Innovation interviews: Architecting innovation with UP
POSTED : September 21, 2020
BY : Lou Powell

It’s not often that a business partnership lasts for over a decade, but that’s what happens when Union Pacific Railroad and PK made the commitment to continuously innovate end-user experiences.

In my latest Innovation Interview, I spoke with my friend Arun Giri, AVP of Platform Engineering and Enterprise Architecture at Union Pacific. As one of the largest transportation companies in the United States, Union Pacific has a complex IT management system that requires customization. When Union Pacific first approached PK to replatform their aging, monolithic system with a distributed one, they knew the risk was big. PK stood up to the challenge with our business domain expertise and strong tech skills to build out the platform.

Union Pacific’s next goal is to implement intelligent automated decision making. The company has already developed advanced physics engines, diagnostics and safety features, and many sensors. Union Pacific is currently building the tools and capabilities that will allow for is autonomous operations, with the goal of eliminating mundane tasks for their team members. This will allow them to focus on the abstract decision making required for architecting innovation.

Watch my full interview with Arun to learn more about Union Pacific’s innovation journey with PK.

Learn how we help companies transform to and sustain API programs at scale.


About the experts

A picture of Lou PowellLou Powell brings a steadfast drive for innovation to his role as partner at PK, a Google Apigee agency that was awarded a 2019 Apigee Partner of the Year distinction. At PK, he works closely with businesses to create pioneering experiences and accelerate outcomes, unlocking greater value and market leadership. He worked in advertising and digital marketing before launching his own business, Vanick Digital, which he led for 19 years before acquisition by PK. Lou is a lifelong student of technology pattern adoption and the practices of tech natives, and he brings a design-thinking approach to technology in all of his work.

A picture of Arun GiriArun Giri is an enterprise architect and a practicing software engineer with over 29 years of experience in addition to vast, “full-stack” expertise in building large-scale distributed systems. Arun has built and led several Engineering and Product teams during his 20-year tenure at Union Pacific Railroad and currently heads the Platform Engineering Group, which Builds, Owns and Operates UP’s custom-built Enterprise API Platform, which hosts over 5800 microservice APIs and handles over 2 Billion API calls a day along with various other PAAS (Architecture) products. Arun is the pioneer member of the elite “Distinguished Technologist” group at Union Pacific Railroad.

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