Dave Ward is the CEO of PacketFabric. Prior to joining PacketFabric, he was the chief technology officer of engineering, chief architect, and SVP at Cisco’s networking and security business where he drove innovation for the company’s entire platform, product, and solution portfolio. He led Cisco’s core innovation programs, unifying and advancing strategic co-innovation partnerships and programs with internal and external customers, partners, developers, academia, standards, and open-source groups. Ward has served on the boards of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, Advanced Imaging Society, Linux Foundation, Linux Foundation Networking, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector, Governmental Advisory boards, and the Open Networking Foundation.
How can corporations and researchers best serve the next generation?
PacketFabric was proudly co-founded in 2015 by two women executives—Jezzibell Gilmore, PacketFabric’s chief commercial officer, and Anna Claiborne, PacketFabric’s senior vice president of product and engineering. We think that it is imperative to support women in technology throughout our organization as well as the industries that we work in. To serve the next generation, our industry needs to ensure that there is diversity in technology and, especially, the telecom industry.
What new apps or technologies will be a game-changer in the next five (5) years?
In the next five years, Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) will be ubiquitous. PacketFabric is doing for networking what cloud did for compute. Cloud made compute instantly accessible via an API and UI, and available without lengthy contractual terms. PacketFabric provides network services to connect data centers, cloud, and businesses the same way. NaaS will be a universal term like cloud in the future.
Is it important for companies to continue to innovate their organization or offerings, and why?
Obviously, the successful exploitation of new ideas is crucial for companies to exist and, of course, grow. Being able to improve processes and bring new products and services to market is something I’ve always been passionate about. I’m someone who geeks out at innovation. Curiosity and innovation are the drivers of successful technology companies and I’m all in.
What value does PTC hold for you/your company?
PTC is an important organization that brings leaders together to promote information and communications technologies. Our company, PacketFabric, looks forward to the PTC Annual Conference. We enjoy getting together each January to mark the new year, share our company news, and learn about what our telecom colleagues are doing to move the industry forward. The PTC Annual Conference is filled with great people doing great work.
What important piece of information should people know about PTC?
There are so many resources available from PTC. The more you put into PTC, the more you will get out of it. Use it or lose it!
What is something that not many people know about you?
I’m a tireless advocate for the environment. I believe we can use technology to create positive solutions for the planet. I call myself a “techno-conservationist.” This work led to the production of a documentary, Save This Shark, that will premiere in September 2020 on the National Geographic Channel internationally. The theme of the documentary is on the issue of sharks versus people as well as the latest technological solutions in how to keep both humans and sharks safe to coexist. That’s where my personal focus is—developing technological solutions to help the environment.
What has been a positive outcome organizationally or individually given the current state of the world?
During a public health crisis like the one we’re all facing, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by anxiety and fear. At PacketFabric, we are doing our part to take care of our employees who have all worked remote since joining PacketFabric. PacketFabric has always been a highly-distributed global company. We have employees spanning many countries and continents—who all work remotely. We are built on virtual collaboration and remote work is the soul of our company. At the start of the pandemic, we took our efforts a step further and marshaled our resources to help organizations with additional capacity needs and/or increased network resiliency requirements. We offered our private interconnection services free of charge to all government, education, and healthcare organizations working in response to COVID-19. It’s during these trying times that we can exhibit our best selves by practicing compassion, selflessness, and patience.
PacketFabric redefines how the enterprise moves data by automating network connectivity services. Leveraging an entirely automated SDN-based network architecture and the latest in optical and packet switching technology, PacketFabric enables dynamic, real-time connectivity services between more than 170 premier colocation facilities across 26 global markets. The PacketFabric Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform delivers simple, cost-effective, and scalable network deployment via its advanced Application Program Interface (API) and web portal. PacketFabric was named one of the “10 Hottest Networking Startups in 2020” by CRN. PacketFabric investors include NantWorks and Digital Alpha Advisors. For more information, visit packetfabric.com.