Hitachi Data Systems Aims Partners Expand In New Business Areas

Hitachi Data Systems
Vivekanand Venugopal
resident and General manager, Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Data Systems
Hitachi Data System (HDS), which was once called as a data storage firm, now has diversified their product portfolios too. The company has come up with new initiatives for their channels too. Vivekanand Venugopal, Vice President and General manager, Hitachi Data Systems, India, speaks with Channel Times for an exclusive chat.

Channel Times (CT): You are a company which has evolved from just data storage to overall solutions. What difference it makes for any channel partner who sells your solutions?

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS): We’re best known for our storage and IT infrastructure expertise, but we have been focused on diversifying our product and solution portfolios to become more than ‘just a storage company’ for many years now, quietly expanding our proficiency in advanced data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and connected intelligence. At HDS we are extremely proud of how closely we are aligning our technology efforts with our key partners both on the technology side as well as the Go-To-Market side.

Most of our business is driven through channel partners in India, and they will continue to play a key role in our growth strategy. We invest a lot of time in enabling our partners, providing best-in-class certification programs to build the perfect level of professional capabilities to match market focus and business goals.

We have a strong ecosystem of partners in India who can take our solutions, integrated with their IP’s and accelerate the rollout of the social innovation solutions locally and support the governments vision of digitally empowered citizens.

We will continue to leverage our partners’ capabilities to reach our customers while supporting them with new products and professional service offerings so that they in turn can become trusted advisors to their customers.

CT: What is your position (with respect to India) in your industry?

HDS: The Indian market has been a key contributor to the Hitachi Data Systems global business and is one of the fastest growing markets in the region. We are building on our IoT and data analytics market momentum in 2016, with an aggressive rollout of new solutions and services planned. India is a very important market for HDS and is a big part of our APAC business.

India has been growing in Double digit figures consistently, with impressive contribution coming from the expanded portfolio of Software, Cloud and Converged Platforms.

With various trends emerging fast like digital transformation, e-governance and Digital India, India is strategically poised to drive robust growth for HDS. We see a lot of opportunity in the GOI’s Digital India and Smart Cities campaign, not just as a technology provider but more as a Social Innovation specialist.

Our industry-leading infrastructure and content management tools for IT, along with the recent acquisitions of software platforms like Pentaho and OxYa, position us uniquely amongst industry players, to effectively integrate OT and IT to draw greater value from Big Data and the Internet of Things.

CT: You have a strong focus on Banking vertical as top banks use your technology. What are the other industry verticals you are focusing on?

HDS: In India, Hitachi Data Systems focuses on BFSI, IT & ITeS, telecom, Manufacturing and Government sector among others. We offer solutions to organizations not only to help them manage this data growth, Drive Optimization but also extract valuable insights from this information that can be used for business growth and innovation.

CT: Please tell the top three promises for existing partners of HDS

HDS: 1. Our collaborative culture and expanded portfolio would enable our existing partners to be relevant to the evolving Market opportunities like Cloud, Mobility, Analytics, IOT and Big Data
2. Create new business models that contribute to Predictable Bottom line
3. Expand into new markets and revenue streams.

CT: Please tell us the top three promises you would like to offer to partners who wish to do business with your company.

HDS: Partners in India are struggling to ascertain the technology companies they need to partner in this volatile, information driven economy. HDS with its expanding portfolio and a market in strategy will create the required stability for partners. In addition, we are committed to partners grow revenue, margins and attract new talent to win in this market place.

CT: Explain your channel story in India? (number of partners, certification levels and distribution models)

HDS: Our partners are the key to our success as most of our business is driven through channel partners in India. Partners in India will continue to play a key role in our growth strategy. As they deepen their expertise, they benefit more, and so do customers. Our Hitachi TrueNorth Partner Program provides exclusive access to advanced sales and marketing programs, robust presales tools, exceptional training, and solution-selling materials.

The program includes competitive pricing, access to financial benefits, flexible business expense and investment funding, plus many other exclusive program benefits. We work with our network of over 60 ISVs and go-to-market partners (distribution, resellers and GSIs) in India. These include technology alliance partners like SAP for HANA, VMware for joint solutions, Microsoft, Oracle, Citrix, and Veritas.

We offer a strong and effective Specialization Program that helps Hitachi True North Partners train their team to sell and deliver service specializations as standalone offerings or in combination with the partners’ own value-added solutions. The service specializations are offered in areas where the market opportunity is the greatest and Hitachi Data Systems solution capabilities are the strongest. As the market evolves, new areas of specializations are offered.

CT: What type of training do you provide for channels and their employees?

HDS: We invest a lot of time in enabling our partners, providing best-in-class certification programs to build the perfect level of professional capabilities to match market focus and business goals. We conduct periodical trainings for partners and train them regularly on our products and solutions through regular webinars, quarterly pre-sales boot camp on solutions, etc.

We have highly structured academy-led training courses and certification levels called Hitachi Certified Professional Program. These are Instructor-led trainings; Web-based trainings and Virtual Instructor-led trainings for partner sales, pre-sales and post-sales people. The completion of these trainings leads them to certification.

CT: Explain in detail, the type of reward program you offer from time to time. What aspects do you design in the reward programs and explain its uniqueness?

HDS: We understand that rewarding partners for their efforts is very important. We believe in building a profitable business for partners and to support this we have exciting incentive programs for partners like Back End Rebates and Co Op funds based on performance; Target account incentive, new account bonus to support the profitability of the organization, etc.

For the partner pre-sales and sales personnel we also have programs like, ‘Close & Win’, Hitachi Rewards Program, and Reference Customer Case Study Incentive and more. In addition to this, we introduce many exciting rewards and incentive programs for the partners on quarterly and yearly basis

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