Businesses Will Flock Towards Customised Tools And Solutions: Radhika Krishnan, Hitachi Vantara

We supported the Government of Andhra Pradesh State in revolutionising its operations to create a safer, more efficient and sustainable society. Now, 30 departments are synced with the Real-time Governance (RTG) centre.

Leading provider of IoT, analytics and data storage solutions – Hitachi Vantara, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., is on a journey to bring a cost-effective path for enterprises. In this AI era, companies must have access to the right set of technologies and services to extract the value out of the large trove of data for timely and efficient decision making.

Analytics India Magazine caught up with Radhika Krishnan, Chief Product Officer at Hitachi Vantara, to understand how the company is solving the digital challenges for businesses in India. An alumnus of BITS, Pilani and San Jose State University, Radhika joined Hitachi Vantara last year. Earlier to this, Radhika was executive vice president and general manager of software at 3D Systems and she has held leadership roles at Cisco, HP, NetApp, Lenovo, and Nimble Storage in the past.

Edited Excerpts: 

AIM: How does Hitachi Vantara help businesses and customers solve digital challenges?

Radhika: In India, we have over 300 customers, including Infosys, Cloud Nine Hospital and the State of Andhra Pradesh. Clients are caught between the two forces of keeping up with the surge of new digital data and the continuous pressure to deliver new digital experiences to remain relevant and competitive. We provide data-driven agility with high-performance data systems, automated storage provisioning and world-class data deduplication and compression to tackle these challenges. Pulling these technologies together, customers can create a modern data fabric that connects the sources fuelling this surge of data, and the rising tide of digital customer expectations, enabling you to create new business value from your data. 

In India, we completed a project with Cloudnine Hospitals where we helped improve data access and supported content mobility that allowed doctors and staff at any location to get vital patient information using our Hitachi Content Platform (HCP). 

We supported the Government of Andhra Pradesh State in revolutionising its operations to create a safer, more efficient and sustainable society. Now, 30 departments are synced with the Real-time Governance (RTG) centre. A key component of the RTG centre is the Hitachi Visualisation Suite (HVS), which incorporates disaster mitigation plans, integrates other real-time data and displays these on a single pane of glass that enables timely decision-making. 

AIM: Tell us about your product Lumada DataOps Suite. 

Radhika: DataOps is the data practice for the AI era, connecting data consumers with data creators to accelerate collaboration and digital innovation. We identified the need for a platform that integrated intelligent automation, was scalable, and exhibited repeatable success through various methods. The solution also needed an open ecosystem and a composition that replaced tedious manual coding. This is the vision that brought the Lumada DataOps Suite to life. 

The Lumada DataOps Suite is a modular software platform that features data integration, data analytics, data cataloguing, and edge intelligence tools that help connect data and assets. The new Lumada DataOps Suite launched in August 2021 provides a range of tools that allows large enterprises to easily collect, access and analyse their data from any cloud, edge or on-premise environment and addresses the compounding problems of data sprawl and dark data. Lumada DataOps Suite has now moved to general availability, combining both Lumada Data Integration, built with Pentaho technology and the Lumada Data Catalog, into a governed data fabric. Some of the key enhancements include:

  • A cloud-native architecture that uses microservices to promote massive scalability and composability.
  • A typical foundation and control plane for deployment and identity and access management allowing solutions to be constructed and managed the same way irrespective of where they run.
  • Deep integration between Lumada Data Catalog and Lumada Data Integration, allowing catalogue users to initiate and orchestrate complex data flows in a simplified manner supporting self-service and large productivity gains.

AIM: How does Hitachi Vantara ensure data protection?

Radhika: With the increasing load of data brought about by digital processes, traditional backup and recovery solutions will not suffice. The Hitachi Modern Data Protection and Copy Data Management solutions provide a range of integrated and automated technologies that can fundamentally improve data resilience, availability, recoverability and costs. 

This integrated technology performs end-to-end, policy-based workflows that are equipped to meet high levels of data availability demanded for critical application environments. Automated local and remote replication and host-based protection (as per requirement), is a part of our modern data protection system, allowing our customers to manage all the relevant tools from one place. It also helps significantly reduce costs, setup and management time while improving recovery point and time objectives.

AIM: What are the key challenges for managing a product engineering team?

Radhika: Product engineering teams drive innovation which is the basis of the differentiated value we deliver to our customers. The key to successful product engineering teams is hiring the right talent, creating the right culture and defining a clear vision and customer-centric strategy. Thereafter, you can turn smart engineers loose, and they will create great products. It is also important that product engineering teams adhere to robust product development methodologies that allow them to deliver high-quality products on time.

AIM: Can you tell us about how Hitachi Vantara is implementing AI and machine learning applications?

Radhika: AI and ML are used in a wide range of solutions we offer, including advisory services, data modernisation, operations intelligence, customer intelligence and regulatory and compliance intelligence, but there is still a lot of untapped potential in these fields. So far, Hitachi Ltd. has invested USD 2.9B in R&D and employed over 1000 analytic experts in all areas of AI. We have over 4500 AI, analytics and data patents globally. We are also working on multiple patents on the innovations in AI Ops using deep learning and advanced data pipelines. 

Lumada DataOps Suite is one of the finest examples of data management in the era of AI. AIOps is a product that uses big data, deep learning, modern and scalable data ingestion and aggregation. It works on metrics, events, logs and alerts to help identify anomalies, correlates events and alerts, performs noise reduction and root-cause analysis to automate and simplify IT operations using AI. We also believe that co-creation is important. The Lumada Alliance programme brings together industry-leading innovation partners to collectively address these challenges.

AIM: How do you envision the landscape of DataOps evolving?

Radhika: DataOps will have a significant impact on the future of IT by unlocking vast amounts of previously unused data. Data is being churned out as part of different business processes, both from internal and external sources. Organisations are increasingly understanding the value of data but are still learning how to utilise it effectively to its maximum potential. While data-driven ways of working are here to stay, the processes will undergo significant changes with technological advancements. 

AI and ML have already revolutionised the way we process and utilise data for insights. With the intervention of IoT and spike in data volumes, there will be a huge demand for smart and automated data analysis. The ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach has become irrelevant, and businesses will flock towards customised tools and solutions catering to their business-specific demands. 

AIM: What are the key problems that Hitachi Vantara is solving currently, and what are the plans for the near future?

Radhika: Hitachi, through its Social Innovation Business, is accelerating innovation with partners all over the world to create social, economic, and environmental values. We have the vision to solve environmental challenges and secure a more prosperous planet for future generations. As a pioneer in OT and IT technologies, Hitachi seeks to improve the overall quality of life by providing intelligent social infrastructure through our advanced digital solutions. Hitachi Vantara is a major contributor to the IT sector within Hitachi. 

One of our priority focus areas this past year has been to guide businesses through their digital transformation processes. India is uniquely placed as it has actively embarked on a DX journey of unprecedented magnitude through the citizen biometric data platform of Aadhaar, e-governance initiative Digital India, Make in India fostering presence-less, paperless and cashless service delivery. On account of these various government initiatives in recent years, numerous foreign companies are setting up their facilities here, and the growth potential is immense in the coming decade.

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kumar Gandharv
Kumar Gandharv, PGD in English Journalism (IIMC, Delhi), is setting out on a journey as a tech Journalist at AIM. A keen observer of National and IR-related news.

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