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

July 26th, 2010 4 comments

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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.

Hitachi uValue Convention

July 19th, 2010 No comments

I have been able to travel to many parts of the world over the past few years either through work or personally, but this will be my first trip to Japan. I am very excited to go to Japan, but more excitement is the reason to go there.

We will be attending the uValue Convention, Celebrating 100th Year Anniversary of Hitachi (parent company of HDS – Hitachi Data Systems). Hitachi’s Global network contains more than 1000 different companies, 400K employees, 100 Billion dollars plus in revenues.

A company that is diversified into making many infrastructure products including train, televisions, heavy equipment, etc. As we landed on the Tokyo airport, the Hitachi brand started to become so much more visible from seeing elevators to escalators to conveyor belts and so forth. They also make storage.

About 4 weeks ago we were invited to attend the HDS bloggers day in Santa Clara, CA. It was an awesome event and gave us a peek into Hitachi Storage products. Tried some live blogging there from those sessions and enjoyed it. You can find more about the trip to HDS Geek Day, here.

This week is not about HDS but about Hitachi. The storage products they make and the thinking, strategy, direction and players behind it.

This is a bloggers and analyst event, though the bloggers and analyst are not preview to the same data and will be attending different sessions and technology briefings.

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As for the high level agenda, here are a few things we are planning to do.

Tuesday:

Trip to Odawara to meet Hitachi and Hitachi Data Systems executives and take a deepdive into Hitachi Storage Products. There seems to be a day full of technology chat about various Hitachi storage products.

Wednesday:

Meeting with HDS executives and discussions on various Hitachi Storage platforms.

Thursday:
Attend uValue Convention celebrating the 100th year anniversary of Hitachi Ltd Japan.

Friday:

Some sightseeing and then fly back home

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Attendees:

The following are the attendees (bloggers) to the event; non of these guys need any introductions, you all know them. I am really glad to be part of this team.

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Will try to stay connected on Twitter (hashtag #uValue) and update the Blog as frequently as I get a chance to do so. There will be some embargo and NDA information that will not make it to the blog and twitter.

Many critics that talk about the fact that HDS is purely a marketing arm of Hitachi Japan with no leverage on Hitachi Storage products. Hope to see all this is false and HDS has much deeper roots into Hitachi Japan in terms of product direction and strategy.

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Stay tuned, more updates coming soon..!!!

Should I already be learning some Japanese, Konnichi wa (Hello!!)

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Disclaimer: The 4 day trip to Hitachi Japan to attend the uValue Convention is 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.

Having lots of fun….

June 17th, 2010 3 comments

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My sudden disappearance and appearance in twitterosphere and blogosphere has got people in social media to ask me as to what am I up to these days. My honest answer to them is “I am having lots of fun…”

About a couple of months ago, I was offered a new role in the current organization I work for. For the past 5 years or so, I was solely focused on Storage platforms. To our customers we offer infrastructure services, managed services, professional services, outsourcing and asset management. For these years growing the storage, systems, networking and virtualization portfolios was the key to our success.

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These days it’s about working with the whole stack of products. As much as we talk about convergence within datacenter products, services convergence is at the heart of it. Typical organizations are structured to support products based on silos, with the changing landscape, it’s important to start thinking about services in similar ways.

As part of business transformation a need for a new thinking is required. In just a short duration of time, along with a group of very talented individuals we formed a small team that attacks these issues through out the business, we call it the TigerTeam and by the way, we are recruiting for it. From creating cross platform training to cross platform support to selling a whole stack of services associated with convergence is the focus.

Along with the business transformation on the customer side (external), comes a lot of internal transformation related to how we do business, growth plans, focus, internal strategies, social media, marketing, etc. A total revamp of internal IT resources that would drive more efficiency through out the organization is required. Right from using cloud based services for IT infrastructure to using CRM solutions that are cloud based has helped us to be more efficient.

Revamping as to how we do logistics to how we manage customer service to identifying new potential growth markets are some very key focus points of our future strategy and growth plans. At the heart of this sits R&D efforts, training and knowledge sharing.

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One thing that has come to realization is, SUCCESS AS A WHOLE IS IMPORTANT, not just small teams individually achieving success in an organization. Solo and Silo successes create an inequality with total business growth. Success ‘WE’ is important than success ‘I’.

Just in this short duration, we have managed to kickoff some 10’s of new projects that will help us be more aggressive with achieving our business goals. With some very unique approaches, we are trying to change the way we think and we do business.

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But it’s has been great fun and I am loving every moment of it. It may mean I might be a bit irregular with new blog posts, but at the center of this, the experience we are getting is phenomenal, the team we are building is incredible and the new thinking we are bringing will help us go far ways.

Want to make a difference…. And want to be part of this dynamic team, feel free to shoot me an email at devang at storagenerve dot com.

Cheers
@storagenerve

HDS (Hitachi Data Systems) Bloggers Day: Session 4 (Live Blogging)

June 16th, 2010 No comments

This is an attempt to live blog at the Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Bloggers Day: Session 4

Day 2:

Pete Gerr, Director, Strategic and Solutions Marketing

8:30: Kickoff…

8:31: HDS going through parking lot questions…some will be answered today, some later on one on one discussions.

Michael Hay, Senior Director, Product Strategy

8:40: John Deere is owned by Hitachi..

8:40 tons of tweets out there…..Nigel wins the award for the MVP and Devang wins the best dressed…..

8:41: Hitachi Research can be found at http://www.hitachi.com/rd

8:42: Even though HDS is moving into this arena, we are using HDS proxy servers to connect to the internet from here, the HDS Geek website is blocked internally. Here is the site that HDS might want to consider to open http://hds.com/go/geekday/index.html

8:45: High level Hitachi (not HDS) Vision, Strategy.

8:45: Gazopa.com another visual search engine

8:50: RAID discussion kicked off by Nigel Poulton and its getting quite interesting…

Claus Mikkelsen, Chief Strategist

Mark Adams, Senior Product Marketing Manager

9:12: Storage Tiering discussion

9:15: AMS discussion

9:16: HDS midtier storage (AMS) has explosive growth over the last 2 years….

9:20 AMS was released in 2008 and has been doing great…

9:30 ……

9:55: LUN Ownership and Failover question from yesterday

9:56: THere is LUN ownership on either Controller 0 and controller 1. Active – Active cluster, I/O and architectural diagram.

10:00 Break……but a big discussion on the AMS architecture (current) and potentials in the future….

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10:20: Embargo session

11:00 Round table discussion….for another hour.

Disclaimer: Though we are not required, it is up to the attendees to blog and tweet about this event if they wish to. Our travel, boarding and lodging expenses for two days will be paid by Hitachi Data Systems (HDS).