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Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), the super secret technology company


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When was the last time you got into a conversation with an HDS employee on Twitter or an HDS PR person engaged with you or you saw a blog post from anyone outside the HDS executive team or an HDS employee blogging outside the HDS domain name.

When was the last time you saw a HDS executive at a large storage / virtualization show or VMUG? Does HDS host any storage shows (technology forums). When was the last time you engaged in a conversation with an HDS employee about HDS vs competition products.

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Hitachi uValue Convention 2010, Celebrating 100th year Anniversary of Hitachi

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Culture

HDS marketing approach has been super secret so far. HDS is quite a bit influenced by its parent company Hitachi Ltd, Japan, where typically marketing seems to be quite conservative. Hitachi Ltd is a 100 Billion dollar company, doing business in most of the world. The Japanese are very modest and focus on engineering and not on product marketing.

Hitachi hardly talks about its own success, when asked a Hitachi executive on how HDS influences IT within Hitachi and how it helps drive more efficiency into Hitachi, the executive was very modest about it.

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Today

But said that, things are now changing. From what we saw and learnt about HDS a month ago at the HDS Geek Day 0.9 in Santa Clara and this week at Hitachi in Japan at the research labs and the uValue convention, now its pretty apparent that HDS is changing how it does marketing and focuses on product and datacenter strategy.

There is a list put together by HDSCorp on twitter with all twitter users from HDS

http://twitter.com/HDScorp/hdsers/members

A few HDS executives also blog at the HDS Blogs site

http://blogs.hds.com/

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Tomorrow

We saw some really new focus areas in terms of marketing within HDS. This is the changing side of the company.

A few things HDS should do, allow blogging outside the HDS domain, follow and create some unique marketing efforts to drive the messaging internally within HDS, internally to Hitachi and externally to customers and social media folks. Get more HDS folks on Twitter and other social media channels.

One thing we know, the new executive team within HDS is very aggressive and wants to make a difference. This was very visible at the HDS Geek Day 0.9 and this week in Japan where HDS is really pushing Hitachi engineering with new product innovation and product strategy.

Hitachi has a ton of datacenter products, as Nigel Poulton points out in one of his Blog post about Hitachi Networking, some of these products are so successful in the Japanese market, but never even make it to the rest of the world.

The big vision story is missing. Its not about one datacenter product like storage, its about how every component in the puzzle can help customers drive more efficiency within datacenters.

Its wait and watch, but what we saw over the past month, I can say, HDS is rolling their sleeves ….. and getting ready…..

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Disclaimer: The 4 day trip to Hitachi Japan to attend the uValue Convention was sponsored by HDS. They paid for all Travel, Boarding and lodging expenses for these days. The attendees / bloggers are not required to Blog about this event. This is my attempt to share what we learned there.

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  • Thomas Jones

    This does seem odd that they are a successful company in a very competitive space (Storage) and seem so introverted.

    This is completely opposite from their competition. However, it does seem that they are on the right track with events such as the one you are attending.

    It takes time for organizations to “open up” to allow outside comments and criticisms. I feel it may be another year or so before they are as open as their competition.

  • http://twitter.com/the_super_dave David Hurst

    If you are a fan of the tv show Mad Men, this is the main story of episode one of the current season.
    In the opening scene, the main character is being interviewed by a magazine and he refuses to give them much info about himself. He replies “I'm from the midwest. We're taught not to talk about yourself”. When the article comes out his partners are disappointed that he did not promote himself or his company. He replies that he is a the creative guy and his works speaks for itself.
    A senior partner replies “Turning creative success into business is your work, and you’ve failed.”

    Most companies are figuring out that promoting yourself in social media is very important. A few of them are figuring out how to do it properly. Do it genuinely, openly, and engage your customers.

    Modesty is an admirable quality but if you are good, there is nothing wrong with telling others! Your work may speak for itself but it does need a microphone and PA system!

    By the end of the Mad Men epsisode, Don figues this out and confidently promotes himself.
    HDS should do the same.

  • Guest

    The problem with HDS isn't marketing, it's culture. HDS has added quite a few second stringers from EMC into it's marketing org, but it won't help much.

    Marketing at Hitachi will never have its own voice.

  • milky1018

    They have a different way of marketing too. Their approach on sales is not typical as well compare to other company.

    http://www.spectra.com