Digital Infrastructure and Solutions Company Expands and Focuses

Digital Infrastructure and Solutions Company Expands and Focuses

In brief: During its brief history as a collection of Hitachi Ltd. data properties, Hitachi Vantara continues to grow and remake itself. It has now added Hitachi Consulting and Intelligent Data Cataloging company Waterline Data. The new company combines IT Infrastructure, Data Management and Analytics.

The first news is the combination of Hitachi Vantara with Hitachi Consulting as one company to create a new digital infrastructure and solutions company.

The new Hitachi Vantara aims to become the world’s preferred digital innovation partner by unlocking the “good” in data that benefits customers, raises the quality of people’s lives and builds a sustainable society. Hitachi Vantara will specifically bring a competitive edge to the digital domains that matter most – the data center, data operations, and enterprise digital transformation.

The new Hitachi Vantara combines the best consulting-led digital solutions and vertical industry expertise of Hitachi Consulting with Hitachi Vantara’s IT domain expertise. Going forward, the integrated company will help customers develop practical, scalable digital strategies and solutions that transform operational processes, improve customer experiences and create new business models to drive innovation and growth.

For example, the new company will offer a holistic manufacturing industry practice as one of several vertical industry practices. The manufacturing practice will integrate consulting methodologies for addressing quality, customization, sustainability and new business models with data-driven solutions such as Lumada Manufacturing Insights from Hitachi Vantara, which integrates silos of manufacturing data and applies AI and machine learning to evaluate and enhance overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

“A barrage of data and technology is disrupting enterprises and industries the world over,” said Toshiaki Tokunaga, chief executive officer and chairman of the board, Hitachi Vantara. “Through the integration of Hitachi Consulting, the new Hitachi Vantara will be uniquely equipped with the capabilities our customers need to guide them on their digital journeys. We’re going to be the company that helps customers navigate from what’s now to what’s next.”

The Hitachi Vantara portfolio is built upon a foundation of world-class edge-to-core-to-cloud infrastructure offerings, including the recently introduced Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) 5000 series, the world’s fastest data storage array. The portfolio further features AI and analytics solutions, cloud services for application modernization, systems integration and change management services for SaaS-based ERP implementations and migrations, and Lumada-based digital industrial solutions. Hitachi Vantara’s offerings are all backed by world-class business consulting, deep experience in improving organization effectiveness, co-development capabilities and global delivery services.

With its expanded capabilities, the new Hitachi Vantara will play a key role in advancing Hitachi’s 2021 Mid-term Management Plan, which aims to make the company a global leader through “Social Innovation Business.” The Social Innovation Business strategy centers on combining Hitachi’s industrial and IT expertise and products to create new value and resolve social issues.

Hitachi Vantara will help advance the plan by expanding revenues from digital business, by digitally transforming Hitachi’s industrial businesses, by fueling international growth, and by delivering social, environmental and economic value which helps customers contribute to the attainment of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

As announced in September 2019, Toshiaki Tokunaga, a 30-year Hitachi veteran who has successfully transformed several Hitachi businesses, will serve in the dual role of chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Hitachi Vantara.

The company’s two business units, Digital Infrastructure and Digital Solutions, will be led by Presidents Brian Householder and Brad Surak, respectively. Hitachi Vantara today also announced details of other appointments to its executive leadership team.

Hitachi Vantara Will Integrate Advanced Data Cataloging Technology Into Lumada Data Services Portfolio

In further news, Hitachi Vantara announced acquisition of the business of Waterline Data, which is headquartered in Mountain View, CA. It provides intelligent data cataloging solutions for DataOps that help customers more easily gain actionable insights from large datasets and comply with data regulations such as GDPR.

Waterline Data delivers catalog technology enabled by machine learning (ML) that automates metadata discovery to solve modern data challenges for analytics and governance across edge-to-core-to-cloud environments. Waterline Data’s technology has been adopted by customers in the financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals industries to support analytics and data science projects, pinpoint compliance-sensitive data and improve data governance. It can be applied on-premises or in the cloud to large volumes of data in Hadoop, SQL, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud environments.

Waterline Data’s patented “fingerprinting” technology is the cornerstone of its solutions, removing one of the biggest obstacles to data lake success. Fingerprinting uses AI- and rule-based systems to automate the discovery, classification and analysis of distributed and diverse data assets to accurately and efficiently tag large volumes of data based on common characteristics.

Integrating Waterline Data technology with Hitachi Vantara’s Lumada Data Services portfolio will provide a common metadata framework to help customers break down data silos distributed across the cloud, the data center, and the machines and devices at the edges of their networks. By applying DataOps methodologies to the unified datasets, customers can more rapidly gain insights and drive innovation.

“Our research illustrates that almost half of enterprise data practitioners are spending more than 50% of their time simply trying to find and prepare data for analysis. Data catalog products have emerged in recent years as strategic imperatives for enterprises seeking to address this challenge while also improving data governance,” said Matt Aslett, research vice president, 451 Research. “This acquisition is logical and strategic: Waterline Data’s capabilities are a complementary fit for Hitachi Vantara and its Lumada Data Services portfolio. Adding Waterline Data furthers the company’s ability to address growing demand for products and services that deliver more agile and automated approaches to data management via DataOps: helping enterprise consumers of data ultimately leverage information in a fluid, yet governed way.”

“Hitachi Vantara provides customers with the digital building blocks, DataOps approaches and industry solutions they need to transform their organizations through data-driven insights,” said Brad Surak, president, Digital Solutions, Hitachi Vantara. “Waterline Data technologies complement Hitachi Vantara’s DataOps expertise and will become key offerings in the Lumada Data Services portfolio, bringing our customers greater visibility, tighter quality control, improved compliance and better management of their data.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition of Waterline Data is subject to customary closing conditions and it is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Hitachi’s fiscal year 2019 (ending March 31, 2020).

Upon completion of the acquisition, Hitachi Vantara will make Waterline Data technologies available as standalone solutions as well as integrated components of the Lumada Data Services portfolio.

Digital Infrastructure and Solutions Company Expands and Focuses

HighByte – A New Company Unveiled for DataOps

DataOps—a phrase I had not heard before. Now I know. Last week while I was in California I ran into John Harrington, who along with other former Kepware leaders Tony Paine and Torey Penrod-Cambra, had left Kepware following its acquisition by PTC to found a new company in the DataOps for Industry market. The news he told me about went live yesterday. HighByte announced that its beta program for HighByte Intelligence Hub is now live. More than a dozen manufacturers, distributors, and system integrators from the United States, Europe, and Asia have already been accepted into the program and granted early access to the software in a exchange for their feedback.

Intelligence Hub

HighByte Intelligence Hub will be the company’s first product to market since incorporating in August 2018. HighByte launched the beta program as part of its Agile approach to software design and development. The aim of the program is to improve performance, features, functionality, and user experience of the product prior to its commercial launch later this year.

HighByte Intelligence Hub belongs to a new classification of software in the industrial market known as DataOps solutions. HighByte Intelligence Hub was developed to solve data integration and security problems for industrial businesses. It is the only solution on the market that combines edge operations, advanced data contextualization, and the ability to deliver secure, application-specific information. Other approaches are highly customized and require extensive scripting and manual manipulation, which cannot scale beyond initial requirements and are not viable solutions for long-term digital transformation.

“We recognized a major problem in the market,” said Tony Paine, Co-Founder & CEO of HighByte. “Industrial companies are drowning in data, but they are unable to use it. The data is in the wrong place; it is in the wrong format; it has no context; and it lacks consistency. We are looking to solve this problem with HighByte Intelligence Hub.”

The company’s R&D efforts have been fueled by two non-equity grants awarded by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) in 2019. “We are excited to join HighByte on their journey to building a great product and a great company here in Maine,” said Lou Simms, Investment Officer at MTI. “HighByte was awarded these grants because of the experience and track record of their founding team, large addressable market, and ability to meet business and product milestones.”

To further accelerate product development and go-to-market activities, HighByte is actively raising a seed investment round. For more information, please contact [email protected]

Learn more about the HighByte founding team —All people I’ve know for many years in the data connectivity business.

Background

From Wikipedia: DataOps is an automated, process-oriented methodology, used by analytic and data teams, to improve the quality and reduce the cycle time of data analytics. While DataOps began as a set of best practices, it has now matured to become a new and independent approach to data analytics. DataOps applies to the entire data lifecycle from data preparation to reporting, and recognizes the interconnected nature of the data analytics team and information technology operations.

DataOps incorporates the Agile methodology to shorten the cycle time of analytics development in alignment with business goals.

DataOps is not tied to a particular technology, architecture, tool, language or framework. Tools that support DataOps promote collaboration, orchestration, quality, security, access and ease of use.

From Oracle, DataOps, or data operations, is the latest agile operations methodology to spring from the collective consciousness of IT and big data professionals. It focuses on cultivating data management practices and processes that improve the speed and accuracy of analytics, including data access, quality control, automation, integration, and, ultimately, model deployment and management.

At its core, DataOps is about aligning the way you manage your data with the goals you have for that data. If you want to, say, reduce your customer churn rate, you could leverage your customer data to build a recommendation engine that surfaces products that are relevant to your customers  — which would keep them buying longer. But that’s only possible if your data science team has access to the data they need to build that system and the tools to deploy it, and can integrate it with your website, continually feed it new data, monitor performance, etc., an ongoing process that will likely include input from your engineering, IT, and business teams.

Conclusion

As we move further along the Digital Transformation path of leveraging digital data to its utmost, this looks to be a good tool in the utility belt.

Digital Infrastructure and Solutions Company Expands and Focuses

Industrial Internet of Things to the Production Floor

Major IT companies have been scrambling to compete in the Industrial Internet of Things market. The control, instrumentation, and automation companies all talk about how this is all stuff they’ve been doing for years, or even decades, this is really quite new.

The first IT company people I talked with talked about selling boxes—gateways or edge computing. I’m thinking that there’s not enough money in that market. And, I was right. As the companies flesh out their strategies, the IoT group leadership keeps moving higher up the corporate ladder. And the vision broadens to include much of the portfolio of the companies enabling them to progressively enhance their competitive positions within their major customers.

Hitachi Vantara has recently been talking with me about their approach to the problem. I learned about Vantara and its focus initially through people I knew who landed new positions there. Life is always about serendipity. In the past, I’ve reported on the Lumada platform and the way the company is building modularly atop it. There was Maintenance Insights and then Video Insights. Now unveiled is Manufacturing Insights. I will get a deeper dive and talk to customers the second week of October when I attend its customer conference.

Note that these applications have more in common with MES than what you might think of as simply connecting devices with IIoT. In other words, the value proposition and integration into the customer grows.

Let’s discuss the latest addition to the Hitachi Lumada platform, Manufacturing Insights, which the company describes as a suite of industrial internet-of-things (IoT) solutions that empower the manufacturing industry to achieve transformative outcomes from data-driven insights. Using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and DataOps, Lumada Manufacturing Insights optimizes machine, production, and quality outcomes.

“Data and analytics have the power to modernize and transform manufacturing operations. But for too many manufacturers today, legacy infrastructure and disconnected software and processes slow innovation and impact competitive advantage,” said Brad Surak, chief product and strategy officer at Hitachi Vantara. “With Lumada Manufacturing Insights, customers can lay a foundation for digital innovation that works with the systems and software they have already to operationalize immediate gains in uptime, efficiency and quality and transform for the future.”

Accelerate Manufacturing Transformations

Lumada Manufacturing Insights applies data science rigor to drive continuous improvement opportunities based on predictive and prescriptive analytics. The solution integrates with existing applications and delivers actionable insights without the need for a rip-and-replace change of costly manufacturing equipment or applications. Lumada Manufacturing Insights supports a variety of deployment options and can run on-premises or in the cloud.

“With Hitachi Vantara, our customers benefit from our deep operational technology expertise and distinctive approach to co-creating with them to accelerate their digital journey,” said Bobby Soni, chief solutions and services officer at Hitachi Vantara. “With our proven methodologies and advanced tools, we can tailor solutions for our customers that enhance productivity, increase the speed of delivery, and ultimately deliver greater business outcomes.”

Providing machine, production and quality analytics, Lumada Manufacturing Insights drives transformational business outcomes by enabling customers to:

• Build on the intelligent manufacturing maturity model and empower the digital innovation foundation for continuous process improvement.

• Integrate data silos and stranded assets and augment data from video, lidar, and other advanced sensors to drive innovative new use cases for competitive advantage.

• Drive 4M (machine, man, material and methods) correlations for root-cause analysis at scale.

• Evaluate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and enhancement recommendations based on advanced AI and ML techniques.

• Evaluate scheduling efficiency and optimize for varying workloads, rates of production and workorder backlogs.

• Monitor and guide product quality with predictive and prescriptive insights.

• Improve precision of demand forecast and adherence to production plans and output.

Customer Comments

I hope to get more depth while I’m at the Next 2019 user conference Oct. 9-10. Here are some supplied quotes.

“Significant short-lead products have to be designed, prototyped and delivered to meet the demands of our customers and partners as we accelerate the product supply for 5G. Ericsson and Hitachi Vantara have collaborated to test Lumada Manufacturing Insights to gear up for an anticipated increase in new product introductions, establishing a digital innovation foundation for sustained gains,” said Shannon Lucas, head of customer unit emerging business for Ericsson North America. “We are leveraging the same solution that we will take to our joint customers in partnership with Hitachi Vantara, and will further expand IIoT use cases based on our 5G technologies.”

“As a progressive manufacturer, our focus was to accelerate transformative change, eliminate data silos and build a foundation for digital innovation that would accelerate our journey toward Manufacturing 4.0. “We leveraged the IIoT workshop to align our use cases with our business transformation priorities and have a roadmap for success with Lumada Manufacturing Insights,” said Vijay Kamineni, business transformation leader at Logan Aluminum. “The collaboration with Hitachi Vantara enables us to define business goals for each stage of our transformation, with clear outcomes that we believe will accelerate gains in productivity, quality, safety and sustainable manufacturing. “Hitachi Vantara brings a unique IT/OT advantage that will help us in the long run.”

“Humans and machines working together to deliver the vision of ‘digital drilling’ is driven by our ambition to achieve transformative outcomes, drilling our best wells every time and consistently achieving Target Zero for accidents. With Hitachi Vantara, we are realizing time to value with industrial analytics and the powerful Lumada platform to process more than 20,000 data streams per second per rig, providing actionable information to the right people at the right time and helping make optimal decisions. This drives our operational excellence and consequently our competitive advantage,” said Shuja Goraya, CTO at Precision Drilling Corporation. “We’re leveraging insights from video and lidar, integrating it with Lumada Manufacturing Insights to deliver business outcomes. It’s driving process optimization through effectively identifying improvement opportunities and shortening well delivery times for our customers. It’s all about effective use of data to make better decisions and then being able to consistently execute on these learnings. We are excited about our strategic partnership with Hitachi Vantara.”

Availability

Lumada Manufacturing Insights will be available worldwide Sept. 30, 2019.

Cloud-based Platform Complements PI System

Cloud-based Platform Complements PI System

Digitalization requires digital data, which in turn requires a place to robustly store that data. This place is most often the cloud these days. OSIsoft PI System must be the most widely used industrial database. The company has released OSIsoft Cloud Services—a cloud-native, real-time data management system for unifying and augmenting critical operations data from across an organization to accelerate industrial analytics, data science projects, data sharing, and other digital transformation initiatives.

OCS highlights and capabilities:

  • Data sharing – partner companies can access a shared data stream to remotely monitor technology
  • Functionality – seamless crossover between the PI System and OCS to compare facilities, perform root cause analysis and run hypotheticals
  • Scalability – tests proved OCS can simultaneously manage over two billion data streams, and safely share information with partners
  • Petuum uses OCS to stream historical data and live data on production, temperature and variability to its AI platform to assist Cemex, a global cement manufacturer, improve yield and energy to 7% from 2%.
  • DERNetSoft uses OCS to aggregate data in one place, allowing users to access useful analytics for ways to reduce power and save money.
  • Pharma companies will use OCS to give a regulator access to anonymized drug testing or production, without risk of unauthorized users in the manufacturing networks.

With OCS, an engineer at a chemical producer, for example, could combine maintenance and energy data from multiple facilities into a live superset of information to boost production in real-time while planning analysts could merge several years’ worth of output and yield data to create a ‘perfect plant’ model for capital forecasts.

OCS can also be leveraged by software developers and system integrators to build new applications and services or to link remote assets.

“OSIsoft Cloud Services is a fundamental part of our mission to help people get the most out of the data that is at the foundation of their business. We want their cost of curiosity to be as close to zero as possible,” said Gregg Le Blanc, Vice President of Product at OSIsoft. “OCS is designed to complement the PI System by giving customers a way to uncover new operational insights and use their data to solve new problems that would have been impractical or impossible before.”

The Data Dilemma

Critical operations data—i.e. data generated by production lines, safety equipment, grids, and other systems essential to a company’s survival—is part of one of the fastest growing segments in the data universe. IDC and Seagate estimate in “Data Age 2025: The Evolution of Data to Life Critical” that “hypercritical” data for applications such as distributed control systems is growing by 54% a year and will constitute 10% of all data by 2025 while real-time data will nearly double to more than 25% of all data.

Critical operations data, however, can be extremely difficult to manage or use.

Data scientists spend 50 percent or more of their time curating large data sets instead of conducting analytics. IT teams get bogged down in managing VPNs for third parties or writing code for basic administrative tasks. Data becomes inaccessible and locked in silos. Over 1,000 utilities, 80% of the largest oil and gas companies, and 65% of the Fortune 500 industrial companies already use the PI System to harness critical operations data, turning it into an asset for improving productivity, saving money, and developing new services.

Natively compatible with the PI System, OCS extends the range of possible applications and use cases of OSIsoft’s data infrastructure while eliminating the challenges of capturing, managing, enhancing, and delivering operations data across an organization. Within a few hours, thousands of data streams containing years of historical data can be transferred to OCS, allowing customers to explore, experiment, and share large data sets the same day.

Two Billion Data Streams

The core of OCS is a highly scalable sequential data store optimized for time series data, depth measurements, temperature readings, and similar data. OSIsoft has also embedded numerous usability features for connecting devices, managing users, searching, transferring data from the PI System to OCS, and other functions. OCS can also accept data from devices outside of traditional control networks or other sources.

“The scale and scope of data that will be generated over the coming decades is unprecedented, but our mission remains the same,” said Dr. J. Patrick Kennedy, CEO and Founder of OSIsoft. “OSIsoft Cloud Services represent the latest step in a nearly 40 year journey and there’s more to come.”

To test the scalability and stability of OCS, OSIsoft created a deployment that contained the equivalent of the data generated by all of the smart meters in the U.S. over the last two years, or two billion data streams (100 million meters with 20 data streams each). OCS successfully stored up to 1.2 billion data points per hour and was managing all two billion streams simultaneously within 48 hours.

PaaS for OSIsoft Marketplace Partners

Software developers are already creating services based around OCS. DERNetSoft is creating a secure marketplace for sharing utility and electric power data to improve energy forecasts and peak shaving strategies. Meanwhile, others are collaborating with customers on efforts to bolster well integrity at oil drilling sites, pinpoint tank leakage, predict maintenance problems, and reduce energy consumption with OCS. OSIsoft partners developing OCS services include Petuum, Seeq, Toumetis, Transpara, Aperio, and TrendMiner. These services will be available from OSIsoft marketplace as they are released.

“Digital transformation requires the ability to compare data and outcomes across multiple plants and data sources,” says Michael Risse, VP/CMO at Seeq. “OCS is a unified solution for process manufacturing customers to enable this type of analysis, generating predictive insights on thousands of assets across company operations to improve production outcomes.”

Pricing and Availability

OCS is a subscription service currently available to customers and partners for use in facilities in North America. OCS will be extended to Europe and to other regions in the near future.

Pricing is based on the average number of data streams accessed, rather than the unique data streams stored, giving customers the freedom to experiment more freely with their data without incurring added costs..

IIoT It’s All About Data—Machine-Learning Data Discovery

IIoT It’s All About Data—Machine-Learning Data Discovery

Manufacturing technology professionals have been working with data of many types for years. Our sensors, instrumentation, and control systems yield terabytes of data. Then we bury them in historians or other databases on servers we know not where.

Companies are popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain with a variety of approaches for handling, using, analyzing, and finding all this data. Try on this one.

Io-Tahoe LLC, a pioneer in machine learning-driven smart data discovery products that span a wide range of heterogeneous technology platforms, from traditional databases and data warehouses to data lakes and other modern repositories, announced the General Availability (GA) launch of the Io-Tahoe smart data discovery platform.

The GA version includes the addition of Data Catalog, a new feature that allows data owners and data stewards to utilize a machine learning-based smart catalog to create, maintain and search business rules; define policies and provide governance workflow functionality. Io-Tahoe’s data discovery capability provides complete business rule management and enrichment. It enables a business user to govern the rules and define policies for critical data elements. It allows data-driven enterprises to enhance information about data automatically, regardless of the underlying technology and build a data catalog.

“Today’s digital business is driving new requirements for data discovery,” said Stewart Bond, Director Data Integration and Integrity Software Research, IDC. “Now more than ever enterprises are demanding effective, and comprehensive, access to their data – regardless of where it is retained – with a clear view into more than its metadata, but its contents as well. Io-Tahoe is delivering a robust platform for data discovery to empower governance and compliance with a deeper view and understanding into data and its relationships.”

“Io-Tahoe is unique as it allows the organization to conduct data discovery across heterogeneous enterprise landscapes, ranging from databases, data warehouses and data lakes, bringing disparate data worlds together into a common view which will lead to a universal metadata store,” said Oksana Sokolovsky, CEO, Io-Tahoe. “This enables organizations to have full insight into their data, in order to better achieve their business goals, drive data analytics, enhance data governance and meet regulatory demands required in advance of regulations such as GDPR.”

Increasing governance and compliance demands have created a dramatic opportunity for data discovery. According to MarketsandMarkets, the data discovery market is estimated to grow from $4.33 billion USD in 2016 to $10.66 billion USD in 2021. This is driven by the increasing importance of data-driven decision making and self-service business intelligence (BI) tools. However, the challenge of integrating the growing number of disparate platforms, databases, data lakes and other silos of data has prevented the comprehensive governance, and use, of enterprise data.

Io-Tahoe’s smart data discovery platform features a unique algorithmic approach to auto-discover rich information about data and data relationships. Its machine learning technology looks beyond metadata, at the data itself for greater insight and visibility into complex data sets, across the enterprise. Built to scale for even the largest of enterprises, Io-Tahoe makes data available to everyone in the organization, untangling the complex maze of data relationships and enabling applications such as data science, data analytics, data governance and data management.

The technology-agnostic platform spans silos of data and creates a centralized repository of discovered data upon which users can enable Io-Tahoe’s Data Catalog to search and govern. Through convenient self-service features, users can bolster team engagement through the simplified and accurate sharing of data knowledge, business rules and reports. Here users have a greater ability to analyze, visualize and leverage business intelligence and other tools, all of which have become the foundation to power data processes.