I joined Hitachi Data Systems in 1997 as an open systems storage product manager. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) was founded in 1989 when Hitachi and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) acquired National Advanced Systems (NAS) from National Semiconductor and renamed it Hitachi Data Systems to market Hitachi’s IBM compatible mainframes. Hitachi’s mainframe used a hybrid CMOS architecture which proved to be much more powerful than IBM’s mainframes, and enabled this new company to gain market share. When I joined HDS at that time, I was the loneliest person in HDS, because everyone was selling multi-million dollar mainframes and no one was interested in selling low cost open systems storage.
At that time the company was still a very American company and the Hitachi culture had not yet taken root in HDS. In fact, we preferred to refer to ourselves as HDS, another three letter computer company and our CEO was on rotation from EDS. I joined HDS because I became familiar with Hitachi while I was on assignment in Japan with another computer company and I admired the Hitachi employees and the products that I encountered. I was really impressed with the Hitachi culture and with their storage architecture which separated control from data for increased efficiency and scalability; and I realized that this enabled the elasticity to adapt to future storage technologies.
As the mainframe market declined, and the cost of selling IBM compatible systems with the overhead of IBM systems software, made this market unprofitable, Hitachi decided to exit the mainframe business in 1999 and focus on their storage market. I was now in the right place at the right time. At the same time, Hitachi bought out EDS, and we began the journey of becoming a part of the Hitachi family and incorporate the fundamental core values of Wa (Harmony), Makoto (Sincerity), and Kaitaku-Seishin (Pioneering Spirit). In addition to our storage architecture which was ideal for the future of storage area networks and virtualization, we focused on the Data. we were also successful at developing solutions for data management, data governance, data mobility, and data analysis. While originally the name of our company was a combination of Hitachi and EDS, we didn’t have to change the name of the company, since data was now our focus. We were no longer HDS, a three letter computer company, we were a new company, Hitachi Data Systems with the emphasis on Hitachi and Data.
Move forward twenty years and the business is entering a new phase, with digital transformation where it is less about products and more about business outcomes. Add to this the convergence of IT and OT and the internet of things, where smart machines become data centers on the edge. Data is still at the core but new systems of engagement, automation, design, and provenance, are changing the requirements for curating, storing, managing, moving, and governing data. Hitachi Data Systems is a recognized leader in the field of information technology (IT), bringing applications, analytics, content, cloud, and infrastructure solutions to market that have transformed the way enterprises do business. However, now is the time to expand our business and seize the opportunities that this new phase presents.
These are very exciting times, especially for a company like Hitachi with over 107 year of OT experience and 58 years of IT experience. This gives us the opportunity launch a new company, Hitachi Vantara, to leverage the broad portfolio of innovation, development and experience from across Hitachi Group companies to deliver data-driven solutions for commercial and industrial enterprises. This new company will unify the operations of Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Insight Group, and Pentaho into a single integrated business as Hitachi Vantara to capitalize on Hitachi’s experience in both operational technologies and information technologies. While, Hitachi Vantara will continue to provide superior infrastructure, object storage and analytics technologies that enterprises rely on for their mission-critical data in the data center, in the cloud and at the edge, the new opportunity for Hitachi Vantara will be to target the IoT market with a unified approach that will enable our customers to achieve the business out comes that this makes possible.
Hitachi Vantara President and COO Brian Householder announcing Vantara at Next 2017 in Las Vegas
I am excited and proud to be a part of this new company. Checkout my new business card.