Japanese IT services provider Hitachi has confirmed its intent to focus on IoT technologies, with its new business entity, Hitachi Vantara.
The subsidiary brings together the operations of analytics arm Pentaho, which Hitachi bought in 2015 for some $500 million, along with data center infrastructure division Hitachi Data Systems, and big data software arm Hitachi Insight Group. The newly formed Vantara will employ some 7,000 people – about a third of Hitachi’s IT workforce – out of its Santa Clara, California headquarters.
No clear winner
According to Hitachi executives, Vantara will target the emerging IoT market opportunity, “in which there is no clear winner yet”; signalling its intent to compete with the likes of Microsoft, Google and Amazon, as well as utility giants such as GE and Siemens.
“To address this market, Hitachi Vantara will harness business, human and machine data across operational technology (OT) and IT environments to build comprehensive, data-driven solutions. Customers will be able to manage, store, govern, blend, analyze, and visualize data—and then take action based on uncovered insights,” the company said.
Ian Hughes, senior analyst of IoT at IT advisory company 451 Research, believes that the strategy of bringing together units that address the intersection of OT and IT makes business sense.
“It is the core of any industrial digital transformation to bring together data from both plant and the rest of the enterprise, apply analytics to that and then act upon the insight,” he said.
“For any large company it is important to have an integrated approach to the essential elements of IoT,” he added.
Over the last week, Hitachi Vantara has announced that it would team with UK-based telecommunications giant BT, to develop industrial and enterprise IoT products. The partnership will bring together BT’s experience in network infrastructure, cloud and cyber security together with Hitachi’s Lumada IoT platform. The company also announced Hitachi IoT Appliance, a new ‘turnkey appliance’ for IoT deployments.