ESG analysts Mark Peters, Mike Leone, and Edwin Yuen attended the Hitachi Vantara NEXT 2018 conference in San Diego this year, and share their thoughts and insights on what they discovered while on location at the event.
Read the related ESG Blog: Hitachi Vantara Talks What’s Next at NEXT
Announcer: The following is an ESG on location video.
Mark: Welcome to NEXT 2018, Hitachi Vantara's event here in San Diego. Now, you can see a couple of words around me, "your" and "data." If anything, this conference represented a return to data for Hitachi Vantara as the absolute focus of the company. But the thing that made it perhaps a little different is now talking about a return on data, in other words, a focus on innovation and what people can do with data. So whilst as you would expect of any company of this size, there was a whole tranche of announcements, all sorts of products, where it gets interesting is where Hitachi Vantara as a whole is looking for innovation.
So for example, using FPGAs to do Pentaho acceleration, or looking in the future at neural networks storage research, that sort of thing gets really interesting. But for the here and now, let's hand it to my colleagues.
Mike: What really came across to me here at the show was really the areas where Hitachi Vantara is helping businesses accelerate value, gain insight into their data from an end-to-end standpoint, right. They're innovating across a number of industries. They're helping deliver businesses value, and more importantly, or equally important I guess is around the societal value, what they call the double bottom line. And finally around the IoT and edge, and IT and OT, they're one of the only organizations out there on the planet, especially once you factor in the 800-plus companies that the global Hitachi brand has underneath it, that can really deliver the infrastructure, the hardware, the software, the analytics, and then the OT, and bridging the gap between the IT and the OT to really customize solutions. When you bridge the gap, you're really able to co-innovate with organizations to deliver the right level of value that they're looking for. Be a true partner.
Edwin: It has been a year since Hitachi Data Systems had changed their name to Hitachi Vantara, and we're definitely seeing a growth of the company, in terms of the number of different services they provide, a lot more than just storage, which is our traditional association. But specifically in the cloud area, what we're seeing is a good movement in availability of the services they provide for cloud, a real push into a container platform that is multi-cloud enabled, can land on multiple hyper-scale providers, but still land on that local infrastructure, whether it be running on bare metal or VMware.
And then we saw the acquisition of REAN Cloud, which is a great consulting services, focused on AWS, but has great experience in leading companies in both the migration of existing applications into the public cloud, but also creating new cloud-based applications in development. So we're seeing a big push here from Hitachi to understand where applications live, how they can work with cloud, how they leverage the infrastructure that they're traditionally known for, and how to bring things to end-to-end. This is a really exciting time for what is essentially a reborn company. And as they go into their second year, we expect to see a lot more about the positioning they'll have in the cloud and within cloud services, and how they interact both between applications and infrastructure.
Mark: Now, all the emphasis on data doesn't mean that the social innovation side of the company has gone away. It's just a rebalancing of the pendulum, and if anything, more of the external marketing pendulum than what the company is really doing underneath. After all, one of the challenges has been, in terms of talking about what this organization can do, that there really is no word for a company that embraces both the OT side of things and the IT side of things. So I think as it learns to talk and to explain better what it's doing, that explains the, as I say, the rebalancing.
Now, Mike Leone also mentioned the double bottom line, and I think that's really interesting. It really drives Hitachi, and sometimes one might say it puts a little drag on it. It's not always the fastest to innovate. But it tries to be the most secure. It's always had a reputation for being a rock-solid organization. And I heard a couple of people refer to it as the adult in the room. And that's a really interesting phrase when we look at this OT/IT conundrum, bringing it together, with, if you like, the consolidation of worldwide solutions, beyond just the consolidation of IT, being an adult is not a bad thing at all.