CW: Vendor lock-in is a given for converged infrastructure. What route will CIOs embrace in future--'best of breed' solutions or 'one throat to choke' vendor?
Yoshida: Demands of technologies like big data mean that the organizations cannot afford to micro manage multiple vendors. Hence, they will be comfortable with 'one throat to choke' or maybe a dual vendor strategy. The vendors providing a whole stack of servers, storage and file management systems will be the preferred choice. We are in good position to be that vendor.
CW: Has the role of an enterprise systems integrator changed with the advent of unified computing, cloud and big data?
Yoshida: Yes. There has been phenomenal adoption of our approach and technologies by systems integrators in India. Some SIs are looking for alternatives. For large projects, partners reduce their cash burn through our efficient technologies which adds significant business value to customers and themselves. Many SIs conduct outsourcing/out-tasking activities. We have an efficient model like managed storage solutions where partners can provide private cloud infrastructure on a consumption-based business model. SIs will convert to service providers.
The tier-2 and tier-3 partners will have a bigger portfolio like file content systems and UCP along with Hitachi services, compared to only storage before. With Hitachi cloud program, the resellers are becoming cloud service providers as they leverage our cloud delivery to service the SMB segment and become more profitable.
CW: Dell's embellishing its enterprise portfolio through the acquisitions of Sonicwall, Quest and Force 10. Are you aggressive about mergers and acquisitions too?
Yoshida: Not much. The problem with acquiring a tech company is different from, lets say, acquiring a bank. Assets are available in the bank, but for a tech acquisition, the asset is the mindset. You need to retain the intellect.
We worked with BlueArc for five years with sales and product roadmap. At the right time we acquired the company without losing any key technology people. We don't believe in just acquiring technology to fill gaps. It has to be integrated across our 'one platform for all data' vision, and everything needs to be integrated into management.
CW: Will mergers and acquisitions spill over to storage industry too?
Yoshida: It was the dynamic provisioning companies that were being acquired earlier. But more flash vendors are being acquired this year. There will be M&As, but we prefer to be more organic to stay at the peak of our core competence. We are the only, true R&D company left in the storage industry. That's why we can build flash controllers from scratch. There will be some consolidation in the storage market.
CW: HDS recently launched industry's first unified storage product that provides enterprise-class virtualization for all data types. What is the roadmap for storage virtualization?
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.