New Chief Looks To Raise Hitachi Data Systems Profile

Marcel Escorcio, regional vice president and general manager at Hitachi Data Systems Canada

Marcel Escorcio, regional vice president and general manager at Hitachi Data Systems Canada

Hitachi Data Systems Canada’s new general manager believes his company may be the industry’s best-kept secret, and he’s looking to do something about it.

The storage vendor has introduced Marcel Escorcio as its new regional vice president and general manager, heading up the company’s operations in this country. Escorcio, a 24-year veteran with the company, steps up from his previous role heading up Hitachi Data Systems’ operations in the Greater Toronto Area to replace longtime Canadian chief Barry Morrison, who has been promoted to vice president of worldwide global accounts for the company.

As he enters the role, Escorcio said he feels like there are some misconceptions about Hitachi Data Systems still in the market. Many still see the company as a provider of storage hardware, and little else, he said. In reality, the company has moved up the stack and talks much more about information management as whole, as opposed to the simply the physical underpinnings.

“We’re an untapped manufacturer in the partner community, the best-kept secret in the industry,” Escorcio said. “We can bring so much value in [the information management] space, and sometimes partners aren’t seeing how they can take that into an account.”

The company’s face on the street has changed in recent years, as it looks to tap into both the exploding need for storage and the need to provide management and context around the massive amount of data residing on that storage. The company, for example, offers a “Dropbox-style” file sharing system for use within a customer’s firewall in HCP Anywhere, an offering around SAP’s HANA in-memory database technology, and a full storage virtualization tack.

“Media is just one element of what we’re doing,” Escorcio said. “Once you’ve got that virtualization engine in there, you can really offer so much more.”

While there are opportunities across the country, Escorcio is particularly focused on Western Canada right now. There are plenty of information management opportunities in the booming oil and gas industry, but he says the company isn’t “getting our fair share” in that market. The issue is getting to the table in the first place, he said.

“I need to know where we are in those markets, and understand what we need to do to enable our partners, because when we show up, it’s amazing what happens,” he said.

Building the channel is an interesting challenge for a vendor like Hitachi Data Systems. It has historically worked with a fairly small, fairly specialized, high-volume channel community. And that’s not likely to change too much, because as Escorcio is quick to point out, “we’re not a commodity solution.”

On the other hand, he said the company has to “go broader in the channel” and find the right partners for key regions and key market opportunities. He said his first priority is to look at the current channel base, and understand which partners might be well-suited to pick up new parts of the vendor’s linecard. If there aren’t good fits in the current partner community, the company will look for additional partners.

“We bring a lot of value to our channel partners, and we’re undersubscribed, so we’re not battling over channel conflict,” Escorcio said. “If I can bring you more to differentiate you, to add more value to our customers, that’s what I need to do.”

In addition to promoting Escorcio, the company has made several other key Canadian leadership changes. Esorcio’s old position heading up GTA operations has been taken by Peter Tassopoulos, and the company has brought on former customer Paul Lewis as new chief technology officer.