In conversation with Dataquest, Russell Skingsley, Chief Technology Officer, Solutions and Products Group Leader and Head of Presales for Asia Pacific talks about Lumada IoT platform and the government related initiatives in which Hitachi is heavily focusing on. Excerpts:
What is so special about the new release of Hitachi’s Lumada IoT Platform? How will it help your customers?
The latest Lumada release is what we at Vantara call an “edge to outcome” software platform with comprehensive security capabilities and expanded support for unstructured data uploads. It runs both on-premise or in the cloud and supports industrial IoT deployments, both at the edge and in the core. Lumada has incorporated industry leading technologies such as digital twins with Hitachi’s own Asset Avatar. This provides a 360-degree view of all connected assets through digital representation for increased asset visibility and improved data driven decision capabilities.
Lumada is built on composable architecture which allows you to select the right technology components for specific requirements instead of the one-size-fits-all approach. Lumada is also flexible by design and runs in the cloud or on premise as required by your situation. We have found that many “cloud only” IoT platforms do not meet the latency profile of real time data collection requirements that are so common today in Industrial IoT. Lumada allows for either deployment depending on actual needs.
Hitachi is uniquely positioned in the IoT space with over a hundred years of Operational Technology experience and over 50 years of Information Technology experience. We have transcribed this experience in reusable building blocks called solution cores. These not only reduce the time to value for our customers but also provide access to proven solutions.
How has been the journey for Hitachi Vantara in India? Can you please throw some light on your new company Hitachi Vantara?
With the recent launch of our new business entity, Hitachi Vantara, we aim to leverage the broad portfolio of innovation, development, and experience across Hitachi Group companies to deliver data-driven solutions for commercial and industrial enterprises. This new company will unify the operations of Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Insight Group, and Pentaho into a single integrated business as Hitachi Vantara to capitalize on Hitachi’s social innovation capability in both operational technologies (OT) and information technologies (IT).
In the coming months, Hitachi Vantara will continue to provide superior infrastructure and analytics technologies that enterprises rely on for their mission-critical data in their data centers, cloud and at the edge of new innovations. With no clear winner in the emerging Industrial IoT market, we aim to fill this market gap and create an opportunity that will harness businesses and machine data across OT and IT environments to build comprehensive, data-driven solutions
What are the key verticals that you believe can yield great returns for the company?
Hitachi has been a leader in OT for industries such as finance, government, manufacturing, power/energy and transportation for over 100 years, providing solutions that have positively impacted cities, industrial operations and businesses at large. The company has also been a leader in IT for over 50 years—bringing IT applications, analytics, content, cloud, and infrastructure solutions to market that have transformed the way enterprises do business. Combining Hitachi’s broad expertise in OT with its proven IT product innovations and solutions, Hitachi Vantara gives customers a powerful, collaborative partner in data – unavailable in any one company until today.
Hitachi Vantara has been helping customers harness the power of their data to support meaningful business action for years. The company serves global Fortune 1000 companies with best-in-class data management, infrastructure, content, and analytics products and industrial IoT solutions for various industries including financial services and insurance, government, industrials/manufacturing, telecom, and transportation.
What are the challenges in front of you and what are your top priorities?
Internet of Things (IoT) has increasingly become a disruptive force for enterprises in their digital journeys. The enormous number of choices on IoT innovation and implementation represents opportunities and challenges for businesses. At Hitachi, we aim to work with customers to overcome the challenges they face by utilizing proven tools and OT knowledge to analyse data on their facilities, equipment, and personnel together with data from commercial departments, and to provide the results as feedback in the form of workplace OT. Our Hitachi Lumada IoT Platform brings together the technologies involved in IoT solutions to accelerate collaborative creation for customers.
In terms of my top priorities, it is to help our customers understand what the unique combination of OT and IT experience can bring, while at the same time help all users understand that this pushing of the envelope that we at Vantara are involved in has benefits for all. Whether they need Industrial IoT, data analytics for business insight, management for an explosion of data, or simply more efficient, agile IT platforms.
What are the government related initiatives in which Hitachi is heavily focusing, especially in the context of Digital India?
Hitachi Vantara’s social innovation portfolio fits well into the plans that help the government of India to accelerate the pace of digital India projects. At present, over 24 State Governments across India are leveraging Hitachi’s IT solutions and operating on Hitachi’s technology for their various e-governance functions such as:
EPFO: Hitachi Vantara has collaborated with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), a Government of India unit, to provide digital transformation by facilitating seamless information management in the backend where the
EPFO can digitize most of its services. Along with home-grown applications and partners, we have helped EPFO to digitally transform by providing better services to citizens of the country.
Aadhar & UID: The analytics of the Unique Identification Authority of India for the Aadhaar card system has also been carried out on the Hitachi platform. We aim to leverage the power of one Hitachi and combine them with our IT platforms to build a better society.
MyGov & NKN: Many projects like the ‘MyGov’ initiative, e-Procure, e-courts and Central Crime Research continue to run on Hitachi Vantara’s platforms. MyGov is a citizen engagement platform founded by the Government of India to promote the active participation of Indian citizens in their country’s governance and development. It is also aimed at creating a common platform for Indian citizens to “crowdsource governance ideas from citizens”. It allows users to discuss and contribute on various government projects and plans, alongside options to upload documents in various formats.
What is your business plan?
Hitachi Vantara is helping enterprises use data as their greatest asset to drive meaningful business outcomes. With the digital era taking over, we are unifying our strongest digital solutions companies together to help customers achieve tangible outcomes that positively drive business and society forward. Hitachi Vantara will capitalize on the operational and information technology expertise to meet the customer needs in today’s connected world. In Asia, we are focused on selling a range of video analytics solutions, healthcare analytics as well as business data analytics offerings.
We believe that as we drive the agenda for gaining relevance from data and ultimately to the benefits of industrial IoT, the need for mission critical IT systems is more important than ever. Thus, we will continue to be at the forefront of innovation in fundamental IT systems for the benefit of all IT users, and not just IoT ones.