“The other element to this is that Hitachi, when it comes to Big Data and social innovation, significantly more patients than Microsoft, IBM and others.
“Clearly, despite the acquisitions we have made in the last 18 months, we are on a different path. We have a vision of what that will look like and how our company will evolve during this transition. It’s not just us, our customers are going through it, partners here are going through this transition and the vendors are also going through the transition.”
Partner opportunities in the social innovation economy
For HDS, the future is very much about the IoT movement and how leveraging analytics platforms like Pentaho will enable partners to crunch that data so that they can base new revenue streams on offering that as-a-service.
Knieriemen said technologies like this presented an opportunity that could be leveraged by HDS partners, but that it would not happen overnight.
“I think it is going to be baby steps and i think we are going to see partners making that transition,” he said.
“It sounds very superficial, but if they are not changing and disrupting themselves and finding new ways of providing value to their customers that they have had for the last ten years, someone else will.
“They need to evolve their own business to better reflect what their customers are going through.”
According to Knieriemen, the big thing HDS needs to provide partners with is the tools that power them through the transition to the 'as-a-service' model that vendors and end users are going through.
“I think partners can easily get caught in the gap there if they are not ramping up and transitioning their business to take advantage of that,” he said.
“You hear us talking about social innovation and the Internet of Things that matter, and I think that the first reaction you might get from some partners will be, ‘I sell a server or converged infrastructure, what’s the Internet of things and how does social innovation make a difference?"
Kubernetes and the container revolution
Knieriemen is also proud of the work the company had done with Google on developing the the Internet giant’s container platform, Kubernetes.
“Our engineering teams in Washington [state] were working with some of the folks over at Google before Kubernetes was released publicly,” he said.
“Up until that point, our unified compute platform was available to host applications either bare metal or virtual machine and their [HDS developers] eyes got wide when they began to realise what Google was up to by releasing the orchestration for containers in the form of Kubernetes.
“They connected the dots that this is of real value to the unified compute platform. So they got busy, did some testing, actually two very large recognised brands were using it even before the launch.