Melissa Pitfield

10 Takeaways from last week’s Hitachi NYC Event

Blog Post created by Melissa Pitfield on Jun 19, 2017
Jawaid Chotani, Director of Sales, Mid Atlantic, Public Safety and Smart City Solutions, hosted the first of many One Hitachi events Thursday afternoon in mid-town Manhattan at the Hitachi Data Systems offices at 101 Park Avenue.

The event was scheduled at the tail end of the ASIS NY Security Show to capture some of the Security audience and serve as a platform to discuss how Hitachi helps cities and businesses thrive by providing intelligence from unified data, analytics and you guessed it IoT solutions… to improve safety, resiliency and operations. Although I’m familiar with our public safety and smart cities solutions, I was incredibly inspired by the solutions the presenters had to offer, as were our Partners, the End-Users, Consultants and A&E’s that were present at the event.

Takeaway #1: No matter how simple or complex ..technology changes lives.

Jawaid opened the seminar with a poignant and inspiring Pepsi “Liter of Light” commercial which conveyed the real-life lighting solution has Pepsi has brought to several regions using water bottles filled with water, bleach and metal that transform into solar bulbs; they refract enough light to light up a room without a carbon footprint.

Takeaway #2: It takes a special appliance to store video data – the wrong one can have critical implications on network infrastructure and lead to compliance fines.

Kirill Sokolinsky, Director, Hardware Solutions for Public Safety and Smart City Solutions, who works with Jawaid and myself, opened the presentations with the importance of converged technologies for video surveillance. A typical video solution has a master server, that manages all the cameras and recorders. Each time a camera is added it needs to be assigned to an NVR. This becomes difficult to manage and scale because if you want to add more storage you have to connect the system to a NAS, DAS or San and buy additional servers.  Hitachi addresses both the physical and IT management into one by virtualizing and saving time and money. Video files are becoming larger and larger, and are constantly writing data to a stack – so ensuring video is constantly recording without loss is critical. Recording video on a SAS drive and then deleting say every 30 days can create holes in your disks. Hitachi Video Management Platform utilizes dynamic tiering to reduce risks to your data storage. Server virtualization has the added benefits that hardware utilization is highly efficient and scalable. Additional capacity can be provided through extra virtual machines running VMS software and through adding more physical servers. Learn more about VMP.

Takeaway #3: Did you know that video analytics can help improve your retail services with automated alerts?

Jawaid moderated a short panel discussion with three Hitachi speakers: Tom Grogan, Sales Director, North-East & Eastern Canada, Public Safety and Smart City Solutions, Rudy Rios, Account Executive, Above Security, and James Hare, VP Sales, Hitachi ID Systems. The session quickly started with the topic of Video Analytics and how it easily transforms existing cameras into IoT devices. By adding video analytics to cameras, companies can gain insights for improving business and security operations. Hitachi Video Analytics is an intelligent solution that extracts rich insights from video data, while helping to safeguard the privacy of customers, employees and citizens. Check out the cool infographic which tells the story nicely of what video analytics bring to the table for any business.

 

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End users asked for solutions to help them drive their digital transformation. They recognized that it’s here to stay, but wanted to know what solutions can be deployed now to move their businesses forward. All Hitachi companies responded with their solutions which combined represented a force-majeure in smarter operations that are adaptable and intelligent.

Takeaway #4: Hackers kill an SUV on the Highway

The third presentation was hosted by Rudy Rios, Account Executive, Above Security and Idan Shoham, CTO & Founder, Hitachi ID Systems. This was the first time I had learned about their solutions. Instead of just telling us how IoT solutions are inherently insecure because of static and embedded passwords within devices, they introduced us to the use case called “Hackers Kill an SUV on the Highway” (see for yourself on YouTube). This is very powerful example of how hackers can sabotage a moving vehicle – in this case the vehicle is the IoT device. Whether hackers do something as small as taking control of the AC or playing with the radio volume to something as severe as causing the driver to crash by not seeing the road due to windshield washer fluid pouring out, and inevitably taking over control of the vehicle or killing the engine…..Let’s stop there, the message is loud and clear that security vulnerabilities can lead to nothing good.

Takeaway #5: Don't wait to be hacked!

Enter Hitachi ID’s Privilege Access Manager that ensures network accountability by leveraging multifactor authentication, securing credentials on IoT devices, and providing a secured, encrypted, access controlled and audited connection across these networked systems. Yes that was a long sentence, but I needed the bandwidth to get this point across Okay, I’m not a techy but hope the pun worked. Cyber threats are lurking everywhere; attackers prey on companies that are both large and small, as well as regular people like you and me, targeting large networks or smaller networks such as our home internet that connects to our phones and thermostats as an example. Hitachi ID Systems along with Above Security offer solutions and services to increase and protect network security, ease regulatory compliance and lower IT administration costs.

Takeaway #6: Is the gummy bear hack for real? Google it!

By the way, we paused here around 5.30 PM for some gourmet appetizers and choice of soda, water or wine!

Takeaway #7: The O in IoT also stands for Optimization!

Sandeep Patel, Director of Solution Development, Hitachi Data Systems took us on a journey of the Lumada platform, an IoT platform built on community software that captures the behavior of humans and objects for business outcomes. “We sell outcomes not solutions” Sandeep stated before embarking on Lumada. Sandeep passionately shared the scope of Lumada by taking us through use cases. He started with Mining, specifically excavation tools.  Hitachi was asked to build an intelligent mine that encompasses real-time operations.  He showed us the dashboard of critical devices. Anything at risk was in red. As an example the pump was not working. He explained that Hitachi did a deep dive into the sensor – by exploring all the elements of a pump that could go wrong. This technology could be applied to a fleet of trucks as an example to monitor when the trucks need repairing. The goal of predictive maintenance is to perform scheduled maintenance when it is most co-effective and before the equipment loses performance within threshold which is accomplished with IoT applications.

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Takeaway #8: Measure your customers' happiness index!

All very fascinating, but the retail journey is what got me! Lumada measures the store patron’s happiness index. Sandeep showed the audience video demonstrations to show Lumada in action. The 3D motion sensors and IR sensors measured the time of flight also known as how long it took someone to pick up the item and either place it in their cart/basket or return the item. Over 96 parameters were taken into account for this use case for Retail. Businesses are not interested in what customers purchase, they are trying to understand why something isn’t purchased.

Takeaway #9:   Did you know you can combine Video, IoT and other big data all on a single pane of glass?

Jawaid saved the best for last – the Hitachi Visualization Suite (HVS) from the Hitachi Insight Group. Jawaid gave us a brief demo of the HVS software that integrates video, IoT data (yup more IoT solutions), and event sources from fixed and moving assets to provide intelligence for public and private sector organizations.  He shared a very apt use case considering we were in NYC: New York Waterway, a privately owned commuter ferry company that carries over 8 million passengers per year along a 100-mile corridor. He shared with the audience that real-time monitoring provides visibility and communication across terminals and ferries with HVS on a daily-basis. HVS is both a cloud and on-premises solution that’s mobile and ready to manage assets such as cameras, sensors and analytics components. It provides a single common operational pane for full situational awareness and integrates analytics, including big data, for powerful analytics.

 

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Takeaway #10: Cool Fact about 101 Park Ave!

I had never been to this particular Hitachi office and was greeted by not just one, but three NYC concierges! I have to admit that this was perhaps the best greeting I had ever had for arriving at a place where people didn’t know me. What made it so great and memorable was their enthusiasm. “Is this your first time visiting our building?” the seated concierge asked. Once they realized it was, they showered me with facts. 101 Park Ave was used in numerous movies, not to mention ‘The Avengers’ and the site of George Constanza’s office. I have probably used this little fun fact over five times this last week:).

 

Well that’s a wrap! It was a great event that excited both our guests and co-workers on the limitless possibilities that our combined solutions can address in the IoT world! I look forward to the next Hitachi event. If you are interested in knowing more please message me at Melissa. Pitfield@HitachiInsightGroup.com or email info@HitachiInsightGroup.com .

 

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Pictured above from Left to right: Myself, Mike Toto, Principal Consultant -Toto Services, Jawaid Chotani, Sales Director Hitachi Insight Group.

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