Three takeaways from HDS' partner summit in Noosa

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Three takeaways from HDS' partner summit in Noosa

It goes without saying but HDS, as a subsidiary of Hitachi, has fingers in a lot of pies. From storage, to analytics, converged technology and more, the company is a fascinating one for a variety of reasons.

Here are three takeaways from the HDS annual partner summit in Noosa in Queensland this week. 

Dell, EMC, HP is a club HDS doesnt want to be associated with

If you want any more evidence of the impact cloud has had on enterprise IT giants, take HDS’ efforts to paint itself as much, much more than a storage vendor.

HDS technology evangelist Greg Knieriemen has published a blog post stating that unlike Dell and EMC, HDS is “not a traditional IT vendor”. The argument is that HDS is moving up the stack in areas like big data analytics and combining its expertise with parent Hitachi’s industrial roots across everything from health to transport. Hitachi has twice as many patent applications as Oracle and Microsoft combined in critical big data technology categories, he stated.

“While some might lament that the Dell acquisition of EMC signifies the decline of traditional IT companies, we have been fortunate not to be included in that club,” he wrote.

Australian and New Zealand HDS vice president Nathan McGregor echoed those comments, linking to this provocative article from Wired that argues traditional IT companies are facing obsolescence.

Whatever you believe, HDS, like Microsoft and others, is looking for partners that can do more than provide managed services.

HDSAustralian channel is growing

Revenue through HDS partners in Australia grew by more than 30 percent in the 2014 financial year. Granted, this is coming from a vendor that’s been transforming its channel, but it indicates the new strategy is having an effect.

In the 2014 financial year, 76 percent of HDS revenue was through partners. In the first quarter of this year, it was 100 percent. Last year only a single partner achieved its target and received a rebate, compared to 70 percent of partners this year.

HDS has added 21 local partners and in April it brought together customers, partners, analysts, press and staff at one major global event for the first time.

“A couple of years ago there wasn’t a lot of trust between us and our business partners.…I suggest to you that there is a lot more trust today,” channel manager Phil Teague told partners in Noosa this week.

Expect plenty of marketing. HDS is planning 15 marketing programs a quarter, which we were told is a lot more than it was doing a year or more ago.

IOT, IOT, IOT

You’ve heard it from Cisco, you’ve heard it from just about everyone else, and HDS is no exception. It’s been buying up companies in areas like analytics, and is looking for partners in areas like big data, analytics, mobility and cloud.

HDS calls its new direction “Social Innovation”. This week at Noosa we heard HDS people speak of using analytics to check whether people are standing in a dangerous place on a train platform, for autonomous mining trucks, consolidating metadata for hospitals and predicting crime.

“That’s something Hitachi brings that no merger of two IT companies can go anywhere near,” argued McGregor, referring to the Dell-EMC merger.

CRN travelled to the HDS ANZ Partner Summit 2015 as a guest of HDS.

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