Tuesday, 31 January 2017

India plan: Hitachi Data bets on digitisation, smart city projects

Russell Skingsley, Chief Technology Officer, Asia Pacific, Hitachi Data Systems

“A country with a billion people, a large democracy, a desire to transform, modernise and standardise, it will be crazy not to have India on high priority,” said Russell Skingsley, Chief Technology Officer (Asia Pacific), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). HDS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of $90-billion Hitachi of Japan. It has been in India for the last 15 years and has over 600 customers.

Digitisation, focus on investments in manufacturing, smart cities and skilling, the four major programmes of the government will drive a huge demand for cloud, analytics and Internet of Things, he told Business Line. Last year, HDS India, which works with system integrators such as Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant and Tech Mahindra, witnessed a 39 per cent revenue growth, said its Managing Director Vivekanand Venugopal, without giving any number.

“India is getting better to do business. This is going to be India’s advantage. But, of course, there will be always location-based challenges, and that where we rely on local partners who understand the environment,” said Skingsley.

With over 100 smart cites to be implemented in India, HDS will play a significant part in this. The company has already won a couple of projects, he said.

An area of expertise that HDS has is in video analytics.

Normally, people will monitor from a room full of screens. However, in video analytics, machines understand behaviour from video feeds and provide alerts. For instance, detecting people dumping something in an area where it he should be not be done.

Blend of IoT and operational technology is another opportunity for HDS which along with Hitachi won a project from British Rail Network to provide high speed train replacement. Hitachi will be paid on punctuality of train service. To achieve high level of efficiency and punctuality, IoT was built into the system with every single rail path having around 25,000 sensors. The sensors aggregate data and sendit in real time to a centre to analyse various aspects of the rail network, he said.

Such IoT projects will be done in future where IT, data analysis and connectivity will be built in large scale infrastructure projects. India is really a fertile kind of environment for such projects, Skingsley said.

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