Hitachi Data Systems, the global storage arm of Hitachi, teamed with its parent company to form the Global Office of Technology and Planning, or Global OTP.
The new office, headed by Michael Hay, vice president and chief engineer at both HDS and Hitachi, is targeted at exchanging expertise and bringing a wider range of technology to the companies' solutions.
Hay told CRN that the Global OTP is an extension of Hitachi's April move to appoint HDS CEO Jack Domme as Hitachi's first non-Japanese corporate officer.
HDS and Hitachi, which have worked together on projects including networking and big data, are getting prepped for more "intense" cooperation via the Global OPT, Hay said.
"We have a global team spanning the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific," he said. "It will use our global field teams to deliver the right technology at the right time."
Actually, HDS and Hitachi already have collaborated to the benefit of the channel, said Joe Kadlec, vice president and senior partner at Consiliant Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and HDS partner.
"They don't talk about it a lot, but HDS has leveraged Hitachi R&D for years," Kadlec said. "For example, the crossbar technology in Hitachi Data Systems' storage arrays came from Hitachi telecom products. That's how Hitachi Data Systems has made the leap in technology without following the same path as its competitors."
Kadlec said he looks forward to seeing how the Global OPT works. "Anything that strengthens the offering by leveraging what other Hitachi units are doing strengthens our position," he said.
HDS traditionally has been thought of as a "super VAR," Hay said.
"It's a longtime myth," he said. "Hitachi Data Systems has been adding engineering through both home-grown and acquired expertise. With Jack's promotion, we've moved from being that mythical 'super VAR' to being a true corporate citizen."
Hay said the Global OTP will facilitate technology development across the breadth of the Hitachi portfolio. For instance, it can help bring new technology to such wide-ranging initiatives as Hitachi's Smart City program, water treatment facilities in Saudi Arabia, and high-speed trains in the U.K.
"Was in-memory analytics to do predictive analysis on train systems ready before?" he said. "Probably not. Now it will be."
NEXT: Bringing HDS, Hitachi Closer To Channel, Customers
The Global OTP will help foster deeper relationships between HDS and its channel partners, Hay said.
"Partners can bring customers to our labs," he said. "They can show new technologies and how they impact the customers. A lot of HDS channel partners have not heard of converged stacks, analytic environments, and what we bring to bear. Now we're executing on early engagement projects with technology partners may not have seen before. There's a great new chance for channel partners in North America to interact with us in a new way."
The Global OTP team also is engaged in developing new solutions for customers, Hay said.
"For example, we're working with the American Bar Association to look at how they can move exciting new e-discovery standards to international standards, or look at the specific impacts of new technologies like 'anonymization' to ensure the security of private data," he said.
PUBLISHED AUG. 7, 2013