Aaron Steppat (VMware) with Greg Knieriemen (HDS)
Greg Knieriemen is the first to admit he has a gaudy title. He is Hitachi Data Systems' technology evangelist and strategist and co-host of Speaking in Tech, one of the most popular technology podcasts in the world. Prior to this, he worked for an HDS channel partner for 13 years. He sat down with ARN to talk Cloud, the Internet of Things (that matter), working with Google and where he sees channel partners can add value to the company’s new social innovation play.
Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has shifted focus from offering traditional infrastructure to leveraging other technologies that come from the firm’s parent, Hitachi.
“We are our own experiment in a lot of ways," he said.
“HDS has obviously traditionally been known for our infrastructure solutions, but if you look at the acquisitions we have made in the last 18 months, whether it’s oXya for an SAP Cloud play, If you look at the Pentaho acquisition that represents our very deep dive into open source, and then if you look at Pantascene which is our public safety play. They are reflective of the direction we are going. We call it social innovation in the Internet of Things that matter.
“Pantascene actually got a bit of press recently in the US, unfortunately in relation to the mass shootings that have occurred there. Police departments and public safety officials now have to get more intelligent about they are managing all the different data points that they have available, whether it’s social media, cameras or developing heat maps for visualisation to better detect and predict crime patterns.
Knieriemen said that, initially, many in the community were initially concerned about the impact of such capability, one news outlet likening it to the film Minority Report. He stressed that it was how these technologies can be used in a positive, or negative, way that has the real impact.
“It’s not just us, every technology vendor has to draw their own conclusions," he said.
“I think we have a role here to be transparent with the public. That is really important for us to distinguish ourselves from these kind of quiet technologies that pop up after Eric Snowden and others like him release information about it.
“There is a lot of hype and buzz around the Internet of Things, people hear that and think, ‘so my toaster is going to be connected to the internet?’ We are trying to distinguish that stuff from the things that matter, it’s really important. Pantascene is a great example of how a public good can be clearly served by leveraging this technology. It’s also a bridge back to our foundational technologies.