LAS VEGAS — The transitions of the digital economy have created new rules for data in a ‘DataOps’ environment. It’s an environment in which Hitachi Vantara, through its ability to leverage Hitachi’s Operational Technology background and their own expertise in high-end storage, is well positioned going forward, That, in a nutshell, was the core messaging delivered here at the Hitachi NEXT 2019 event for the company’s customers and partners.
This is the company’s third such event, and the largest to date. The first NEXT event launched Hitachi Vantara, which combined the Hitachi Data Services storage business with Pentaho analytics and the Hitachi Insight Group and laid out the company’s vision to be a power in the Internet of Things market. Last year the vision was still the same, but the new product designed to execute it that was announced was limited. This year the core vision remains unchanged, but a new salience has been given to building out DataOps. And unlike last year, a lot of product is being announced, which has been deliberately designed to address all aspects of the data journey.
For the core, there was the VSP 5000, a new high-end storage infrastructure solution with impressive feeds and speeds that could be used to replace huge swaths of existing data centres. For the edge, the 3.0 version of their Lumada platform expands its capabilities beyond the Internet of Things in areas like data movement and AI at the edge. Finally, for the multi-cloud universe, new Lumada Data Services were announced that are designed to simplify data operations though a central-cloud based control plane.
The company also highlighted the announcement made three weeks ago that Hitachi Vantara would be bolstered as of January 2020 with the integration of the Hitachi Consulting Corporation. At that time, the new CEO of Hitachi Vantara will become Toshiaki Tokunaga, chairman of the board of Hitachi Global Digital Holdings, the holding company that oversees both the Vantara and Consulting companies. Brian Householder, Hitachi Vantara’s CEO, and Hicham Abdessamad, who leads Hitachi Consulting, will be reassigned to other Hitachi executive positions at that time.
“Integrating Hitachi Vantara with Hitachi Consulting in January will combine Hitachi Vantara’s IP and expertise and Hitachi Consulting’s industrial experience to unlock new levels of value creation for customers and partners,” said Toshiaki Higashihara, President and CEO of Hitachi, in his kickoff keynote. “Moving forward, the new Vantara will continue to deliver cutting edge innovation.”
Higashihara stressed the importance of what has been a constant theme in their company’s vision, to contribute to the society through the development of superior technology and products.
“We will build good things to power the world around us, to make the society better and contribute to the society through development of superior original products,” Higashihara said. “We call this social innovation. We have aligned our business to advance social, environmental and economic values by levering our digital capability.”
He cited examples of Hitachi-built high-speed trains cutting a commute time to London, which one mother told her gave her the time to spend breakfast with her family, as well as Hitachi’s development of Particle Beam Therapy used in a U.S. hospital.
“The theme of this year’s event is ‘made by data,’ Higashihara stated. “We launched Lumada in 2016, as the engine to achieve our goal of providing good by solving issues using data technologies. It puts the light on data and provides value.”
Co-creation with customers and partners is an essential part of this process, Higashihara emphasized, reaffirming a theme he has stressed in years past.
A key new partnership with Disney Parks was announced onstage, where the Hitachi executives were joined by Trevor Larsen, Executive Vice President, Facilities & Operations Services, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, by Jeff Vahle, President, Disney Signature Experiences, and by Mickey Mouse. It makes Hitachi Vantara the Official Ride and Show Analytics Provider of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the Disneyland Resort, using Hitachi solutions that span the breadth of their portfolio.
“We bring Disney a total end-to-end solution,” Mark Adams, Product Marketing Director at Hitachi Vantara, told ChannelBuzz. “We put IoT sensors on the rides, use the Lumada engine to pull it together, and the data is stored on our VSPs. It’s an end-to-end solution. Very few others can do that. It puts us in a small, select company [with IBM, specifically].”
Brian Householder, Hitachi Vantara’s CEO, elaborated on the Made by Data and the DataOps concepts, both of which the company is stressing at this year’s event.
“Made by Data refers to the fact that there are new rules in the economy today in terms of how you go about winning,” he said. “Data is the driver for growth and the driver for change. We all need to change and transform.”
Householder noted that while 2017 was the first year that machines generated more data than humans, by 2023 machines will generate 50x the data that humans do.
“There are new rules for this data economy, and how each and every one of us needs to transform,” he said. “Gartner has said that greater than 60% of CEOs are transforming their business models today. We are transforming our own business model. “
At the same time, Householder also indicated that studies indicate that less than 5% of company data is actually being analyzed today.
“That is not going to cut it in this new world,” he said “Everyone is looking for insight, agility and scale. This is what DataOps is all about.
DataOps is a term meaning intelligent data operations. It has existed for several years, and was not invented by Hitachi, although their enthusiasm for it at the event may have convinced some in attendance otherwise. The term DataOps still hasn’t really taken off yet however – although Householder commented the same thing could have been said of DevOps not that long ago.
Householder stressed that this new data economy has three key rules.
“One is around new workloads – enterprise AI, machine learning, and augmented reality. Many are experimenting with these today, but on a small scale. We are using our Lidar [motion sensor] with a number of customers.”
Second is the need for a new architecture, from the edge to core to multi-cloud. Householder said that Hitachi doesn’t believe that hybrid is a reality, referring specifically to it being the adapting of existing infrastructures.
“You need a new architecture to help you make sense of all the data you have,” he said. “To do that you need a new approach – new processes.”
That’s the third rule, the importance of DataOps.
“Data gives you the best ability to be strategic if you can leverage it appropriately,” Householder said. “That’s what this event is all about.”