Hitachi Vantara gives birth to AI-led Digital Services unit

Hitachi Construction Excavator

Hitachi has spun out a Digital Services unit from Hitachi Vantara to provide generative AI-led services across the business.

Vantara is the enterprise storage data infrastructure business inside Hitachi, covering all markets outside Japan. Its product portfolio includes the VSP (Virtual Storage Platform) high-end and mid-range block arrays, HNAS file storage, VSS (software-defined storage), and HCP (Hitachi Content Platform) for object data. These standalone products are being combined into a single hybrid storage platform called Virtual Storage Platform One, managed through the Ops Center product.

As a Japanese conglomerate, Hitachi has wide interests, including Hitachi Energy, Hitachi Construction, and Hitachi Rail.

Keiji Kojima, president and CEO of Hitachi Ltd, said in a statement: “We see the emergence of generative AI as a breakthrough with enormous impact.” Hitachi’s company changes have “the aim of effectively utilizing generative AI to unleash the potential of the company. Through this reorganization, Hitachi will actively invest in the data infrastructure necessary for AI training and in OT and IT Integration, [in] which Hitachi has domain knowledge, to achieve company-wide digital transformation through the use of generative AI.”

OT refers to operational technology distinct from IT (information technology). Overall, the company is “reorganizing its global organizations to accelerate the creation of synergies with OT fields such as energy, transportation, and industry, while strengthening digital capabilities and value chains … Hitachi will promote company-wide digital transformation through the utilization of rapidly evolving generative AI and contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.”

A diagram shows the big idea:

Hitachi restructure diagram
GlobalLogic provides digital engineering services and the Silicon Valley company was acquired by Hitachi in 2021. DSS stands for Digital Systems and Services. GEM stands for Green Energy and Mobility. The CI sector refers to Connective Industries. OT and IT refer to Operational Technology and Information Technology.

Hitachi Digital Services (HDS) starts life on November 1 and will be spun out from Hitachi Vantara LLC’s digital solutions business. It will be led by CEO Roger Lvin, currently president of Hitachi Vantara’s Digital Solutions Business Unit.

HDS will offer services in cloud, data, IoT technologies, and OT and IT integration services. It will support enterprise transformation through automation of business processes and generative AI, and work with the separate Hitachi Digital, led by CEO Jun Taniguchi and president Gajen Kandiah.

Hitachi Vantara LLC will have a new CEO, Sheila Rohra,  who moves from being president of Hitachi Vantara’s Data Infrastructure business unit. The company, headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, will be responsible for development, construction, sales, operations, monitoring, and maintenance of data infrastructure products centered on storage for overseas markets, data management software, hybrid cloud infrastructure, and related services.

As of April 1, 2024, Hitachi’s IT Platform Products Management Division, which has been responsible for business development, R&D, and production of data infrastructure in Japan, will be succeeded by the newly established Hitachi Vantara Ltd – not LLC. Hitachi Vantara Ltd will be headquartered in Yokohama City, Japan, and perform the same roles as Hitachi Vantara LLC but for the domestic market.

So there are two Hitachi Vantara business units – one for Japan, and one for overseas. Sheila Rohra runs the LLC Hitachi Vantara and Akinobu Shimada is the president of Hitachi Vantara Ltd.

This mind-numbing corporate stuff is further complicated as Hitachi Vantara Ltd and Hitachi Vantara LLC will strengthen their mutual management as the realigned Hitachi Vantara. They will integrate global storage sales, and combine engineering, development, and manufacturing through an integrated Japan-US operation.

The two companies will provide hybrid cloud storage and a common platform for generative AI under a unified brand. The company will build a partner ecosystem and promote the development of a common platform for generative AI through strategic alliances, and strengthen its data infrastructure services including data management.

A Gajen Kandiah blog provides some background.