Gopal heads IBM’s worldwide Global Technology Services Labs. He talks to us on how the GTS Labs is all poised to drive the cognitive hybrid transformation in India and about his very own career journey at IBM. For those who want to make an impact in the Cognitive Era, Gopal has a message on #WhyIBM #GTSLabs
Gopal is an alumnus of the University of Michigan from where attained his PhD in Computer Science & Engineering in 1993. He worked at Bell Labs in New Jersey before joining IBM’s T.J Watson Research Centre in New York in 2001. Gopal is currently the worldwide leader for GTS Labs and is responsible for driving hybrid cloud solutions for clients and the development of automation, analytics, and cognitive delivery to realize IT as a Service (ITaaS).
Tell us about your career journey at IBM?
I started with TJ Watson at NY, worked as an individual researcher and later set up teams that worked on envisioning a lot of ideas that we now see delivered via IBM’s Smarter Planet and IoT offerings.
One big project that I’d like to talk about was on Electronic Chronicles [smart phones and smart IT]. It was a joint project involving many teams at IBM (intelligent search, multimedia analytics of text, speech, vision, and other sensory data, NexGen Web, pervasive computing, design, and visualization groups) and external teams from MIT, Georgia Tech and University of California. I was the overall Lead for this project. The project defined how with a mobile (with its accelerometer, camera, microphone etc.) we can capture people’s activities, the environment around and catalogue the information into intelligent chronicles at an individual level, as well as group and enterprise levels.
What got me to India was a joint assignment between GTS and Research and was driven by the fact that mobile and web technologies were creating a new revolution in emerging markets – India being at the forefront. And while I started with this new agenda in India, what eventually swept the industry was this new tsunami called “Cloud” – and so came up IBM’s Cloud Center of Excellence (CoE) – our biggest success story!
Talk to us about the high points in your career at IBM.
The leadership role at TJ Watson and the work on Steerable Interfaces, Smart Environments, Electronic Chronicles, and Self Enablement Portals gave me a huge platform to interact, influence and work with thought leaders across academia and the industry. This opportunity gave me a lot of confidence – an experience that stays with you always.
The next big high point was setting up the Cloud CoE – a group recognized as the leaders in providing cloud solutions to hundreds of clients worldwide – leading from India. The CoE comprises brilliant thought leaders and client solutions experts from the Americas, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and from across the globe; and more than half of this team is based in India – and I am so proud that we are now building the GTS labs.
We have built great credibility in the organization and amongst our huge list of clients worldwide – and the feather in the cap is that we are leading from India!
And what keeps you motivated?
My super team, technology and working with thought leaders as one global organization – have been my prime motivators and they contributed in a large way to the experience I have gained at IBM. In my current role I get to interact with CXO’s of many major companies across the world – both big & small – and being part of their transformation journeys is a huge motivating factor. I was born and grew up in India, spent about 20 years in the USA and now I am back driving the change from India – what can be more satisfying!
Why people should join IBM?
The things that motivate me, I feel would apply to anybody who is thinking about a career with IBM. At GTS Labs you get to work with thought leaders, brilliant technologists, distinguished engineers, IBM Fellows – top notch talent. Additionally, the opportunity to lead the change that is driving the industries worldwide – and doing all of that from India! I think not many companies can offer you such an opportunity, that’s #WhyIBM that’s why #GTSLabs
Connect with Gopal Pingali:
LinkedIn | https://in.linkedin.com/in/gopal-pingali