Paul Miller: A Leader with an Excellent Blend of Technical Expertise and Business Acumen

Paul Miller, Chief Technology Officer at Wind River

Today, technology is at the core of the business strategy, as it touches all parts of a business and gives it a competitive edge. Thus, the role of tech leaders has started gaining momentum.

In our endeavor to find Most Influential Leaders in Tech, we at CIO Look crossed our paths with Paul Miller, the Chief Technology Officer at Wind River, a global leader in delivering software for intelligent systems.

Paul possesses nearly three decades of telecommunications and advanced technology leadership at both large companies and successful startups. In his role, he is dedicated to creating and implementing technology strategies that drive business success for customers.

Paul started his career in hardware engineering and embedded technology, which eventually led to cloud technology, and then on to business leadership roles. With a passion for understanding technology and innovating complete solutions, Paul followed a path towards being a technologist. As a CTO, Paul is focused on driving innovation to deliver solutions and business results for customers.

Inspired by his passion and proficiency, we interviewed Paul to learn more about his journey and how Wind River is accelerating the digital transformation of critical infrastructure.

Below are the detailed insights of the interview:

Please list the solutions, services, and security that make your company stand out from the competition.

A global leader in delivering software for intelligent systems, Wind River’s technology has been powering the safest, most secure devices in the world since 1981 and is found in billions of products. Wind River software and expertise are accelerating the transformation of mission-critical intelligent systems that will increasingly demand greater compute and AI capabilities while delivering the highest levels of security, safety, and reliability.

Unique to the industry, Wind River Studio is a cloud native platform for the development, deployment, operations, and servicing of mission-critical intelligent systems from devices to cloud. It enables dramatic improvements in productivity, agility, and time-to-market, with seamless technology integration that includes far edge cloud compute, data analytics, security, 5G, and AI/ML.

Wind River has been a leader in helping customers in mission critical industries, such as aerospace and defense, automotive, medical, industrial, and telecommunications, on their journey towards an intelligent systems future. For 40 years, the company has been an industry innovator, playing key roles on the NASA Mars rovers, the world’s first successful 5G data session with Verizon, and working with Vodafone in building one of the largest Open RAN networks in the world.

As a tech leader, what is your opinion on the impact of the current pandemic on the Computer Software Industry?

The pandemic has affected the way that companies work with respect to the increase of remote workers and how to successfully support software development across, in some cases, very dispersed teams around the globe.

Fortunately, modern tools are helping to bridge some of this gap in this sort of work. However, there is still an impact of not being able to work physically together through especially complex problems or architectural work.

At the same time, in the industry overall, you have the increasing costs that are happening as a result of the pandemic. Industries are looking at the effect on customers and whether they’re willing to purchase and deploy goods and software during a time when the process has become more challenging.

In looking at the global supply chain, the impact of things like silicon chip availability, which ultimately is what our software will run on, must be considered too. If the customers are having problems obtaining hardware systems that can affect the adoption of software products. So, it’s a complex interaction of many factors: the changing nature of work, software development in the pandemic environment, and global supply chain. On top of that, we must look at the customer and see if they are willing to or can adopt new software and deploy it in the face of the pandemic. With all of these elements, it is a complex environment right now.

Wind River understands the evolving nature of work and a shifting technology landscape heading towards a more intelligent future and has developed solutions to address these challenges. Our newest offering is Wind River Studio – a cloud native platform for the development, deployment, operations, and servicing of mission-critical intelligent systems from devices to cloud.

Wind River Studio creates a highly automated environment that’s cloud based for teams to develop software. The ability to collaborate more easily across dispersed teams and team members by working in the cloud will continue to be key during and well after the pandemic.

How are you accelerating digital transformation with deep technical skills from concept to production for the customers?

Wind River has delivered something unique to the industry with Wind River Studio. As mentioned, Studio is a cloud-native platform for the development, deployment, operations, and servicing of mission-critical intelligent systems – essentially, the entire lifecycle of an intelligent system.

The growth of 5G and sophisticated AI applications and the emergence of more intelligent systems and autonomous systems deliver on the promise of IoT. Wind River Studio delivers a flexible and collaborative platform that addresses the dynamic automation needs surrounding the intelligent systems of the future, providing a complete lifecycle experience adapted for a cloud-native environment. It enables dramatic improvements in productivity, agility, and time-to-market, with seamless technology integration that includes far edge cloud compute, data analytics, security, 5G, and AI/ML.

In your opinion, what could be the future of Networking/Telecommunications? And how are you strategizing your operations for that future?

Networking/telecommunications is undergoing major changes and evolving to a software environment. Going back 10 or 15 years, networking and telecommunications was all bespoke appliances and custom hardware to solve different problems in the network. We’re now moving to a software-based paradigm.

At the edge of the network, with 5G and virtualized RAN, we’re starting to embrace virtualization, which is also laying the groundwork for applications such as autonomous vehicle control, drone control, and factory automation as software applications. So, the future of networking telecommunications is that service providers end up with a fully virtualized environment from core to edge that’s heavily software-defined and automated. It has embedded AI and machine learning throughout it to automate the management and oversight of that, and one that supports the deployment of new applications rapidly and a pure software-based domain.

At the end of this transformation, where everything that was previously bespoke hardware-based just 15-20 years ago, is now ending up in a fully software cloud-oriented architecture going forward.

As an established tech leader, what would be your advice to the entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into Computer Software Industry?

You must have a willingness to embrace innovation in order to be successful in the computer software industry. It’s important to embrace innovation but to do so in a way that follows a rigorous, objective process. Coming from a CTO perspective, this process starts with market analysis and understanding the actual customer problem, and then doing research to understand how you solve that problem. It’s important to keep the customer problem in mind and then build a vision and a solution that solves that problem and then getting sign-in from the investors and moving forward into implementation. Then in closing that loop, ensuring that you continuously check what you’re doing against that customer problem.

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