” said Erica Simmons, executive director of CMU. “We look forward to working together to develop innovative technical training programs for national and international participants.”

    A ceremonial letter signing will take place at TOC Americas, Tue., Nov. 13, 2018, at the Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis, in Panama.

    Juan Carlos Croston, president of Caribbean Shipping Association and vice president of marketing and corporate affairs for MIT and esteemed guest and Minister of Maritime Affairs of the Panama Maritime Association, Mr. Jorge Barakat, will be in attendance to witness this historic event.

    About Tideworks Technology

    Tideworks is a full-service provider of comprehensive terminal management and planning software solutions for marine and intermodal terminal operators worldwide. The company helps more than 120 facilities run their operations more efficiently and profitably. From optimized equipment utilization to faster turn times, Tideworks works at every step of terminal operations to maximize productivity and customer service. For more information about Tideworks Technology, visit

    View source version on

    CONTACT: Communiqué Public Relations

    Colleen Moffitt, +1 206-282-4923



    SOURCE: Tideworks Technology, Inc.

    Copyright Business Wire 2018.

    PUB: 11/12/2018 11:00 AM/DISC: 11/12/2018 11:01 AM

    In Good Company: DXC’s Lawrie has his ear to the digital ground

    How does a history major get to run a US$24.6 billion (S$34 billion) information technology services company?

    It is a question he has asked himself, concedes Mr Mike Lawrie, chairman, chief executive officer and president of DXC Technology, the company born of the April 2017 merger between CSC and the enterprise services division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, or HPE as it is called these days.

    While he did go to graduate school for a business degree, the history part is useful because, after all, it is all about leadership styles and how leaders dealt with the complexities of the day. Effective corporate leaders need to have a broad understanding of how the world has worked and how patterns tend to repeat themselves, he says.

    Over his four-decade-long career in business – including more than a quarter century with IBM, where he was mentored by the likes of Lou Gerstner – Mr Lawrie, who was recently named 31st on the Harvard Business Review’s list of the top 100 global CEOs, has had a ringside view of the ebbs and eddies of tech currents.

    In the 1990s, it was about the Y2K phenomenon and the tech boom. These days the world is consumed by the swift march of digital technologies, advanced analytics and bionics, the study of mechanical systems that function like living organisms. Indeed, the D and X in his company’s name, he says, stand for digital and transformation in a world where social media, robotics, drones and artificial intelligence are transforming not just companies but countries themselves.

    DXC’s birth, he says, is emblematic of the industry consolidation that is inevitable as corporations swivel to confront the new landscape. Not too long ago, the big innovations in tech services had been to move high-cost jobs to lower-cost areas, chiefly India. But, as routinised jobs become automated, that leverage is fading. Scale becomes important not only to lower unit costs but also to enable effective competition on a global basis.

    “A bigger platform would help us implement our business-partner strategy and become more important to other technology players like Microsoft, AWS, SAP and others because we are so big,” he says. “The other reason was customers needing an independent tech services firm to help them in their digital transformation journeys. It is rare that all these things line up as favourably as they did. It is still early stages, but we are very pleased with how the integration has gone.”

    This month, the company reported fiscal 2019 second-quarter net income of US$262 million, or 92 US cents a share, compared with US$256 million, or 88 US cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue declined to US$5.01 billion from US$5.45 billion in the year-ago quarter. Since Wall Street had forecast revenue of US$5.3 billion, shares dropped.

    “When we put the two companies together, we had indicated that our revenues would decline moderately for a couple of years as we integrated,” Mr Lawrie told me in a lengthy conversation that took place before the Q2 results announcement. “More importantly, some of our legacy and mainstream businesses are declining while a lot of new businesses like digital are beginning to grow rapidly.”

    He says it would be no surprise that revenues should be flat or decline for a couple of years and, while there would be no big spurt, he does see growth ahead, based on both organic growth and acquisitions. Add US$400 million to US$600 million a year and you could be looking at a US$25 billion company in five years, he says.

    Meanwhile, as he drives efficiency and cuts slack – many think HPE, particularly, had become rather wheezy in recent years – the year past has been a wrenching experience for some 30,000 staff who had lost their jobs. The most notable casualty was DXC America’s head Karan Puri, who joined the firm in January only to leave last month. Indeed, on the Glassdoor website, where employees and former employees anonymously review companies and management, there are harsh comments on Mr Lawrie.

    How does it feel when you see comments on Glassdoor such as “Hitler died and Mike Lawrie was born”?

    “To tell you the honest-to-God truth, it doesn’t bother me too much,” says the 65-year-old Mr Lawrie. “When you are in an industry and business that is constantly changing and evolving, you cannot let people that don’t want to evolve or change impact the rest of the body, because that would be the minority terrorising the majority. If I don’t do that I actually hurt far more people down the road.”

    Meanwhile, hiring for the faster-growing business areas continues and there is an attempt to reskill thousands of staff. Last year, the internal “DXC University” spent a million man hours in training, using both virtual and physical methods. Many of those courses were certification programmes of partner companies such as AWS and ServiceNow.

    DXC has some 60,000 people in Asia, two-thirds of them in India which is home to two of the six DXC digital transformation centres worldwide.

    Those staffing numbers, he says, will grow, in part because of the intellectual capital being created in the Asian region in countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam, and of course, India.

    “Asia is no longer just the back office and location for cheaper work. The number of Asian computational, informatics, analytical and data science skills entering the market in the next 10 years dwarfs those set to graduate in the US and European Union.”

    I ask about his three biggest challenges running the merged company and he begins with people, especially against the background of the skillsets required for the next generation of companies. The other is leadership: finding the managers who can conceptualise the business differently from past ways. And then, of course, is the inherent conflict of managing a side of the business that is declining while another side is growing.

    • Fast facts

    • THE CEO

      Mr Mike Lawrie is chairman, president and CEO of DXC Technology. He was ranked 31st in Harvard Business Review’s 2018 ranking of the world’s top-performing CEOs. He is 65 years old.

      Mr Lawrie was previously chairman, president and CEO of CSC. Before that, he spent 27 years with IBM, where he rose to senior vice-president and group executive, responsible for sales and distribution of all IBM products and services worldwide. From 1998 to 2001, he was general manager for IBM’s business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to that, he served as general manager of industries for IBM’s business operations in Asia-Pacific, based in Tokyo.

      His previous corporate board service has included Juniper Networks (lead director), SSA Software, Symbol Technologies, Good Technology and the NTT DoCoMo USA advisory board. Mr Lawrie holds a BA in history from Ohio University and an MBA from Drexel University.

      Mr Lawrie and his wife have a son and a daughter.


      DXC Technology, a Fortune 500 company, was formed by the merger of CSC and the enterprise services business of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). It describes itself as an “end to end IT services and solutions company”. Headquartered in Virginia, US, it has 134,000 employees. DXC reported US$24.6 billion (S$34 billion) revenue for fiscal 2018 and a return on equity of 16 per cent.

    DXC’s digital workplace solution – which links mobility and standard desktops for a new world of employee productivity and connectivity – is apparently getting traction. Recently, says Mr Lawrie, DXC implemented it for the automaker BMW’s worldwide operations, linking some 150,000 users in the first phase. Another partnership doing well is with the on-demand cloud-computing platform AWS, short for Amazon Web Services.

    Many of the CEOs I have met recently, such as Mr John Donahue, who moved from eBay to ServiceNow, and Mr Francois Locoh-Donou, who moved from Ciena to F5 Networks, seem to see their future with niche companies and I wonder if a big buffet-offering company such as DXC would have a future.

    Mr Lawrie responds that whenever technology moves to a new generation, it is inevitable that many corporate flowers such as ServiceNow and Salesforce bloom. But, ultimately, these companies have to interface with the traditional IT world.

    “The unique value proposition of DXC is that we know how to do this,” he says. “We are the largest partner of ServiceNow and Microsoft Dynamics. We integrate those two worlds. We can provide the integration that then allows the company to scale. The smaller, niche companies cannot do that.”

    DXC itself is transforming as it adjusts to the landscape.

    “We are huge users of ServiceNow, AWS and Microsoft365 and we are installing our Digital Workplace globally because we want our people to use it for the same reason we recommend these to our customers. We call ourselves ‘Client Zero’,” he says.

    Mr Donald Trump’s climb into the US presidency has come with a lot of noise about reshoring and onshoring jobs. How does that play with DXC, which has half its people overseas?

    “I wouldn’t say it has changed our business strategy but it has given us some other things to think about,” he says. “We put down a digital delivery location in New Orleans and did a deal with the state of Louisiana. We did some tax things and committed to creating jobs there.”

    The sports-loving Mr Lawrie – he cycles, hikes, runs, golfs and plays tennis, in addition to boating – says he likes to live in different parts of the US at different times of the year. He is also creating a programme at his alma mater, Drexel University, to teach graduate students some of his own learnings.

    I asked him what he had himself learnt from Mr Gerstner, the legendary CEO who turned IBM into a technology services company.

    “The most important lesson I learnt is that you cannot outsource your thinking. Often, as you go up in any industry, you tend to rely on other people to do a lot of the thinking and you become a picker and chooser of ideas. You can’t ever really do that. You have to think things through yourself.”

    10 Israeli Startups Shaping The Cities Of Tomorrow

    The 1939 “World of Tomorrow” fair in NYC presented an optimistic vision of the future which included robots, flights to outer space and automated freeway systems. A significant part of the fair was devoted to the “City of Tomorrow” which isn’t essentially different from the concept which we all talk about now as the “Smart City.” While in 1939 we could only dream of actual smart cities, they’re now starting to materialize. On the banks of Lake Ontario, a little south of downtown Toronto, an old industrial zone is earmarked to soon become one of the most advanced neighborhoods in the world, with the help of Google sister-company Sidewalk Labs.

    This new neighborhood will be the first in the world to be built “from the internet up” and will be able to run itself through the collection and monitoring of data from traffic, noise, air quality, waste and the residents’ daily habits. Cities around the world are increasingly taking on the goal of adopting smart city technologies as residents now expect the same level of service and quality from private and public entities.

    Autonomous, Self Driving, Driverless, Connected Cars with wireless icons and sensors in city life. Smart City Concept.Getty

    Israeli smart city startups are getting into the act. According to Start-Up Nation Finder, the innovation discovery platform by Israeli tech NGO Start-Up Nation Central, there are some 250 currently active smart city companies operating in Israel, many of these in the mobility sector.

    Here are ten Israeli smart city startups who have the potential to benefit residents of cities around the world.

    1. ACiiSThelps create a communications infrastructure using a city’s lampposts. Currently, installation of cameras in urban areas requires new structures as well as digging and trenching operations –all affecting traffic and quality of life. ACiiST minimizes cables and central boxes by leveraging existing infrastructure, making every lamppost an IoT asset. The company also offers diagnostic and monitoring systems from connected devices such cameras, screens, wireless internet and more.
    2. Mobility Insight develops solutions for managing transportation networks. The program uses inter-connectivity between vehicles and city infrastructure to analyze current and predicted levels of traffic, helping to regulate traffic and prevent traffic jams.
    3. ZenCity offers a data management tool for facilitating municipal decision-making. This tool uses artificial intelligence to analyze the data received through millions of interactions between residents and the municipality, including through social media and telephone hotlines.
    4. Howazit provides a communication platform that encourages hassle-free communication and conversation between citizens and their municipality services.
    5. specializes in natural language processing which provides round-the-clock automated customer service that can handle complex tasks. The AI understands voice communications, allowing municipalities to connect with citizens vocally through an application or on the municipality’s website.
    6. GreenQ provides smart solutions for monitoring and optimizing a city’s waste collection process, thereby improving quality of life in urban areas. The company’s technology monitors weight, capacity, time and location of garbage trucks, analyzes the data, and generates useful insights, allowing for optimization of waste collection processes.
    7. Hombi creates a single place from which citizens can manage every interaction connected with urban living, including but not limited to Homeowner Association related payments and notifications.
    8. My City offers a regulation and monitoring system which conducts consumer satisfaction surveys to improve municipal services. The system also allows municipalities to send messages during crises, while also offering citizens a way to send messages, pictures and videos to municipality services.
    9. Scanovate facilitates biometric identification through cell phones, enabling citizens to pay bills and even communicate by video with the municipality.
    10. The Public Knowledge Workshop is a non-profit organization whose aim is to increase transparency in the Israeli government and make government and municipal information accessible through technology, like facilitating easy access to municipal building plans without having to know the jargon of construction and planning.

    Itai Green is the founder and CEO of Innovate Israel, and one of Israel’s top practitioner of corporate open innovation, leading innovation processes by connecting global corporations with the Israeli startup community. Itai focuses on IT, consumer products, pharma, finance, travel, e-commerce, retail, banking, insurance, energy, construction-tech and IoT.

    Tech startups lack guidance to gain traction

    Tech startups lack guidance to gain traction

    KARACHI: Tech startups were seen exuding confidence over minimum viable products they thought they had developed at a two-day investment conference of incubator Nest I/O abuzz with investors, influencers and professionals on Saturday.

    They all were pulled together for matchmaking and even four of them among a litany of newbie succeeded in securing funds to gain further traction for their information technology services.

    Among them,, an online platform that offers discounted travel tickets, raised a significant $1.5 million in investment from early stage venture capital firm Chinese Gobi Partners.

    Though that was big catch in Pakistan where those who clinched this much funding could be counted on fingertips, a veteran investor hailing from Canada believed that the startup ecosystem still lacks transformation of startups into companies.

    “What I am seeing is (there is) still too much startup brain in Pakistan and not enough company brain,” Stewart Thompson, chairman of corporate finance shop Valhalla Private Capital said.

    “We have seen conference like this… with lots of people running around with their startups and they are trying to do Silicon Valley thing. They use all the language of Silicon Valley startups.”

    For him, the companies should talk about driving expenses down and about all the things that go with running a good company.

    Valhalla Private Capital has so far put over $65 million into more than 200 startups from across the world, while it has an access to about $80 to 85 million of capital that it has been injecting into startup space.

    Thompson is currently on a visit to Pakistan to find out co-investors. “We would like to work with local investors. We are meeting them for the first time.”

    The group’s official said venture capital firms coming in Pakistan will create competition.

    Lack of competition gives people with money to take 50 percent of the company or “brutally horrible debt terms”.

    “That happens when investors don’t have to compete for good deals,” he said. “So when somebody from China or somebody from Dubai come in and put capital in Pakistan it makes the local investors behave because you actually create competition among investors. That’s what helps the ecosystem.”

    Classifieds Pakwheels. com, and are some of famous foreign funds-pullers. They mainly raised funds from Asian venture capital firms.

    Thompson, who has been in number of emerging markets in the last two years, said Pakistan is actually similar to ecosystem he had been in and “that include the United States”.

    “We have same problems finding investors, finding experienced entrepreneurs who are building their second companies. We have the same problem around how do you build country properly,” he said.

    “I have met some amazing companies in Pakistan (that) look very similar to every other ecosystem I have worked in around the world.”

    The investor said it is common for startups in the emerging market to build company on revenue and find investors.

    “They can’t find the investors. They have no operational experiences and (they) learn everything on the fly,” he added.

    “Those are the people we want to invest in because they in the wars and they are still here. What they really need is advisor, mentor and access to international market. We can do that easily and then I can co-invest right beside one of the local investors already.”

    Thompson spends most of his time teaching entrepreneurs how to raise capital.

    “They don’t understand equity. They don’t understand debt,” he said. “They don’t understand the concept of an access.”

    Valhalla Private plans to bring Canadian investors to Pakistan. “We have Pakistani diasporas (who are) members of my angel group that I think would be very interested to some of the things we have seen in their own country.”

    His group has three funds, including VA Angels, which is one of Canada’s leading angel investment groups. Since 2003, it has closed 57 deals worth $28.5 million.