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NEXT 2018

34 posts

By now you’re not surprised that we somehow squeezed several days of information into one more day. Think of it as data compression, if you’d like. Let’s see if I can give you the highlights of this day that concentrated on innovation with your data – which you’ll see by my clever repetition in the subheads.


Breakfast Innovation

Before the General Session today we had the Women In Business Breakfast featuring leaders from NASA, Tech Data and Hitachi Vantara. They were an impressive group, just as you might expect. With advice suitable to any business person, they suggested that we “never confuse who you are with what you do.” And they pointed out that everyone owns diversity, asking that if we “see something, say something” to help encourage positive behaviors.


CIO Innovation

Renée McKaskle, Hitachi Vantara CIO, again opened the General Session. Her message was that CIOs need to repeatedly think differently and respond differently in order to stay current with the business’s needs. The velocity of technology change is increasing, and CIOs must remain focused on results while supporting transformation. She advises that CIOs frequently ask what business results can be achieved.


Simple Innovation

Lisa Bodell, CEO and founder of futurethink and author of Why Simplicity Wins, spoke on … simplicity, of course. It was a powerful presentation that openly sought to make the audience uncomfortable with complexity, which holds us back from our meaningful work. She described the “complexity trap” that creates the wrong balance between more and less, doing and thinking, and between internal and external focus. Among a few simple (cough. cough.) suggestions was to take the stupid out of organizations by killing stupid rules and stupid meetings. Sounds pretty smart to me.


Transformation Innovation

Bobby Soni, Chief Solutions and Services Office for Hitachi Vantara, delivered a strategic presentation on digital transformation, which he equated with business innovation. He described the three technology pillars that drive digital transformation:

  1. Modernization and cloud native, including multicloud
  2. Data analytics platforms for insights
  3. Machine learning and AI for intelligent automation.


Portfolio Innovation

John Magee, VP of Hitachi Vantara portfolio marketing, took us through a wide-ranging view of how the company thinks about innovation and bringing new solutions to market. John says we are focusing our innovation on distributed edge-to-cloud infrastructure, information governance, data-driven insights and the internet of things.

We are also taking advantage of the vast Hitachi research and development group, whose 2,700 researchers invest almost $3 billion per year, boasts more than 119,000 patents. That’s far more patents than many prominent technology companies, by the way.


Our Own Innovation

Scott Kelly, Hitachi Vantara’s COO and chief transformation officer, talked about the company’s own transformation. In one year since the formation of Hitachi Vantara has accomplished so much, including several significant milestones:

  • Launched 20 products and solutions
  • Introduced 1,000 new customers to the Hitachi family
  • Brought in 1,400 new employees
  • Welcomed dozens of new partners in the Hitachi ecosystem


Winning Innovation

With the General Session drawing to a close, Scott and Renée brought us all to the edges of our seats for the announcement of the People’s Choice Award winner among the Hitachi Transformation Award winners. With strong programs by NASA Johnson Space Center, Andhra Pradesh Real Time Governance, and Smart Payments by Nets, the envelope was opened to reveal … that Andhra Pradesh won. Mr. Babu and the team from the State of Andhra Pradesh accepted the award.


Innovation Maturity

Thursday’s Spotlight Session featured Bill Schmarzo, Hitachi Vantara CTO for IoT and analytics. In a refreshing presentation as only Bill can do, he told us of the importance of reframing the discussion of business technology by focusing on return on data, data monetization, data innovation and digital transformation. He stated that it’s not digital technology transformation, but digital business transformation.


He moved to defining and evaluating progress by asking, “How effective is your organization at using data and analytics to power your business?” And suggested a maturity model to evaluate it from least effective to most effective:

  1. Monitoring
  2. Insights
  3. Optimization
  4. Monetization
  5. Metamorphosis


Innovation for All

After the General Session, the day had barely begun. We filled the afternoon with more and more information, insights and, well, innovation.

  • The Solutions Showcase was open again to let attendees get to all the demonstrations they couldn’t get to yesterday.
  • We had 25 more breakout sessions by Hitachi, our partners and our customers across every data and innovation topic you can think of.
  • We again had certifications and training all day long.
  • And still Studio NEXT continued its video interviews – almost 80 of them! – with Hitachi experts, partners, customers and analysts, to be released after NEXT 2018.


We couldn’t help but make more announcements, too:


Can We Innovate Together Again Next Year?

Announcing Hitachi NEXT 2019! Join us next year ... I’ll try that again … Join us NEXT year for NEXT 2019, October 8-10 in Las Vegas. It’s been fun having everyone here this year and we want to invite you and everyone else to some see us next year, too.


Oh, and don’t stop innovating with your data!


Douglas Howatt

Today Was NEXT 2018

Posted by Douglas Howatt Employee Sep 26, 2018

If you were at NEXT 2018 today, you would have started with this quiz: What makes these emerging technologies actually work: mobile, robotics, automation, virtual reality, blockchain, neural networks, 5G and few more?


Got it?


I’ll wait.



Yes! Data is what makes them work. The NEXT audience got it right, too. Renée McKaskle, Hitachi Vantara’s CIO, went on to talk about how in her role she is constantly dealing with the growth of data and understanding its real-world implications for the strength of the business. She’s not alone, she points out. Business today is all about the data. And that’s the theme of the NEXT 2018. Data and innovation.


The first day of the annual Hitachi NEXT event was a smash hit. Bigger and better than last year (ahem, just like we promised!) and filled with insights and expertise. Attendees seemed pleased, some saying that they were learning even more this year than they did at last year’s NEXT.


Renée introduced Mr. Toshiaki Higashihara, president and CEO of Hitachi, Ltd., who talked about the rewards and risks of the digital age. “The light gives us opportunity,” he said. “And we should not discount the shadow of cyber-attacks, and security and data breaches.” He continued, “Hitachi is aligned with the greater demands we face today. Our mission is clear: to contribute to society through the development of superior, original technology and products.”


Mr. Higashihara said, “We have never stopped innovating. Today, our diversified portfolio includes data storage, IoT solutions, bullet trains, elevators, power plants, medical devices and so much more. This is demonstrated by our tremendous progress in delivering our digital solutions through Hitachi Vantara.”


Hitachi Vantara and You

Brian Householder, Hitachi Vantara CEO, took the stage next. “This is the most disruptive time in history because technology is changing everything. We’re poised to see more digital progress in the next ten years than we have in the last 50,” he said. “The game has changed and companies with the best data strategy will win.”


Brian described Hitachi Vantara as an innovation company, helping customers get the most out of their data. He stated five advantages that the company gives to its customers:

  1. 100 years of operational technology experience and 60 years of IT experience
  2. A fundamental belief that customers should own their data
  3. A portfolio that unlocks the value of customers’ data
  4. The double bottom line of measuring success for business and society
  5. An ecosystem of trusted partners


Malcolm Gladwell and Brian

Malcolm Gladwell, noted author and disruptive thinker, joined Brian for a provocative conversation about disruption and data. One of Malcolm’s points was that companies and industries should carefully find the balance between data analysis and judgment. “All the data in the world won’t predict strength of character,” he said. Brian added that the best data leaders are the ones that have the right culture and the right mindset.


Brian introduced Brad Surak, Hitachi Vantara’s chief product and strategy officer, who talked about how companies can innovate with their data. (Do you sense a theme line drawing through NEXT?) He talked about Hitachi Vantara's data stairway to value, consisting of store, enrich, activate and monetize. Suggesting that it is an excellent way for organizations to understand their maturity level as they go through the stages of their digital transformation and modernization.


So Much Information

Still with me? You can see how much was covered already, right? And there are still three more speakers in the general session. Next was Hicham Abdessamad, CEO of Hitachi Consulting and of Hitachi Global Digital Holdings. Hicham placed Hitachi customers at the center of a digital ecosystem of Hitachi and Hitachi partners, all with a focus on value and outcomes. He asked why some people are not adopting digital and suggested that many digital technologies have been overhyped and now scare people who don’t know how to articulate the digital advantages. He pointed to Hitachi’s approach of co-creation as a useful way to approach digital solutions: “We don't have all the answers. But we have significant experience and capabilities we can bring to our customers.”


Then Jay Gopinath, general manager of advanced technologies, innovation, data and analytics of Toyota Motor North America, joined Hicham on stage. He said that digital technologies and analytics have great value throughout Toyota’s business. Opportunities for innovation spread across how Toyota manufactures cars, markets them and sells them. Plus, they are pursuing additional business models like self-driving cars and more. In fact, he says, Toyota doesn’t see itself as a car company, but as a mobility company: “Wheels are optional.”


Beverly Rider, senior vice president and chief commercial officer of Hitachi America Ltd., then introduced three Hitachi customers who are this year’s winners of the Hitachi Transformation Award:

  • Enterprise Transformation: NASA Johnson Space Center
  • Excellence in IoT: Andhra Pradesh Real Time Governance
  • Social Innovation: Smart Payments by Nets


The audience was asked to vote for the People’s Choice Award, which will be awarded tomorrow. Sorry, polls closed at 5 p.m. today.


Wait, That’s Not All

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted, and I’ve hit just some of the high points from the General Session. Don’t worry, I won’t take you through the rest of the day. Except to say this:

  • An inspiring Spotlight Session by Bob Madaio, VP of infrastructure solutions marketing at Hitachi Vantara, about building the agile foundation for modern data strategies
  • The Solutions Showcase with wall-to-wall demonstrations of current and future technology and solutions
  • 25 breakout sessions by Hitachi, our partners and our customers across every data and innovation topic you can think of – with 25 more tomorrow
  • Certifications and training all day long
  • Many, many interviews recorded in Studio NEXT with Hitachi experts, partners, customers and analysts to be released after NEXT 2018


Oh! And we made a handful of announcements you won’t want to miss:

  • Hitachi Vantara Advances IT Infrastructure Portfolio With Updated Converged and Hyperconverged Systems, Enhanced Applications Support
  • Hitachi Vantara Helps Customers Govern and Protect Data in a Multicloud World
  • Hitachi Vantara Strengthens Lumada Portfolio With Applications for Intelligent Maintenance and Repair
  • Hitachi Vantara Expands Smart Data Center Intelligence and Automation for Self-Optimizing Data Centers
  • Hitachi Vantara Enhances Cloud Services With Container Security and Innovative Multicloud Support for DevOps and Data Services


Wish You Could Have Been Here

After a good night’s sleep, we’ll all be back at it for the second day. Maybe next year you should just come and join us. You’ll get so much more out of it.

Today, advances in technology allow us to capture digital videos through cameras as well as many camera-enabled devices, and petabytes of data are being gathered by these means every day. The challenge, then, is how to get the best possible actionable insight from all this data. This can be achieved through video content analysis (VCA) using a VA set of processing and analyzing tools.

Insights from video

VA enables companies to automatically monitor camera feeds, then send alerts or trigger actions based on an instant analysis. Using VA, enterprises can capture, store, transmit and analyze video data in real or near real time for business intelligence and actionable insights. The insights are in the form of patterns, behaviors, events and specific attributes so informed decisions can be made by the right people at the right time.

There are many use cases for video analytics based on specific business needs. Here are some of the more common ways VA is being used:

  • Security/surveillance. VA can be deployed to analyze feeds from cameras posted throughout a facility’s perimeter fencing to identify when an asset enters or exits an area. Notifications can be made when an asset has entered a restricted area, or an intrusion alert can be triggered if a person walks into a restricted zone. VA can also be used in a loss prevention capacity by providing comprehensive coverage of a retail store in areas of high risk, such as the point of sale and exits, with the goal of reducing inventory shrinkage
  • Smart cities. VA can be used to analyze traffic by automatically counting vehicles and classifying them as a car, bus, truck or bike. Other uses include analyzing parking spaces to detect occupancy, parking duration and vehicles parked in no-parking zones. VA can also be used to detect license plates on vehicles and match them with specific lists
  • Other uses. VA can be used for facial recognition (people identification, demographics), for detecting objects that have been added or removed from a location and for safety purposes such as monitoring a “person down” scenario. The technology has also been used for retail optimization by analyzing sales floor patterns and customer behavior. Other uses include scene analysis, behavioral and body analysis, crowd management and military functions such as force protection and guided attacks.


VA process and benefits

To get the best possible actionable insight from video data, it’s important to follow a typical VA process to capture and analyze the video images. The process includes tracking pixel movements and analyzing the overall image to identify “blobs.” In the analysis phase, pattern-based analytics algorithms or a graphic visualization can be created, and deep learning can be used for advanced data processing.

Technologies typically used for VA include sensors, cameras, software for data compression and network connectivity. Issues to contend with include privacy concerns and storing large amounts of video data. A key to VA success is effective data integration, and the typical process can be modified with other embedded processes to deliver optimal video images for VA.

Video analytics can deliver significant benefits, especially in the areas of security and public safety. The insights provided by VA can help enterprises better understand their physical environment and inform business decisions that provide value.

Hitachi Mixer Email (1).jpg


Mesosphere is excited to join Hitachi Next 2018 as a Virtual Sponsor.


Mesosphere and Hitachi Vantara are committed partners in bringing customers the best in hybrid cloud innovations and together we are expanding the partnership to add full Kubernetes support of the Hitachi Enterprise Cloud Container Platform. To get a live demo of this powerful joint solution, join us on the Hitachi Center Showroom Floor in the Cloud Section at Kiosk CL1 - Demo 23.


To learn more about Mesosphere and this partnership, join Sharath Chandra and Patrick Brennan throughout Hitachi Next 2018.

Hitachi Mixer Email.jpg


Mesosphere has joined Hitachi Next 2018 as a Virtual Sponsor.


Mesosphere and Hitachi Vantara are committed partners in bringing customers the best in hybrid cloud innovations and together we are expanding the partnership to add full Kubernetes support of the Hitachi Enterprise Cloud Container Platform. To get a live demo of this powerful joint solution, join us on the Hitachi Center Showroom Floor in the Cloud Section at Kiosk CL1 - Demo 23.


To learn more about Mesosphere and this partnership, join Sharath Chandra and Patrick Brennan throughout Hitachi Next 2018.


Hitachi and Mesosphere are sponsoring a Joint GSI Mixer on Wednesday night. Please join us for cocktails and light bites at the Fairweather Rooftop Bar.


Register Today! 

Douglas Howatt

What's the NEXT Word?

Posted by Douglas Howatt Employee Sep 24, 2018


Ready for the next NEXT? It starts tomorrow in San Diego. I’ll be there with my keyboard to give you some updates on the event as it’s happening. I’m the creative director for writing at Hitachi Vantara and I had a hand (both, actually) in writing many of the words you’ve already seen on and that you’ll see tomorrow in the public spaces.


We’ve tried to make the experience a bit different from other technology events by making it more personal and centered around our attendees. You’ll see some written quips here and there that might make you feel at home – at least that’s what I’m hoping.


But the big experiences will be the speakers at the General Sessions and Breakout Sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Plus training and certifications. Plus the Solutions Showcase. You’ll see Hitachi execs and experts, of course. But you’ll also see our customers and partners playing a big part. And some featured speakers, too. Heard of Malcolm Gladwell? Best-selling author. Yeah, he'll be there. Lisa Bodell? Innovator and futurist. Yup, she'll be there. Should be fun – oh, yes, informative too. Can't forget informative. But for sure it will be fun, too.


The idea of NEXT is to get our customers the insights they need to turn their data into innovations. Today, business is about data and getting the full return on that data. That’s what Hitachi Vantara helps our customers do. It kind of made the tagline for the event fairly obvious: “Your Data. Your Innovation.” See what I mean?


See you tomorrow for the opening reception at 6 p.m.



Industrial IoT (IIoT) is moving mainstream – from much-hyped just a few years ago, towards the path of enlightenment today. Organizations of all sizes today benefit from intelligent, connected devices - across industries such as manufacturing, services, energy, transportation, healthcare and finance.


To quote Venture Capitalist Matt Turk: “The Internet of Things is going through a phase of early adolescence – a lot is being built in different places, not all of it looks pretty or behaves as desired, but a lot of foundational growth is happening.”


Top IIoT use cases include predictive maintenance (PdM), asset performance management (APM), maintenance and repair management, manufacturing automation and quality control, smart spaces, and more. And, results are impressive: 70% reduction in unplanned downtime, 32% less energy consumption, and 50% improvement in on-time delivery.


How to get started though? The IIoT can be quite confusing. For any given scenario there are at least five ways to implement. Should you use streaming data, SQL or non-SQL for data management and analysis? Zigbee or Sigfox for protocols? OPC-UA via MQTT or AMQP? Are those even the right questions to ask? (Hint: they're not!)


Join me at NEXT 2018 to hear real-life case studies, learn proven strategic imperatives and get to know the pitfalls to avoid. I’ll also provide an update on Hitachi’s Lumada products, technologies and services – helping you accelerate your journey to measurable business outcomes with Industrial IoT.

One of the very cool things I get to do in my job is work with customers that are having a major impact on their communities.  One such customer is CPFL which is an energy utility in São Paulo, Brazil.  They serve more than 20 million customers and have over 100 years of history in the business of energy generation and distribution.



CPFL recently undertook a major initiative to unsure a greater reliability of energy delivery services to their customers.  This is no small feat in a developing country where power outages can occur.  They chose Hitachi to be a strategic partner because of the rock-solid availability our VSP storage delivers.  This includes multi-site failover capability using our Global Active Device metro clustering technology.  Without continuous access to their operational data, they would not be able to deliver electricity to their customers without interruptions. With transportation systems, schools, manufacturing facilities and healthcare delivery that are dependent upon CPFL’s services, their ability to increase delivery uptime benefits their society.  Hitachi calls this the double bottom line—meeting financial goals while providing outcomes that benefit society.


Another initiative that CPFL is undertaking is building out a smart-grid of electrical distribution. Smart grids use data to analyze usage requirements to better match it with the output from generation equipment. An example would be having the sensors in a building’s lighting and HVAC systems communicate how much electricity is required to meet their needs so that output is sufficient.  This ensures that there is always a sufficient amount of energy being generated but not too much as that would essentially be a wasted resource since excess electrical output can’t be stored for later use. Smart grids get even more complicated when renewable energy is factored in as those power sources must be forecasted from weather patterns.  All of this requires extremely fast and reliable storage as well as the ability to quickly analyze massive amounts of data from disparate sources.  For CPFL, they found the perfect combination from Hitachi in our VSPs and our Pentaho analytics platform.



To learn more about what CPFL is doing to increase their own double-bottom line, come hear them speak at Hitachi’s NEXT conference.  Their datacenter infrastructure executive, Marcio Felix, will be speaking in the Solutions and Innovations session at 4pm on Wednesday, September 26th. Hope to see you there!



Hitachi Vantara has introduced GPU-integrated hyperconverged system Unified Compute Platform HC series to deliver rich user experience and improve enterprise productivity. Hitachi’s hyperconverged systems, powered by industry-leading VMware vSAN software, leverage NVIDIA graphic processors to support the performance and efficiency requirements of modern apps. NVIDIA is a proven platform for providing computing horsepower needed to accelerate your data center, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads. NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators deliver the high user density for virtualized desktops and applications and gives businesses the power to deliver great experiences to all of their employees at an affordable cost.


Hitachi’s UCP HC hyperconverged infrastructure with GPUs provide virtual workspaces and desktops to every user from knowledge workers and mobile professionals to engineers and designers. Customers deploying Hitachi’s hyperconverged systems and NVIDIA can be confident of exceptional performance enhancement for graphics-intensive apps such as VDI, CAD/CAE simulations, product design developments and visual analytics etc.


High Powered Visual Computing -


UCP HC’s software-defined architecture and NVIDIA GPUs Tesla M10, M60 and P40 provide the computational engine for the new era of visual workspace.





M60 – Ideal for demanding design and visualization workplaces.


P40 –  accelerates graphics performance and delivers higher user density to improve returns from IT investments.


M10 –  Well suited for data centers needing graphics acceleration for VDI environments. It helps enterprises meet the needs of digital workplace. It’s suitable for organizations migrating to Windows 10, which is a graphic-intensive operating system. Hitachi’s new hyperconverged offerings for the VDI use cases armed with the Nvidia M10 GPUs and all-flash architecture will better deliver the consistent native desktop experience to end-users.


All three GPUs are supported on Hitachi’s UCP HC V225G 2U appliances. Power and scale of GPUs is augmented with Intel’s next generation Xeon processors to allow greater workload consolidation.


Visual computing is another milestone in the growing list of enhancements introduced with UCP HC systems. Existing Hitachi customers and greenfield accounts have considered and deployed UCP HC for a range of workloads  MS Apps, VDI, test, genomic research, analytics and more. Many of these customers have shared their experience with Hitachi hyperconverged systems in different customer forums.




You have a unique opportunity to hear from data center practice leaders and industry experts at Hitachi’s annual NEXT conference, which will bring together data-driven innovators from around the world. Join panel discussion, Real-World Success: Transform IT With Hyperconvergence, with Conagra Brands, Dis-Chem Pharmacies and VMware and learn about design approaches and best practices to successfully deploy Hitachi’s hyperconverged solutions. Panelists will discuss aligning the business outcomes with hyperconverged use-cases, business benefits, decision-points when different or opposing requirements exist, functional capabilities and integrations. They will also discuss some of the probable pitfalls to avoid while embarking on the journey of hyperconvergence.


Look forward to seeing you in two weeks in sunny San Diego!

Last year at Hitachi NEXT 2017, we witnessed the actual digital transformation of a company, the creation of Hitachi Vantara and the role that Hitachi envisions for the future of technology.


It was also the first real glimpse into what the edge of technology would look like for me, and I’m absolutely hooked.


Systems approach for the future

One of the most compelling use cases I saw centers around the automotive industry. Cars today have a huge volume of onboard electronics, applications and sensors. These moving digital platforms can enable virtually any service, including maintenance and reporting, driver and consumer convenience automation, and of course, autonomous driving.


This was the vision of digital transformation, delivered through the internet of things (IoT), analytics and artificial intelligence for the automotive industry, on a systemwide basis.


How we AR doing things in the future

It was also the first time I understood the power and possibility of augmented reality (AR). I’d always seen virtual reality as a toy or an interface to a game (yes, I also game a bit).


The systems approach for the future introduces the enhancement of the human factor in delivering service. Augmented reality becomes one of these enhancements, allowing a human contextual and topical knowledge in, for example, data center maintenance.


This is provided to humans on multiple possible media, from AR headsets to cell phones. All it really takes is a camera, some computing power and a display (and some really awesome software).


It left me with a profound feeling that we’re just in the infancy of doing, rather than watching someone else do, as many of us watch YouTube videos for anything from home to car repairs.


Industrializing it all

This year, at Hitachi NEXT 2018, it’s a bit different for me. I’ll be speaking in a breakout session, Industrialize with Agile Infrastructure and a Modern Platform, to explain something that I care quite deeply about.


Everything in this industry is built upon something else. Humanity has a very long history of building upon foundations and then abstracting away complexity.


I’m going to talk a bit about that foundation, a bit about the strategy we use and how, providing the right starting point, we can create ongoing industrialization for IT infrastructure — and just about anything else.


Hope to see you at Hitachi NEXT 2018.

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If you’re an enterprise looking to digitally transform, it’s important to prioritize your specific business outcomes first. The technical solutions should come secondary. After all, they’re there to support your goals, not influence them. Otherwise, focusing too much on infrastructure can hinder your chances of long-term, transformative success.


There are several key technologies on the market that lend themselves to digital transformation. These include things such as software-defined data centers (SDDC), hybrid cloud and hyper-converged computing. But adopting these technologies in the right way is critical. Enterprises shouldn’t just pick products based on the type of technology they’re looking to adopt. They need to focus on what their end goal is.


This challenge is at the heart of VMware and Hitachi’s partnership. Together, we’ve considered the integrations that enterprises need today to make it easy to meet performance and availability needs tomorrow. In other words, we focus on the technical aspects to ensure that they align with your business ambitions.


Together, Hitachi Vantara and the native integration of the entire VMware software stack provide five Unified Compute Platform solutions that can make it easier and faster for enterprises to accelerate time to business value. Our partnership has fueled as-a-service propositions that can enhance the efficiency of web and digital applications, as well as smart devices.


Case study: Supercharging Centrica’s growth

One such business that has benefitted from our world-class expertise and best-of-breed solutions is Centrica, the largest organization in the supply of electricity and gas to businesses and consumers in the UK, Ireland and North America.


The company needed a proposition that was designed specifically to automate and orchestrate any application in a ready-to-use platform. It also wanted to switch from a capex to an OpEx model to adapt to its changing business needs.

Centrica required a SDDC proposition that could extract the best out of the hybrid cloud, and so it switched over to VMware vRealize with Hitachi Enterprise Cloud. With Hitachi and VMware’s expertise in data management, Centrica could seamlessly move data between on-premise and cloud-based apps. It could also gain the benefits of a public cloud environment while still run on a private cloud internally.


The joint VMware and Hitachi solutions were implemented by Cognizant, a systems integrator. The results have been newly standardized and automated processes for Centrica. These are driving service virtualization and is shortening the organization’s path to digital transformation.


To find out more about Centrica’s journey and its benefits so far, come along to Hitachi NEXT 2018, a premier event for the digital revolution. It’s to be held from September 25th to 27th at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, California. You’ll get to hear from Sunny Sahajpal, EMEA Strategic Alliances Manager at VMware, and Neil Lewis, Cloud Services Strategist – EMEA at Hitachi Vantara.


To learn more about our joint solutions please visit Hitachi Vantara and VMware Alliance pages.

Since NEXT 2017, you may have noticed that we’ve been using a certain four-letter word almost constantly: Data. It’s everywhere, literally and figuratively. We all see it, we collect it, we create it, we study it, and we won’t shut up about it – because it’s that important! We’ve never seen data as we do now, and it’s never been so available for us to collect and use. So what exactly do we do with it all?


You’ll find out at NEXT 2018. You’ll see how other businesses have used data to transform. You’ll get insights from industry experts and guest speakers. You’ll get your hands on the newest products and solutions that will help you use your data more intelligently. And if last year’s event hasn’t already convinced you to register, check out this fun infographic on the Top 10 Reasons To Attend.


There are so many things that I’m looking forward to at NEXT. The fact that it’s in San Diego, California is the cherry on top. I mean, come on – sun, sand, coastal breeze – it’s what you see on those postcards from California, if people still use postcards. And I hear there’s a lot of fun to be had in the Gaslamp District. Maybe even something about a party there? Last year, we had some fun (Pitbull, anyone?), so I have no doubt that we’ll have a great time again.


We talk about data being the key to innovation and more intelligent outcomes, so I’m excited to hear what Lisa Bodell has to say in our general session. An innovation leader and CEO of futurethink, Lisa is known for teaching organizations how to simplify in order to accelerate change. Malcolm Gladwell, another revolutionary thought-leader, will also be a guest speaker. As the best-selling author of Tipping Point and Blink, I’m sure he’ll challenge our assumptions on innovation and inspire new ways of thinking.


The breakout sessions were incredibly popular last year, and this year will be no different. There are 50 to choose from, including sessions featuring customer use cases on how data has helped them transform and get smarter. It’s a great opportunity to hear and learn from our peers in the industry and how they’re adapting to the rapidly-evolving digital economy. It’s always reassuring to hear the experiences of others like you and how they’ve found success amidst similar struggles.


Our Executive Business Center will also be back this year. You’ll get the chance to schedule individual meetings with executives and experts from Hitachi to get insights and talk all things data. This is a unique opportunity where you can have engaging, valuable discussions on how to approach some of the biggest challenges we face in business today.


New this year are the training and certification offerings that’ll be on-site. It’s an incredible chance to get hands-on training on Pentaho, analytics and more so that you can maximize your return on data. You’ll even be able to take exams to get certified as part of our Certified Professional Program, which is a great way to prove your skills and knowledge and really lead what’s next for your business.


It’s almost hard to believe that NEXT 2018 is already here. It’s all about your data and your innovation, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.


See you in San Diego,


Asim Zaheer

Chief Marketing Officer

Hitachi Vantara

VI_Logo_cmyk_color.pngCome see us LIVE! At the Hitachi Next 2018 Conference | Bayfront Hotel | San Diego, CA. The Virtual Instruments Booth is located on the Second Floor (Indigo Level), Indigo Ballroom, Section E


Virtual Instruments has a long and valued relationship with Hitachi Vantara.  We have worked together to solve many challenging problems across a global variety of enterprise customers.  From winning large telco estates to international transactional-based financial institutions.  Virtual Instruments vastly simplifies IT infrastructure management, assuring the highest availability and. performance of mission critical applications for the world’s most demanding customers. Combined with Hitachi Vantara, a valued Go-To-Market Partner, we provide insights, so you can see what's next for your data.


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See how to INSTRUMENT, DISCOVER, ASSESS AND REALIZE benefits for your business with offerings from Hitachi Vantara and Virtual Instruments. Bring insights and strategies you can use right away to transform your business today and build it for tomorrow. Combined, we have saved our valued customers $millions of dollars in avoiding unplanned outages and application slowdowns.


But don’t believe me! This is what just one of our mutual customers are saying:


‘The combination of VirtualWisdom and Hitachi Vantara VSP is a perfect match for delivering performance for my critical apps and the assurance of that performance for our demanding customers.”


Jon Phillips, Enterprise Storage and SAN Team Manager

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

In a recent survey by Enterprise Strategy Group on converged infrastructure trends, 83% of customers surveyed said that converged infrastructure technology has made their IT organization more agile.




At Hitachi NEXT 2018, we’re talking to three customers first-hand about their journey toward IT agility with converged infrastructure solutions from Hitachi Vantara. You won’t want to miss this panel session: Modernize Your Data Center and Go Beyond the Hype with Real World Transformation Results from SFS Group, Aldo and Cognizant.


The SFS Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of mechanical fastening systems and precision formed parts with around $1.6 billion in sales and 9,000+ full-time employees, needed to modernize their data center with a fully automated and integrated solution that would enable IT to focus on innovation. SFS turned to Hitachi Vantara for their UCP converged infrastructure solution with automated management and orchestration via a single pane of glass.




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Learn how Hitachi solutions helped SFS:

  • Tackle the challenge of creating an IT infrastructure to support 100% of business-critical applications
  • Lower total cost of ownership by 20%
  • Achieve more efficient business process support with Hitachi Vantara



Session Speakers

Patrick Bichler, Head of Infrastructure part of Corporate IT at SFS Group

Dominic D'Amata, Vice President, Architecture at Aldo

Reinier van Hoeijen, AVP Cognizant Infrastructure Transformation Services -– Europe & Middle East


Be sure to stop by the Agile Data Infrastructure area at HitachiNEXT 2018 to check out our product demos and talk to the experts.

suse_logo_color.jpg Hitachi Vantara and SUSE Alliance

Based on a deep history in Linux and open sources solutions, along with an open philosophy to be more compatible with other vendors up and down the software stack, SUSE is committed to building and growing strong alliances with hardware partners like Hitachi Vantara.


That collaboration is visible and available in the market today in the form of solutions the companies have built together. Hitachi Vantara has already harnessed SUSE’s deep expertise with SAP applications to deliver a powerful converged solution on the Unified Compute Platform (UPC) for SAP HANA (they often have a top ranking in the SAP BW Advance Mixed Load Benchmark), as well as the development of customer-facing web platforms, and exploring opportunities for IoT applications with Linux embedded operating systems.


Why the Right Open Source Partner Matters

Simply stated, this is a question of forward looking technology trends. As more enterprise businesses look to Linux and open source solutions to help solve problems around storage, cloud and software defined infrastructure, the need for flexibility, compatibility and reliability is vital. That’s where SUSE’s open, open source philosophy adds true value.


By working strategically with partners like Hitachi Vantara, SUSE puts emphasis on understanding not only the technical requirements, but the forward-looking strategic business initiatives that drive value and growth. This approach fosters close collaboration and co-engineered solutions that work with not only hardware, but also in finding ways to discover compatibility with proprietary software and other modified technologies throughout the stack. The result: More freedom, more flexibility, and more choice for partners, customers, and end-users.


The Best of Supported Linux

There are different varieties of Linux and open source. There is community open source and unsupported Linux that is a viable and cost-effective option for certain applications. Of course, this puts accountability back on internal teams to take full ownership of development, security, patch management, distribution and other activities.


The alternative, of course, is a supported Linux distribution, like those provided by SUSE. While Linux is free and open code, a supported Linux distribution provides the support, maintenance, security updates and patches that tend to cost companies a lot of money in terms of team size, man hours, technology training and a host of other variables that inflate total cost of ownership.


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Opportunities Abound

What may surprise companies to learn is that when it comes to Linux development for areas like IoT applications and embedded operating systems, SUSE provides an advanced set of design and management tools that make it easy to get started. While many unsupported Linux distributions provide similar build tools, SUSE provides long term services and support for 13+ year product lifecycles.


These build tools and expert support services provide access to a powerful commercial grade operating system that is capable of powering many Industrial IoT applications.


To learn more about SUSE, our partnership with Hitachi Vantara, and how innovative and forward looking open source solutions are changing the way we help organizations plan and implement strategic technology strategies, visit our booth at Hitachi Next, and learn more at