The acquired technology’s ability to expand the use cases around Lumada will also expand channel partners’ services opportunities.
Hitachi Vantara has announced the acquisition of Big Data automation specialist io-Tahoe, a subsidiary of the UK energy company Centrica. Hitachi Vantara’s intent is to use io-Tahoe’s capabilities around the automated tagging of data to expand the use cases of their Lumada DataOps suite. This will have a significant impact on Hitachi Vantara’s partner ecosystem, as the expansion of use cases and enhanced ability to deliver services will enhance partner strategic opportunities around Lumada.
“We believe this will have a pretty dramatic impact on our data portfolio,” said Radhika Krishnan, chief product officer at Hitachi Vantara, who also has responsibility for the Lumada Go-to-Market strategy. “We are anchoring the company around data-driven solutions – particularly in banking and industrials, which is our heritage. This acquisition is in those cross hairs. It allows us to claim that data driven mantle. It also accelerates our time to market.”
New York City-based io-Tahoe uses AI-driven data management software and Robotic Process Automation to execute repetitive data processes, providing automated data discovery and automated data mapping of data flows across an entire organization and all its siloes. This in turn drives better data quality, data governance and ability both to deliver meaningful business outcomes and satisfy regulatory compliance.
“They are an entity that was owned by Centrica, the large British-headquartered energy company,” Krishnan said. “Centrica chose to invest in io-Tahoe’s technology, because Centrica, like many customers, had a massive data problem, They found the tools available in the market to be lacking. They tried to stitch things together themselves, and tried to build capabilities in-house. Several banks in particular have been trying to do that. That didn’t work out because they didn’t have the right kind of expertise.”
Krishnan said that io-Tahoe has that expertise to address data complexity issues of Fortune 1000 clients, which will significantly upgrade Hitachi Lumada’s capabilities in this area.
“They have a very modern, microservices-based architecture, which gives them a deep understanding of the kinds of problems they need to solve for,” Krishnan said. “That allows us to deliver on our data fabric vision, where you don’t have to handle data back and forth among multiple tools. They do that exceptionally well, provide the ability to delver services as a singular fabric.”
This dovetails perfectly into Hitachi Vantara’s strategy around expanding Lumada’s capabilities and use cases
“Think of Lumada as the data management layer we are building,” Krishnan told ChannelBuzz a month ago, before the io-Tahoe acquisition. “There are many functions that need to happen in a data architecture, such as ascertaining data quality and cleanliness. We are trying to build a simplified microservices-based unified data fabric with flexibility so that when data has to go through multiple steps it is not handed off from one tool to the other. This is the biggest change we are looking to bring about with this fabric approach. It’s getting traction in both enterprise and industrial customers because you really need automated ways of being able to tag the data. We are also now leveraging more of those automation AI-based techniques. It all adds up to a very significant differentiator for us.”
Krishnan said that io-Tahoe’s technology specifically fills gaps in the Lumada DataOps Suite.
“It adds some very compelling value propositions, particularly around AI-based tagging of data,” she said. “Most customers today have data being ingested that is very dynamic in nature. Their AI-based tagging gives you the ability to deal with that dynamic data, with some innovative capabilities to be able to enforce that.”
This will provide a major enhancement in being able to address more use cases with Lumada.
“The ability to offer a bigger breadth of capabilities that will address more cases will help us in regulated industries like health care and insurance, who will value what we can bring here,” she said. “Industrial use cases have always been our strong suit, based on the data capabilities that we have, but we will able to go after more use cases in the industrial segment.”
As an example, Krishnan pointed to the way data now comes from edge devices to a customer like an automative manufacturing plant.
“Data now comes in from edge devices which can be used to streamline supply chain management, improve fleet management, and improve labour force productivity,” she indicated. “However, there hasn’t been a way to tag data efficiently for these additional use cases. What we can do with these added capabilities is allow for these use cases to be satisfied.”
io-Tahoe has been using a channel of their own to go to market.
“Most of these sales involve a services component, and that’s what partners found attractive,” Krishnan said. “io-Tahoe has a customer success team that has some advanced capabilities, but they could not scale to do it for all their customers, which include some very large names among industrial companies and banks. So they built up traction with some of the larger GSIs.
“For our Hitachi Vantara channel partners, this also represents an opportunity to go after more use cases, and deliver those data services,” Krishnan added. “We are pretty excited to be able to start engaging more partners strategically with this. It delivers on our intent to continue in this build-buy partner mode – building out the partner ecosystem to deliver more holistic solutions to customers. Look for more to come on that front.”