–Sandhya Malhotra

New Delhi, Dec 19: The next financial year for enterprise storage major, Hitachi Data Systems(HDS) will be very exciting. The company will be making deeper engagements into its much talked about converged infrastructure journey and seeing the launch of next generation of mid sized enterprise class solutions.

Focus

In 2015, the mother company Hitachi, will be rolling out its social innovations solutions and strengthening its focus and investment for the Indian market.

In an exclusive interaction Ravi Chalaka, VP, Solutions Marketing, Hitachi Data Systems, who came from the USA to check the readiness of the next generations solution coming from the house of Hitachi Data Systems, explained about their expansion plans.

Ravi

“Converged Systems, its one of our fastest growing parts of our business, at HDS, we have been only selling and focused on storage systems and enterprise class, but now with the demand for converged infrastructure, we will be focusing more on converting the traditional customers to the new. Besides that in some cases we are doing new things on Social innovations and the Hitachi, the mother company and HDS is focused on that is based on big data and internet of things,” he said.

For HDS, converged infrastructure has been extremely favorable in two ways, one is for local enterprises. Secondly many of its global system integrators (GSI) like Infosys and Wipro are not only users of these technologies, but also helping their customers in migrating into markets like EMEA, Europe and other areas in which they have lots of penetrations.

In India, HDS has dual GTM approach, direct as well as working with the partners. “Our GSI are driving these type of solutions, they offer level of services that is a good match for us. They help their own customers transform from legacy environment to new. Today ,customers are buying these components like server, network, customers, we set all that up together and our GSI help in implement them,” Chalaka said.

The company has been having global alliances with all the major GSI like Infosys, Mahindra, Wipro and TCS, as different GSIs have expertise in different software or vertical markets.

The Converged Journey has been relatively new for HDS, as it was more focused on enterprise storage that it was about two years ago. “Since the beginning or mid part of 2013, this business started accelerating and is a fastest growing part of the business not only around the world even in India,” he said.

“Fundamentally, HDS is focused on high-end of the enterprise. Most of our competition is focused on the mid market which is a volume market, but for us our average deal size is worth of million dollar. We are going to expand that into mid-market next year. We will be making major announcement in the mid market in April next year,” he added.

As the company sees ‘differentiation’ is a key to the mid-market to provide value to the customers, The company will be investing a lot in software along with the hardware environment, which typically covers, deliver, higher scalebility, performance and value for money.

“One of the unique things that many of our competitors do not do that we decided to do, which is why we took time to come in. We have integrated full stack storage network(both IP and SAN), server, virtualization and cloud. Or else you would end up with way too many management tool, as it is coming from different vendors. So to overcome this, we have created an automation layer, that integrates all of these tool, which is part of the reason that took us time to get into the market. For the mid-markets, we are looking into three areas including Reliability of the systems, Automation and tuning it for different work loads,” informed Chalaka.

For HDS, the growing adoption of Public Cloud in large enterprise is also becoming an area of concerns, thereby, to compete with cloud providers like Amazon, IBM and Microsoft. The company is focusing on ‘Speed’ and ‘Agility’ in their solutions.

“Today, cloud providers are going after low hanging fruits like basic tier 3 apps, backups and some basic processing standard stuff. Still the mission critical apps for verticals like manufacturing, airline systems, banking operations and many others are running on enterprise storage. Having said so, the large enterprise is continue to invest in enterprise class technology, it has not affected us versus the commodity players.”

As the company will accelerate its focus on mid-market, it is also looking to grow its alliance with small re-sellers for faster reach. Traditionally, HDS is a direct, but now it has started shifting to indirect model, “We will be driving our upcoming social innovative solution through partners,” he quipped.

The other areas, HDS is tapping is the enterprise server business. “As IBM is walking away from its server business and HP is having its own internal problems, we are entering into the enterprise servers. We had never sold servers until the past two years, when we got into converged systems. But now we see there is lot more scope to target large IBM customers.”

HDS is planning to make major global announcements about its current technology innovation and developments with sister companies in April at the HITACHI ONE event in The USA for the first time, outside Japan. Hitachi ONE is for showcasing the Hitachi solutions , telecom market developments and healthcare solutions primarily.

HDS is currently known not only for its storage systems, but also as a standard infrastructure big data and cloud player. “We no longer want to compete with EMC and NetApp, our target is to compete with IBM, Siemens and GE are all competitors. But big players like IBM are moving out of the cloud space and HDS is entering it now and this is a market advantage,” Chalaka concluded.