Sam Marrazzo

Sam Marrazzo.

UB alumnus and co-organizer of the Blockchain Buildathon, Sam Marrazzo is a veteran IT executive and Chief Innovation Officer for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

An innovative thinker, UB alumnus and experienced IT leader, Sam Marrazzo helped create and run UB's first Blockchain Buildathon. Students and industry representatives collaborated in tackling real-case challenges using blockchain technology.

Marrazzo: Preparing for the future

Why your interest in blockchain? How important is the technology to our future? How can businesses, entrepreneurs, educators and students work together in evolving the technology? It's 2030 and you're looking back. What might you have done or changed to be better prepared in taking advantage of the technology?

Sam responds:

Because I'm fascinated with the disruptive nature of the blockchain technology. The blockchain economy will change the world we know by impacting governments, universities, companies and all aspects of our lives. We are at a tipping point in technology and in business. The technology solves so many current flaws in the current exchange of value, transactions and trusts systems, especially through the usage of smart contracts, immutability of transactions and a network of distributed ledgers to ensures a shared system of trust.

The technology ensures a digital trust economy for all! Opening a new frontier of smart contracts that may be triggered based on a user’s needs vs the needs of an intermediary like banks or third-party brokers. The future brings peer-to-peer transactions autonomy for users to transact freely between parties which will help to reduce the overall friction of the transactions while securing sensitive information from being sent to third party intermediaries and unauthorized parties. 

We all must continue to learn and embrace Blockchain. Blockchain requires an unlearning of past business processes that have been around for hundreds of years. With disruption comes steep learning curves with the adoption of the new technologies. This will require vast resources of educators, students, firms and entrepreneurs pitching in to support the move from a legacy to the future blockchain economy. The current education system will need to prepare for this new blockchain economy by offering business and technology classes to the next generation of students. This can start today through the continuation of discovering and learning offered through the University at Buffalo and taught by thought leaders like Prof. Bina Ramamurthy.

Also, by continuing to get involved in the local user groups sessions offered by Blockchain Buffalo. Start a blockchain exploratory group in your organization that can be used to discover threats and trends in the marketplace. Challenge all you’ve known in the past about current business practices and apply blockchain mythologies to your current models. Use blockchain technology to determine your business' Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and what will need to change to survive. 

I would have kept learning about the overall capabilities of the technology and how to be better prepared for the demands of the new digital trust economy. Blockchain technology is cross-cutting and will impact every part of our lives. The future potential of the technology to create new business processes and impact society are yet to be discovered. We are only getting started in learning and leveraging blockchain technology. Imagine the innovations that are yet to be discovered that will impact our world. We are merely at the beginning of a technology evolutionary cycle. The future of Blockchain is so exciting I can’t wait until 2030 to see the places we will go...

Sam Marrazzo bio

Sam Marrazzo is the Chief Innovation Officer, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC)

As Chief Innovation Officer of the BNMC, Sam Marrazzo’s focus is looking to the future. With a focus on driving economic opportunity that will position local companies for future growth, as well as to retain and attract young people to the area, Sam leads BNMC efforts to develop an innovative, reliable and secure information technology environment throughout the organization and the community.

He is responsible for developing innovation strategy and fostering collaboration with industry, education and start-ups in order to help local organizations prepare for, and capitalize on, current and future technologies. Through his role at the BNMC, Sam is helping local companies re-think their business practices and corporate cultures in order to optimize their position as innovation and technology bring significant changes throughout the economy.    

​Sam has had a broad career working in accounting and supply chain systems, logistics, sales and transportation. His career includes over 25 years in multiple information technology roles and he has worked at a number of Fortune 200 companies including Praxair, Avnet and McGraw Hill. His varied roles have included IT management and strategy, project management, architecture consulting and development practices. He has been a guest lecturer on technology for the University at Buffalo and has been instrumental in attracting and organizing technology-focused events to the area including the 2017 TopCoder Open and various hackathons and gaming competitions.

Sam holds a BA degree in Business Systems from Daemen ​College ​and an​ MBA from UB School of Management. He also served four years in the United States Navy. He currently is a board member of InfoTech WNY.