May 17, 2020

Data centre specialist Switch appoints new CTO

Data Centres
chief technology officer
Eddie Schutter
Jonathan Dyble
1 min
Data centre
Las Vegas-based data centre provider Switch has appointed Eddie Schutter as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

The news, first announced by Data C...

Las Vegas-based data centre provider Switch has appointed Eddie Schutter as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

The news, first announced by Data Center Knowledge, will see Schutter being named in his new role approximately eight months after he left eBay, having acted as the Head of Criticial Infrastructure Engineering at the firm for a period of over two years.

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Previous to his time at eBay, Schutter served as the Director of New Technology Product Development Engineering at AT&T, as well as having stood as the Lead Principal Technical Architect of Global Technical Space Operations at the firm prior to this.

Further, Schutter currently holds a number of other roles, such as his position on the Technical Education Advisory Board at CNet Training and his place on the Board of Infrastructure Masons.

Switch both builds and operates data centre campuses across the US. The firm raised $531mn after going public last year, becoming one of the most significant IPOs across the industry for 2017.

To date, Switch has developed more than 500 issued and pending patent claims across the data centre industry, helping to lead innovation across the sector.

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Jun 16, 2021

SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data

British Army
3 min
Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM, explains the important role that SAS is playing in the British Army’s digital transformation

SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation. 

“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.

In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”

Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.

Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”

SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”

With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.

“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”

Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.

“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”


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