SADA Systems Hires Google Cloud Solutions Director As CTO

‘Our CTO role was so important, we literally went and got possibly the best person in the world for this role, and it happened to be from Google,' says Tony Safoian, CEO of SADA Systems, a Google Premier Partner.


Google Premier Partner SADA Systems has hired a new chief technology officer from Google Cloud to help grow its professional and managed services portfolio.

The cloud technology consulting services company today announced that Miles Ward, Google Cloud’s former director and global lead for solutions, has taken the position at SADA, where he will focus on driving its cloud strategy, reinforcing its engineering culture and engaging with customers on their Google Cloud plans.

Ward said he was “geeked” to land the new role and made the job-change decision based on where he could make the biggest impact with customers.

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“There’s a coming change in the nature of what it's going to mean to support customers through their journey of modernizing technology,” Ward said. “A bunch of it is going to require way more hands-on…direct work, as they work through the problem of not only managing a single public cloud, but…mastery over technology across what we think is going to end up being called the ‘inter cloud’ -- something that sits between all of the public clouds and the private infrastructures that can be made to work the same technologies in open source like Anthos and Kubernetes. It just seems very obvious to me that you're going to require a very different level of engagement, and it's the kind of engagement that I have seen SADA do with its customers. I thought that it made sense to participate more directly and more hands-on.”

Hovig Safoian, SADA’s founder and chairman, previously held SADA’s CTO position for 18 years.

Ward’s hiring comes a month after the North Hollywood, Calif.-based SADA was named Google Cloud Global Reseller Partner of the Year for 2018 and two months after it sold its Microsoft practice to Madison, Wis.-based Core BTS to go all-in on Google Cloud. SADA was a Google launch partner n Google Apps (now G Suite) and has migrated more than 3,000 companies to Google Cloud, including Colgate-Palmolive, Hunterdon Healthcare, TVG/Betfair, Media News Group, Hackensack Meridian Health and Marriott.

SADA had been looking for a new CTO for several years, but the search was stalled by its Microsoft business divestiture. SADA CEO Tony Safoian admitted he had some hesitancy about poaching a new hire from its business partner.

“From my standpoint, you can imagine that was a very, very important thing for me to consider,” he said. “But our CTO role was so important, we literally went and got possibly the best person in the world for this role, and it happened to be from Google. I wanted to be very careful not to ruffle feathers, and Miles and I talked about it for a long time. But I would say that the tremendous benefit to Google, especially the teams that we work with – U.S. and Canada, corporate and enterprise – is that Miles and the team he is going to build here in a lot of ways will be more accessible to our customers directly in his role at SADA than in the former role, and I think people at Google are certainly excited about that.”

SADA wanted a CTO that would “help propel us into the next stratosphere with how we engage with our customers from a technology leadership standpoint,” according to Safoian.

“We wanted to attract somebody that was just highly, highly specialized in the inner workings of Google Cloud from a technology standpoint, but also from an organizational standpoint and someone who had seen and help solve some of the most complex problems that customers are actually having in real life across the portfolio of Google Cloud solutions,” Safoian said. “From that standpoint, Miles was just the absolute ideal person.”

Ward, who was a Googler for five years, founded Google Cloud’s Solutions Architecture practice and, while there, built a style-detection AI API and worked with customers including Twitter, for which he helped migrate the world’s largest Hadoop cluster to Google Cloud.

“Solutions architecture is the practice of expanding the ‘art of the possible’ on the platform when we interact with customers,” Ward said. “ We don't have a doc that tells you how to do it, and there’s no how-to guide, and no one is sure how it is you’re going to pull something like that off. So I ran the team of customer-facing engineers that work together with businesses and customers all around the world to figure out how to make things work on Google Cloud, and then we would convert that to documentation. Everything that’s on is something that somebody who worked for me wrote.”

Prior his job at Google, Ward worked for Amazon Web Services from 2010 until 2014 as senior manager, solutions architecture.