Hitachi Data Systems Targets ANZ Cloud Market

Hitachi, through its wholly owned subsidiary Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), has entered into a partnership deal with Global Storage, a cloud company based in Melbourne, to offer a comprehensive cloud offering in Australia.

Hitachi is feeling the heat in the external disk storage systems market, and has actually lost its footing.

IDC released a report on the performance of External Disk Storage Systems Market earlier in March for the fourth quarter of 2013. This report clearly indicates that Hitachi is struggling to remain competitive despite the overall market showing a positive response. While announcing the analysis report, Eric Sheppard, Research Director, IDC Storage said, “The disk storage systems market was able to break free of recent headwinds due to traditional year-end budget flushes, improved economic sentiment, and a strong desire to address long-standing storage infrastructure inefficiencies.”

Hitachi lost revenue by 5.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the same period the previous year. They earned a total of $558 million during the fourth quarter of 2013, which was a drop from $590 million same period in 2012. The report also shows that their market share dropped from 8.8% in fourth quarter of 2012 to 8.1% the same period in 2013. While Hitachi ranked at number 5 as an Open Networked Disk Storage Systems supplier in the fourth quarter of 2013, it was a no-show in the total worldwide disk storage systems market results.

Hitachi’s lack of product diversification and innovation, especially in the storage niche, could have led to its poor performance.

Eric also noted, “Industry stakeholders able to capitalize the most on this demand were often those with recent product refreshes and strong go-to-market initiatives targeted at integrated infrastructure and storage optimization.”

That said Hitachi seems to be working hard to turn things around. They are diversifying their products and tapping into new markets. They have also opted to use partnerships to enter the ANZ market.

Earlier in March this year, HDS opened offices in Australia to service Australia and New Zealand markets. They are particularly keen to work with managed service providers (MSPs), to utilize the value-added corporate and enterprise cloud services niche. Their proposed subscription-based comprehensive product will comprise hardware, software and “service offering starting from infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to more value added offerings such as backup as a service (BaaS), archive as a service (AaaS), and content as a service (CaaS).”

Hitachi is confident that their offerings are a complement to their partners’ products. While opening their new office, Altay Ayyuce, Director, Cloud and Service Provider, Hitachi Data Systems Australia and New Zealand said, “With the launch of the cloud and service provider division we are in a position to leverage the technological innovation of Hitachi Data Systems in areas such as infrastructure management, and converged and content management. We team these innovations with our extensive experience in delivering an enterprise-grade service catalogue with strict service level agreements (SLAs).” Of partnerships, he continued, “This strategy enables Hitachi Data Systems to meet the needs of all our service provider partners and enables them to offer a unified approach to cloud services.”

From MSPs, it looks like Hitachi is set to increase its cloud portfolio by collaborating with cloud companies. Global storage seems to be the vessel to carry out the mission. During the announcement of their partnership deal, Altay said, “Our partnership with Global Storage is a mutual relationship between the 2 companies that goes beyond technology to include sales and go-to-market support. Under the agreement, HDS customers can continue to use industry-leading, enterprise-grade infrastructure in their IT data center. They also have the option and flexibility of Global Storage’s public cloud offering to dramatically cut the costs and complexities of delivering IT services.”

The comprehensive cloud offering will include:

  • DataReady, Global Storage’s backup service
  • EnvironmentReady, Global Storage disaster recovery offering
  • CloudReady, an infrastructure-as-a-service vCloud solution offered by Global Storage

HDS and Global Storage expect, “these services, hosted in Australian-based data centers, to allow organizations to meet the most stringent security, governance and compliance requirements, such as the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and other legislation concerning cloud jurisdiction.”