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IT Life: Sandor Palfy, LogMeIn CTO

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Sandor Palfy talks the cloud, laments Apple’s elimination of the headphone jack and dreams of a Caribbean island

What is your role and who do you work for?

Chief Technology Officer at LogMeIn

How long have you been in IT?

I’ve been working in various roles and aspects of technology for 18+ years. My roots are in backend development. Beginning my career as a software developer at Digital Equipment, I joined LogMeIn in 2004 and held all kind of engineering roles since then. I became CTO in 2014 and I’m currently responsible for the technical and business infrastructure and operations of LogMeIn.

What is your most interesting project to date?

sandor-palfy-logmein-ctoThe most interesting (and most intense) part of my job is always the first few months of creating a new product or a new major feature. Seeing customers using the very early beta versions of LogMeIn Rescue or join.me, listening to their feedback and tweaking the products almost in real-time, is very difficult to compare to anything else. 

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

Working to scale the operational strategy of a fast growing company involving thousands of people and multiple products and offices is an ongoing challenge.

What technology were you working with ten years ago?

I was probably working on the database architecture of LogMeIn Rescue, using Microsoft SQL Server.

What is your favourite technology of all time?

They are more of a set of technologies, but the platform services (PaaS) of Azure and AWS are my top favourites. I was there when Azure was first announced in 2008 and instantly new it was the future. These services unbelievably lowered the hurdle for starting a new product or a new feature, by providing all the common functionality through a set of easy-to-use and easy-to-operate services.

How will the Internet of Things affect your organisation?

It’s affecting LogMeIn in the most direct way possible, as one our latest offerings, Xively, became one of the most popular platforms IoT products are built on. Xively allows IoT device manufacturers and developers to focus on their business and customers by providing all the infrastructure and management components that normally takes years to develop. It takes care of everything from simple device-to-device or device-to-app messaging to firmware updates, analytics and support.

What smartphone do you use?

iphone 7

I use an iPhone 6 right now, and I’m in trouble as I don’t like Apple’s decision of removing the headphone jacks. I lose my headphones all the time, so I buy them in bulk and scatter them at places I’d normally go look for them; there’s always a few in my backpack, my office, pocket of my jackets and my car.

What three apps could you not live without?

When I’m on the go, I use join.me to collaborate with my team, so that’s definitely No. 1, I recently discovered the wonderful world of audiobooks through Audible (tip for commuters: audiobooks are perfect when stuck in a traffic jam). The fun one is MarineTraffic. I have a nice view of the Boston harbour from my home, and I like to know about all the ships sailing in or out.

What new technology are you most excited for a) your business and b) yourself?

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are going to change how we live, work, communicate and think. It will remove the burden of boring, repetitive tasks, allowing people to focus on high leverage activities, thinking, planning, collaborating, and hopefully spending more time with each other!

If you weren’t doing the job you do now, what would you be doing?

I’d probably run a small sailboat charter company at a small Caribbean island, captaining every now and then. I love the ocean, sailing and meeting new people, so this would be the perfect combination!

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