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How Hitachi Vantara Is Upping Its IoT Strategy In India For Market Domination

How Hitachi Vantara Is Upping Its IoT Strategy In India For Market Domination

Hitachi Vantara combines over 100 years of experience in operational technology (OT) and more than 60 years in IT to unlock the power of data from your business, your people and your machines. In its most recent development, it introduced Lumada Video Insights, an end-to-end, intelligent and adaptable suite of applications that delivers operational safety and business intelligence using the internet of things, video, artificial intelligence and analytics. 

It boasts of several features such as enhanced video data storage and management solutions, providing smart edge devices and video intelligence platforms that gather data and insights from anywhere, improved video analytics and more. 

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Curious Dose got in touch with Sanjay Agrawal, who is the pre-sales head of Hitachi Vantara, India. With over 28 years of experience, Agrawal strengthens the India Presales team into a niche specialist community to enhance collaboration and further shares his expertise across different regions in India. 

In this interaction, he spoke about how Hitachi Vantara is revolutionizing the IoT play in India, how does the IoT strategy look like in the company, Lumada IoT platform and more. 

Curious Dose: How is Hitachi Vantara revolutionizing the IoT play in India? 

Sanjay Agarwal: Hitachi Vantara aims to offer a comprehensive solution with both operational technologies (OT) and information technologies (IT). With the introduction of two marquee offerings viz: Manufacturing insights and Lumada video insights, Hitachi Vantara is now able to bring intelligence to one IoT world’s hidden data stream-the video. With the analysis of both data and video, we are now able to offer holistic solutions to Indian enterprises.

Impact on manufacturing processes and efficiency of production is now possible by blending machines and human-related insights. Human resource interventions are also key along with manufacturing process related measurements and feedback.

CD: What does the IoT strategy at Hitachi Vantara look like? What are the key areas that the company is looking to address?

SA: Hitachi Vantara is looking to bring IoT Analytics offerings to the market and disrupting the current consumption model by offering Infrastructure as a Service along with outcome-based models. We are one of the very few companies in the world that has deep expertise in OT and IT. With our 100+ year legacy in manufacturing & operating some of best in class industrial products and equipment along with nearly 60 years history of mission-critical IT systems we believe we bring a unique perspective to our customers’ IoT led digital transformation goals. We invest billions in IP Research that have resulted in a large patent portfolio of nearly 1,20,000 patents.

We help our customers in their goals to solve operational challenges using data from their equipment, machines, processes and enterprise data. Our data solutions include superior data management, data analytics, data mobility & governance as well as IoT led digital transformation. 

CD: How is Hitachi Vantara helping companies to drive IoT innovations and success?

SA: Globally, Hitachi Vantara works with the Centre for Social Innovation and solves first of its kind problems. We co-create with our customers while laying emphasis on Social, Environmental and Economic value. 

Every industry, region, and the customer is different. At Hitachi, we understand that, and we’re not proposing a “one size fits all” solution. Industry solutions are delivered for and with the customer in mind. Implementations optionally leverage professional services offerings and deep industrial and functional domain expertise from Hitachi businesses and our many global and local implementation partners. One of the objectives of Lumada is to identify and provide common and re-usable components that accelerate the implementation of industry solutions.

CD: Tell us about the Lumada IoT platform. How is it benefitting the industries in India?

SA: Lumada is more than an ‘Industrial IoT platform’. While that descriptor is permissible to describe the platform, services capability utilised in the Hitachi IoT solution framework, Lumada is actually a data framework for IoT workloads.  In one sentence, ‘Lumada is Hitachi’s advanced digital solutions, services and technologies for turning data into insights to drive digital innovation’.

There is a wide variety of use cases for Lumada in 2018, across mostly IoT scenarios:

  • Monitoring and anomaly detection
  • Asset performance management
  • Maintenance and repair management
  • Manufacturing automation and quality control
  • Connected products
  • Safety and Governance

CD: How has the IoT industry evolved in India in the last few years?

SA: There has been increased adoption of Industry 4.0 across the manufacturing landscape. Many manufacturing setups in India are part of global chains which facilitate best practices to be tried and tested. Over recent years, there has been a focus on India specific learning models for both data and video. The demographics, culture, ethnography also play a part in the symphony between man, machine and processes.

The broad categories of operational challenges that companies have been attempting to address in the last industrial automation remain the same. However, with the availability of elastic scale compute, the modern toolsets and the growing pool of specialized resources, companies are now embarking on solving some of the more complex business challenges in a holistic manner by combining machine-generated data and human-generated data.  Large corporate houses in India have already embarked on the path of IoT enabled Digital Transformation goals. 

CD: What are some of the challenges you face in the IoT space in India?

SA: It is too early for us to provide an informed view in this regard – as we have only recently begun our market development effort in India. However, it would be safe to say that – like every other major market, we anticipate a combination of global themes and local challenges. To remain competitive in this rapidly changing world, it is imperative that companies address challenges around planning, optimization, quality, experience with an eye on unique characteristics of the local operational environment. 

For instance, one of our customers who also happens to be one of the largest automotive manufacturers in the world is trying to drive further intelligence into their manufacturing operations and supply chain optimization with improved Just in Time autonomous refilling of the shop floor bins in their production facility. However, they do not have Wi-Fi or mobile signal access on the production floor in their India manufacturing facility due to employees being distracted on their mobile phones. In order to address this, we had to rely on an innovative solution built on top of a low band with wan to send the signals to the autonomous vehicles that carry the components to the relevant work cells or stations on the shop floor.

CD: What is Hitachi Vantara doing in the space of Smart Cities?

SA: We are working with cities, municipalities and departments by leveraging its global experience in Real Time Governance – a solution that brings real-time situational awareness to the geospatially aware environment along with Lumada Video insights delivered cohesively. We are partnering with strategic players in the space and bringing complementarity to strengths and key differentiators in the operational technology areas viz: Water, City Gas Distribution, Education, Healthcare etc.

We have partnered with the government of Andhra Pradesh where with the help of Real-Time Governance, Andhra Pradesh can now swiftly resolve citizen grievances and monitor infrastructure projects, incidents, weather and climatic events across the state in real time, leveraging technology services. 

Recently, Curtin University also selected Hitachi to deploy IoT solution to advance its vision of a smart campus that enhances the student experience, improves classroom learning and ultimately attracts more industry to collaborate on data-driven research. 

CD: What is the growth plan for Hitachi for this year?

SA: We aim to become a global leader in the social innovation business by 2021. We would operate a business to create three value propositions; improving customer’s social, environmental and economic values. We have also garnered insights through our long journey and believe in the thought of “Local Customers, and Global Canvas” – Meaning we map our domestic customers in a way to offer solutions that enable them to build global offerings. We also plan to invest in select focus areas for further growth both organically and inorganically.

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