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Inside Teradici: Getting to know Randy Groves, our Chief Technology Officer

October, 7 2016
Teradici

Teradici is the creator of the PCoIP remoting protocol technology and Cloud Access Software, the leading solution for a cloud-ready future. The company, founded in 2004, is focused on its core mission of seamless delivery of workstations and applications for end-users.

Inside Teradici is a series that provides insights and musings from the company’s leadership team. In this installment, we chat with Teradici CTO, Randy Groves.

1. When did you join Teradici and why?

The founders of Teradici presented their business plan to us when I was CTO at Dell back in 2003. This was in the middle of rapid growth of virtualized servers and we had just had an internal discussion about whether virtual desktops might take a similar path. We realized that Teradici was proposing a critical piece of technology that would enable that transition to happen. So, I joined the Teradici Board when the company was founded in 2004. I switched to full-time CTO in 2007 as Teradici began working on the virtualized version of their silicon devices now known as Tera2. In 2008, VMware licensed our technology and brought that initial vision into reality.

2. What is your favorite part about your role?

My favorite part of my job is getting the opportunity to educate our customers and partners on our unique technology and solutions. 

3. Which technology trend, either consumer or enterprise, do you find the most interesting or promising?

I am fascinated by one major technology trend finally coming to an end within the next 10 years: “Moore’s Law,” which observed that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years. Technologists need to replace this trend with a new form of computing if we want to continue to make technological progress. Quantum computing is the most interesting of the alternatives. If we can figure out how to harness this, we will essentially be able to compute all possible combinations of a problem by leveraging parallel universes. That concept boggles the mind, but our sister company in Vancouver, D-Wave, is actually making good progress on turning this into a reality. 

...we will essentially be able to compute all possible combinations of a problem by leveraging parallel universes.


4. 
If you were on a desert island and could only bring one piece of technology with you, what would it be?

If solar power and satellite internet were available, I would bring a laptop to keep me interconnected and entertained. However, if I assume neither is available, most modern technological gadgets would be useless if I were staying for any length of time. So, I would opt for a satellite phone so I can call someone to rescue me.

5. If you could give your 25 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

My 25 year old self was just celebrating my second year at IBM. While the next 10 years were going to be some of the best in my career, I would advise my younger self to be less hesitant to pursue other opportunities, especially with smaller startups once IBM began to disinvest/divest of their hardware businesses in the 90s. And, if I still stuck around, I should sell all of my IBM stock options in March of 1999.

6. Teradici's Cloud Access Software is all about making cloud solutions that were previously impossible, possible. Was there a moment in your career where you thought something was impossible that you made possible? How did you go about achieving it?

In the early 90’s, IBM was still the ultimate buttoned-down culture with even engineers wearing suits and ties to work everyday while Apple was the quintessential Silicon Valley startup. Apple had made the decision that they needed to migrate their popular Macintosh product line away from the Motorola 68K line of microprocessors to a more modern RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) architecture.

The Apple executives asked that the IBM POWER architecture be evaluated as one of the options, but our sense was that the evaluation team was already pre-disposed against working with a company like IBM. The POWER microprocessors were developed at the Austin Texas lab which had developed a bit of a “rebel” culture within the company including the first lab to have an official “dress down Friday” in which jeans and other informal attire was encouraged.

The first meeting with the Apple evaluation team was scheduled on a Friday in Austin. As we prepared our sales pitch, we discussed our attire for the meeting. Since the meeting was with Apple, we decided to dress informally like we always did on Friday. When the Apple team walked into the conference room with coats and ties, the laughter from both sides was immediate. Their senior architect said, “I haven’t worn a tie in years!”

Needless to say, the coats and ties were off in no time. That moment completely reset the expectations of the Apple team about whether they could work with IBM even before we began our presentations. While a lot of negotiations and compromise remained, that first moment may have been the most important and ultimately led to a design win for what became known as the PowerPC architecture. As with most things that seem impossible at the time; planning, hard work, and a little luck are required to pull them off.

7. By the year 2020, what do you hope Teradici has accomplished?

By 2020, I want Teradici's Cloud Access Software to be the leading choice for enterprises and developers creating interactive experiences and applications from the cloud.  


 

Teradici

Teradici is the creator of the PCoIP remoting protocol technology and Cloud Access Software, the leading solution for a cloud-ready future. The company, founded in 2004, is focused on its core mission of seamless delivery of workstations and applications for end-users.