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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cloud Computing N Cloud Nine!

Nothing in the world makes parents happier than seeing their children make significant progress in life. When we sent our 17-year son Alok to USA to study computer science after schooling at ST. Xavier in New Delhi, we were more scared of the challenges he would face in a foreign country than being enthusiastic of the success he might achieve there. It was a great relief, therefore, when immediately on graduating from the University of San Francisco, he got a good career break with Sun Microsystems, a computer giant of the 80s and 90s. Then onwards it was a pure pleasure to watch him progress at Sun for 20+ years as Software Engineer, Principal Engineer, Chief Technologist, Director and Patent Holder for his invention of a system and method for a "debugger Run-Time-Checking for valid memory accesses for multi-threaded application programs".

We were overjoyed and overwhelmed when Alok took us to the 7th Commencement & Alumni Reception-Carnegie Mellon University - Silicon Valley Campus, where Ray Bareiss, Director of Educational Programs, presented the Dean’s Return on Education Award to Alok with the citation:

“Having worked for Sun Microsystems for 19 years, this year’s recipient of the Return on Education Award joined the Carnegie Mellon Software Management program, seeking to ‘step out of his comfort zone.’ Shortly after enrolling in the program, he was able to gain the skills and confidence to begin thinking and behaving like a leader. His actions were clearly recognized by his global peer group of 1,500 engineers at Sun, who nominated him to be Principal Engineer. But he didn’t stop there … he left Sun after nearly 21 years to start Yunteq, a software company developing key enabling technology for Cloud computing … By continuing to tell his own story of transformation to his peers, he hopes to inspire others to make similar changes in their own professional lives.”

To provide the audience with flesh and blood testimony to the strengths of the program, Bareiss turned the microphone over to one of campus’ 144 current students Alok Rishi, who would soon be graduating with an M.S. in Software Management.

“I had Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, I wasn’t particularly looking to get an MBA, but I heard about this program, which is to me like an accelerated MBA tailored for Silicon Valley, and more specifically for the software industry. It gives you a complete end to end view of conceiving a software product or technology idea, innovating it, bringing that innovation to the market, building a company out of it, and running and growing that company, with all the people dynamics and technology dynamics around it.

“But the ongoing experience was not, ‘Wait until I graduate and then apply it.’ At work, my colleagues began to see very vivid changes in me almost immediately, I was manifesting what I learned at work, in two forms: I was assuming more of a leadership role, being much more comfortable in a larger people dynamics type of way, and also I had moved away from being sort of being in a silo and spreading out to harness innovation more broadly within Sun and from the industry. So it lead to profound transformative changes within, but it also resulted in my career taking off like a hockey puck. So I progressed from Software Engineer to Senior Engineer in the last year and a half to Principal Engineer, Chief Technologist and Director at Sun. A couple of months ago, I left Sun and started my own company. Yunteq Inc. is founded with the vision of dramatically reducing the cost and complexity of enterprise IT while providing agility, through the use of policy-driven clouds to host business applications as cloud-based services.”

The founding team of Yunteq – (Yun in Chinese means Cloud) - also includes the co-founders Nakul Saraiya and Punkaj Rishi (Alok's first cousin), who are successful entrepreneurs and industry veterans with deep collective experience, and the founding engineers Nicholas Sterling and Larry Matter, who are senior software engineers of long-standing experience in large Silicon Valley computer companies. Yunteq's initial encouragement was from the industry leader Citrix, which instantly approved its orchestration software to include Yunteq amongst its Solution Advisers and Distribution Partners. But the first big order came from Carpathia Hosting, a leading provider of enterprise managed hosting and cloud services. “Carpathia evaluated many cloud solutions before selecting Yunteq,” said Jon Greaves, CTO at Carpathia Hosting. “Our goals were to marry best in breed cloud technologies with our focus on enterprise and federal customers. Yunteq provided the basis for Carpathia’s innovation of compliance and hybrid cloud solutions for commercial and federal customers.”

While enthusiastically busy with presentations to potential buyers including some of the biggest IT enterprises, Alok likes to remain on low key, realistic about his work, rather than over-optimistic - “There are however, significant challenges to overcome, before the potential gains from Cloud Computing can be fully realized. Thus, Enterprises have been slow to adopt these new technologies and paradigms. Our early stage start-up is an attempt to solve many of these technical and business challenges. We envision an IT utopia for the Enterprise – where they will return to focusing on their core business and only use IT as an enabling and efficient service. We are focused on changing the way Enterprises consume and pay for business software,” he said in an interview to an IT analyst.

Cloud Computing is, of-course, all the rage and passion for Alok. While we are anxiously awaiting and wishing rewards for his hard work in the new role as an entrepreneur, we are happy to have a wonderful and caring son and his accomplished wife, Ranjan, a big support to him in all his endeavors. With so much going on in Yunteq, no wonder with all the excitement of Cloud Computing, we feel we are on cloud nine!

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