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IBM Champion Spotlight: David Tan

By Namitha K posted Wed February 14, 2024 02:45 AM

  

Meet one of our new 2024 Champions, David Tan, who is the Chief Technology Officer of CrushBank Technology, Inc. Before we get into his personal and professional highlights, he would like to share his journey with IBM’s AI capabilities, especially watsonx:

“My favourite product is watsonx and I’ve been working with Watson for about 7 years now – since it was first released. I love the technology. I’m incredibly high on the opportunities and outcomes that AI delivers, and IBM is doing it better than anyone! The way we can build secure, accurate, controlled, and governed AI solutions for real business using watsonx is a revelation and a complete game-changer for me. 

We started building our product on IBM’s AI technology back in 2016, so we were very early adopters of Watson. When IBM launched Discovery, we moved our entire back-end to it and the platform took off. We have been wanting to do more to leverage generative AI for a while, but were waiting for the right engine for that – until watsonx came along!

I’m sure you don’t know much about CrushBank but it’s an automation and search platform for IT service organisations, meaning we sell to both outsourced IT companies (specifically managed service providers) and enterprise help desks. It’s critical for those companies to get access to the right information quickly and easily to deliver better service. That’s basically our mission. We use generative AI to power a ton of automation – everything from classifying and categorising new tickets to generating realistic budgets to creating easy-to-consume summaries of the incoming issue and the resolution. It’s essential that the large language models we use be secure and accurate, as well as specially trained for IT support knowledge. watsonx lets us create highly tuned models quickly and easily so we can literally spin up a new custom-tuned model for a client in days, or tweak our standard models easily as conditions change. It’s also essential that no client data ever has even a chance of going into a model without complete control, and most importantly the answers must be accurate – hallucinations would absolutely kill this service. For all these reasons and others, IBM (specifically watsonx) is the only platform we even considered using to power all this functionality as we rolled it out the last 6-12 months!”.

David is a valuable member in the community, and speaking is his favourite type of advocacy. In addition to that, he also loves writing and networking. Nevertheless, he finds most joy in taking the stage to share his story, provide training and education, or simply inspire individuals along their personal journeys. David has a profound technical experience in the industry for almost 30 years and he is very keen to give back to the community. He says; “I remember the people who helped me and who I looked up to early on, and it drives me to be like that for others. I believe deeply that giving back makes everyone better and that’s good for the tech community as a whole. I also always believe that everyone can continue to learn – and you never know who you can learn from. Being a committed part of the tech community also gives me a chance to learn from others who are doing different and unique things”.

He is very proud to share his business story, too: “Along with my business partner, we have started two companies completely from scratch. We sold one of them a few years ago; the other is the one we still run. We started the first one right out of college (when we were probably too young and naïve to know better). It was a great feeling to build up a business from nothing and sell it, and it’s been a lot of fun doing it a second time around!”

If he weren’t a part of the technology world, then probably he would have been a left-winger for the New York Rangers and eventually graduated into coaching and front-office management!

Meet David in person for his sessions at Channel Futures, Dattocon and Connetwise Evolve events. You can almost always find him on the road at MSP-specific events talking about AI in general and of course CrushBank!

Lightning round:

  • What would be your superpower and why? Flight. I hate wasting time and sitting in traffic and commuting and getting on planes and all that stuff. If I could just fly around to my destinations, life would be so much easier.
  • Ice cream or cake? Ice cream all day
  • Cats or dogs? Dogs
  • Summer or winter? I have to say summer, but I love winter activities, so I’d never want to give those up.
  • Morning or evening? Evening. I am not a morning person.
  • eBook or paper book? eBook. I don’t understand people who carry around 1 or 2 physical books when I can have 30 on my reader.
  • TV shows or movies? TV shows
  • A night out or a night in? Night out
  • Cannonball into the pool or dip a toe in first? Have to cannonball in – all or nothing in my book.
  • Go-to karaoke song? I have a few, but I have to go with the Dolly Parton classic 9 to 5. It always gets a good reaction.
  • Drive or fly? It takes more time but I love a good drive

Connect with David on LinkedIn and Community page.

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Fri March 01, 2024 08:49 PM

Congrats David!! Excellent news.