Tag Archives: google

OIC speaker interview 6: Dan Crow, CTO, Songkick

Ovum recently caught up with Dan Crow, CTO of personalised live music events database Songkick, who is speaking at Ovum Industry Congress next month in London. Here are his fascinating insights on his career to date, the status of the IT industry, and what his challenges currently are.

Dan CroweI am discussing Cloud Experiences in the Enterprise at OIC 2014. I believe that the move to the cloud is a vast opportunity that many are still struggling to fully take advantage of. I’m interested in how the experiences of smaller startups like Songkick can inform the practices of larger enterprises, and vice versa.

Ovum: From a learning experience viewpoint, what has been your most valuable lesson in your working career, or your most successful failure?

Dan Crow: The first startup I joined in Silicon Valley was a B2B intelligent search engine called Verb. I was the VP of Engineering and hired the development team from scratch. We built a strong product and had early paying customers. We attempted to raise a Series B funding round in 2001. This was in the teeth of the dotcom crash – the worst downturn in California in a generation.

We visited every VC on Sandhill Road, each one liked the business, but told us they weren’t funding anyone right then. I had to layoff the whole engineering team, people I considered friends as well as colleagues. We then sold the assets of the business to Dell. The experience was a sobering one, and made me determined that next time I would get a much better outcome for the people I worked with.

Ovum: Thinking about the conference strapline “Strategy, Technology and the art of the possible”, what tech related innovation, transformation or invention would you hope to see in your lifetime:

DC: In the last few years we have finally begun to see practical, industrial strength Artificial Intelligence being deployed. Techniques like Deep Learning appear to be a major breakthrough. But we are just starting on the journey to smart systems. AI will become widespread, some of it visible through Siri-like services, but much of it becoming a key part of enterprise systems.

Smart systems should be able to automatically understand the knowledge within disparate information systems. These systems will connect siloed data, automatically translating terminology and meaning. I expect that in 10-15 years, most ETL and data connection services will be automatically generated by AI systems and as a result big data will be cheap and commonplace in every enterprise.

Ovum: What has been the most rewarding project you worked on, and why it was rewarding?

DC: I led the engineering team that built Google Squared. This was a prototype technology that extracted billions of facts from the general web and made it available to users through a novel interface. We took a team of 10 of the best Google engineers for a year and built something extraordinary. The extraction technology we built now power’s Google Knowledge Graph, which is the next generation of search on Google. Building Google’s first web-scale semantic search engine that is now used by billions of people, is immensely satisfying.

Meet Dan at Ovum Industry Congress, 13-14 May 2014 at the Victoria Park Plaza, London. Enterprise IT professionals can claim a complimentary pass, here.

Enterprise 2020: IT for the workplace of tomorrow

The Road Ahead for the Knowledge Worker

Ovum has published a series of reports on Enterprise 2020: the workplace of tomorrow, with specific focus on the activity and status of the tech giants Citrix; Google; VMWare and Yammer. A summary of the analysis is below, and you can download all the reports, as well as the conclusive report, by completing the form here. You can find out much more about the workplace of tomorrow by attending Ovum’s Future of Work Summit (21 November, CBI Conference Centre, London). Don’t forget that enterprise end users can claim a complimentary pass for all of Ovum’s events. Don’t miss out!

“This report examines the changing nature of IT strategy and the role of the IT department as we head toward 2020. It considers the influencers and drivers of new provisioning models for enterprise applications, tools, and collaboration services, and evaluates the changing nature of the relationship between employee and employer.

While most CIOs are rightly concerned with the here-and-now, Ovum foresees disruption to traditional approaches to IT, and predicts new opportunities for IT to bring earnings growth to the enterprise. The technology decisions taken now by business and IT professionals will determine how well prepared and adapted their organizations are for the new employee and market requirements that emerge over the coming years.

A handful of vendors dominated the enterprise collaboration market through to the end of 2010, but in the past 24 months new delivery models, enterprise application genres, and devices have created a market that is wide open to fresh entrants. This analysis brings together the thoughts, opinions, and strategies of four major vendors – Google, Citrix, VMware, and Yammer – and explores how they are shaping the future of the enterprise collaboration space. We compare and contrast their differing approaches while also highlighting key areas of commonality. In the brave new world of SaaS, cloud, and consumerization, these vendors are promising to help take their enterprise customers on a journey and to be true innovation partners. For the CIO, the choice is which vendor to go along with.”

Download the reports to find out more…