Nicholas Howe

Happy Birthday Community.  Hello new HDS.

Blog Post created by Nicholas Howe on Jun 11, 2014

June 2014 marks the one year anniversary of HDS Community, and September will mark my 15 year anniversary at HDS.  2014 also marks the 25th birthday of Hitachi Data Systems.  My how time flies.


Michael Hay has already done a great job highlighting the last year of the Innovation Center in Community, and many others will chime in over the next few days.


Rather than focus on the Community, I thought I'd share a little about HDS then and now, and what the future holds.


HDS was born when Hitachi Ltd of Japan and Electronic Data Systems of Plano, TX (now a part of HP) jointly bought National Advanced Systems, a reseller of Hitachi Mainframes.  In 1995, Hitachi Ltd took full ownership of HDS.


In 1999 when I joined HDS it was still predominantly a mainframe company - 80% of our revenues came from mainframes and related products.  But the world was changing quickly.  Despite having the world's best mainframe technology, and the world's most powerful mainframe - the Trinium - market forces (particularly software bundling) meant that the business model was quickly becoming unsustainable.  Only one year after launching Trinium we exited the mainframe market and our era as a pure-play storage vendor began. Our switch was pretty amazing - storage revenues grew so quickly we didn't see any dip in overall revenues!


Through the 2000's we firmly established ourselves as one of the global leaders in data storage with a succession of industry leading products, and became the global leader in storage virtualization.  Our portfolio expanded to include block, file and object storage along with the associated software and services.


As we entered the 2010's we looked again to the server market with the rise of converged infrastructures, first launching our Compute servers, followed soon after by our Unified Compute Platform.


As we sit here in 2014, HDS is uniquely positioned as a global leader in data and information.  As part of Hitachi Limited, the 104 year old, $100 billion engineering and electronics giant known for its innovation, quality and reliability, we have the strength and depth to drive success for our customers and partners.  Rated #1 in customer service and support six years running, and voted one of the world's most ethical companies for the last four years, we believe that it is not just about what we do for our customers, but it is about how we do it.


As I set out the vision for this Community in 2011, it was that focus on how we do business - on the trust that customers put in HDS and our partners, and on the need to give our customers a much bigger voice - that was at the forefront of my thinking.


Through the community, we hope to engage more deeply with you - our customers and partners - and help you share your successes with one another so that we may learn together and collectively achieve greater business success.


The first year has been amazing and has created a fantastic foundation for the future.  We want to hear from you about what you like and what you don't - about the Community, about our products and solutions, about the way we do business, and about HDS itself.  We are listening.


Best regards and Happy First - and Twenty-Fifth - Birthdays.


Nick Howe

VP of Learning and Collaboration

Sponsor of HDS Community

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