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How Hitachi Vantara is Skating to Where the Puck is Going

By Gajen Kandiah

Last month, I shared with you my first impressions of Hitachi Vantara’s strengths and opportunities. Today, as I mark my 90th day with the company, my optimism has only grown through the additional conversations I’ve had with analysts, partners, colleagues and clients.

For sure, our clients love Hitachi Vantara’s storage systems, and clients, analysts and partners all tell me they like the cloud, data management, analytics and consulting capabilities we have added over the past five years. However, I often hear the question: how does the sum of all the parts come together?

Another focus of my conversations has been the likely permanence of the changes COVID-19 has wrought on the way we live, work, learn and play. Many of you tell me: there is no going back.

Both areas of feedback have fueled a new sense of urgency to keep you updated on our evolving strategy and to explain how we plan to skate to where the puck is going. (Friends who know me know I am no hockey player, but Gretzky’s famous quote about positioning for the future has never seemed so apt.)

Co-Creating the Path Forward

COVID-19 has posed questions of companies they never had to answer before. They expect to co-create the answers with trusted partners, and not from scratch. They want proven solutions that can be customized for their needs, ideally delivered by a partner who can draw upon relevant technology, industry, and domain expertise.

This is precisely the type of solution provider we aim to be, with an initial focus in the following areas:

1. Solutions to Optimize Data Center Efficiency – Every client I talk to wants to spend less time and money ‘keeping the lights on’. I believe that’s why many are flocking to our flagship Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform 5000 Series, the fastest ramping product in our history. We’ve already extended many of the VSP 5000’s AI-driven automation and data deduplication and compression capabilities to our mid-market offerings. Soon we will deliver them as software, giving clients an ever-wider choice of hardware upon which to build world-class data infrastructures.

2. Solutions to Maximize Data Center Flexibility – Clients like public cloud, but they also worry about its cost, management, and data control issues. As a result, they want help cloudifying their own data centers, to enable hybrid approaches. We’re helping them do that with offerings like our recently updated Unified Compute Platform (UCP). UCP’s application at Rabobank is a great example of what we can do. We helped the bank meet rising transaction volumes by scaling up from 2,000 to 22,000 virtual machines and reduced the time it takes to stand up a server to just eight minutes. Expect us to deliver more end-to-end solutions like these, and to especially tailor them for the demands of the regulated industries we know so well.

3. Solutions to Accelerate to the Cloud – Through the acquisition of REAN Cloud we already possess outstanding capabilities in cloud native application development. Soon, we’ll expand our Kubernetes service offerings to help clients lower infrastructure costs, and build and run applications in any cloud, edge device, vehicle, or power plant.

4. Solutions to Modernize Data and Applications – With our Lumada DataOps and Smart Spaces offerings, we have a strong portfolio of data management and analytics offerings. I love seeing how these solutions have helped clients like Team Penske keep racing through the pandemic and Swisscom to dramatically improve customer service. In a few months, we’ll add more data analytics and modernization services to help clients derive even greater insights from their data. We will also double down on the ERP modernization and multi-channel digital strategy expertise we gained through our integration with Hitachi Consulting.

5. Solutions for OT/IT Convergence – Finally, we see enormous opportunity at the ‘edge’ in the data generated by machines, devices and remote workers. Digital transformation starts, after all, in the physical world, and industrial clients yearn for a digital thread they can weave throughout their operations and partner ecosystems. Software can help make their assets more efficient, safer, and able to provide additional value. With our industry leading Lumada IoT platform, we clearly already have an ‘edge’ in this domain. The opportunity to embed Lumada solution cores into more industry-specific solutions is enormous.

We are proud of the value we are already bringing in these five solution areas. However, we know we must continue to sharpen our focus, operate with excellence, and ensure we evolve our portfolio to keep pace with – or leapfrog – the changing market. You can count on us to create and deliver the solutions clients need, whether we build them ourselves or tap an ecosystem of partners to do so.

We are excited to be on this journey with you, and hope you will continue to provide us with feedback on our strategic direction and our progress over time. In fact, you can give me your feedback right now through this form. I look forward to hearing what’s on your mind.

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