Strong business partnerships can lay the foundation for unstoppable future growth.
The technology industry especially benefits from solid partnerships, as entire ecosystems can collaborate to provide solutions in a quickly evolving landscape. Hitachi Vantara LLC aims to stand out among its competitors by maintaining a high level of focus on developing knowledge, custom solutions and shared goals with throughout its partner ecosystem.
During today’s special broadcast, “Hitachi Vantara Drives Customer Success With Partners,” Hitachi Vantara executives joined theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, to explore the opportunities and challenges midsize enterprises are tackling and the cutting-edge solutions needed to succeed with increasingly complex cloud infrastructures. (* Disclosure below.)
During the livestream, theCUBE industry analysts Dave Vellante and Lisa Martin spoke with Hitachi Vantara’s Kimberly King, senior vice president of strategic partners; Russel Skingsley, chief technology officer and global VP of technical sales; and Tom Christensen, global technology advisor and executive analyst.
Plan, develop, monetize: driving real-time solutions
Many large and midsized enterprises are embracing the flexibility and scalability of the cloud. However, cloud infrastructure is increasingly becoming more complex, posing challenges of cost and manageability. Companies are not only looking to partners to provide advice regarding where to go, how to migrate and which paths are right for them, but they are also faced with a mind-numbing amount of different solution options to choose from. How does a growing organization know what is the right fit for them?
Hitachi Vantara has worked to build a partner ecosystem where customers can receive much-needed help with some of these pain points within the cloud infrastructure. With help from Hitachi Vantara, partners dive deep into their customer’s workloads, critical applications, architecture and infrastructural needs to develop solutions that fit their needs and budget. Unlike many competitors, Hitachi Vantara considers their partners as vital extensions of their own organizations by providing them with quality engagement, according to King.
One way that Hitachi Vantara helps partners grow and expand their businesses is by providing a simplified, digital selling platform. The goal is to enable partners to readily find solutions that match their budget and receive pre approved quotes and learn more about systems so they can find which one best matches their needs. By helping their partners and their customers build the right infrastructure, Hitachi Vantara hopes to help both sides increase their cash flow and grow alongside each other.
“We give them online what we call Hitachi Online Labs, which allows them to really leverage all the solutions and demo systems out there,” King said. “Because they have so many other solutions out there, we have to be one step ahead of everybody else to give them that solution capability and the expertise that they need for their customers.”
One key element is Hitachi Vantara’s ability to establish its partners as trusted advisors to their customers.
“We have a solution that is simple, easy and really scaled for the type of customer that we have out there,” King stated. “This allows them to basically right-size their infrastructure based on the application, the workload, the quality or the need that application might have and ensure that we provide them with the best solution.”
Advising customers and helping them understand what is truly right for them is the key to their expanding partner ecosystem. Whether they are helping partners build their own infrastructures, assisting them in leveraging the infrastructure of a hyperscaler or other GSI — or, in many cases, helping customers repatriate their infrastructure because of increased complexity and costs — the company is able to help customers make the right choices.
What does the future hold for the partnerships at Hitachi Vantara?
“We have tons of priorities. I think, really, it’s double-digit growth for them and for us,” King said. “My biggest priority is always to increase the number of partner success stories that we have and increase the value to our partners … we want to be number one across the board.”
Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Kimberly King:
Driving with data: harnessing data to grow businesses
One of the defining elements of our times is the increasing reliance on data and algorithms. By the year 2025, it is forecasted that the amount of data collected will rise to more than twice the amount held in 2020. Enterprises are struggling to capture, store, analyze and effectively use data to scale their business.
Businesses must employ the proper infrastructure in order to handle large amounts of data. For businesses such as the California-based Meta Platforms Inc., otherwise known as Facebook, it’s been the entire cornerstone of its profit structure. And things can get especially difficult when one considers the storage difficulties of handling large amounts of data. This is one of the many reasons the cloud is so popular. With the advent of the hybrid cloud, enterprises can now enjoy the ability to self-manage some of their IT while also enjoying the services of multiple third-party vendors.
Partnerships are key to optimizing use of the hybrid cloud, according to Skingsley. Enterprises are rarely able to purchase all their IT needs from one vendor and receive solutions that are custom fit for them. Even organizations using the public cloud, like those who work with Amazon Web Services Inc., rely on its Marketplace to introduce their customers to partner solutions.
“There basically is no hybrid at all without a partner ecosystem,” Skingsley stated. “We’ve been in the IT business for over 60 years, one of the few that can claim that sort of heritage. Partners are absolutely essential. We have a partners-first philosophy when it comes to our routes to market.”
It’s this approach that Skingsley credits for Hitachi Vantara’s reputation for providing the biggest and most reliable storage infrastructure.
“We make no apologies for the fact that we tout our speeds and feeds and ultimate supremacy!” Skinglsey said. “We’ve got solutions that are not just about storing the bits. We do think that we do that very well, but we also have solutions that move into the areas of enrichment of the data, cataloging of the data, classification of the data and, most importantly, analytics. Some of our competitors just stop at storing stuff and some of our competitors are in the analytics space, but we feel that we can bridge that and … that’s a competitive advantage for us.”
Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Russell Skingsley:
Sustainability by design: using circular economics to reduce carbon emissions
More than 80% of the Fortune 100 trust Hitachi Vantara to help them develop new revenue streams, unlock competitive advantages, lower costs and enhance customer experiences. Enterprises are also increasingly asking their vendors to deliver socially responsible practices and environmental value. Sustainability by design and circular economics in particular have been part of Hitachi Vantara’s operational focus for years.
The company’s long-term vision for sustainability started in earnest in 2013, long before the mega trend toward sustainable solutions began.
“We built a factory with concrete walls that were extremely thick to make it cold in the summertime and hot in the wintertime with minimum energy consumption. But we also put 17,000 square meters of solar panels on the roof to power that factory,” Christensen said.
The company was also collecting rainwater, removing LED light bulbs, and standardizing customer packaging to better utilize shipping materials.
“We want to reduce the waste as much as possible,” Christensen added.
While Hitachi Vantara was one of the first to focus on sustainability before increased laws and regulations came about, they also remain committed to a long-term vision of sustainability. The crux of this focus on green energy and sustainability centers on circular economics in which old equipment is designed to be able to be refurbished and recycled for new, high-quality products.
This concept of circular economics has helped Hitachi Vantara lower the amount of waste that ends up in landfills by up to 1-2%. While this obviously has a positive effect on the environment, it also helps the vendor cut labor, material and energy costs. It’s what Christensen calls sustainability by design, focusing on how to build and reinforce a culture of sustainability that minimizes their carbon footprint by design rather than as an afterthought.
Here’s theCUBE’s complete video interview with Tom Christensen:
And make sure to watch the complete “Hitachi Vantara Drives Customer Success With Partners” event video below:
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the “Hitachi Vantara Drives Customer Success With Partners” event. Neither Hitachi Vantara LLC, the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)