HDS Industry Influencer Summit – The Other Stage
by Ken Wood on Nov 18, 2011
Last week was the inaugural HDS Influencer Summit, convened in downtown San Jose. This event included financial analysts, industry analysts and key industry bloggers. It is interesting that the majority (maybe all) of these attendees are related to the storage industry in some fashion. There are several blogs detailing the event and explaining the resounding “…they do that?” in these posts from my colleagues Frank and Miki. What I would like to describe here is the blogger breakout sessions, and the tour of the new Innovation Lab, which is an extension of the Hitachi Central Research Laboratory, the day after the main event.
There was a special breakout session during this event specifically for our invited industry bloggers, Greg Knieriemen (@Knieriemen), Nigel Poulton (@nigelpoulton), Chris Evans (@chrismevans) (not the Captain America Chris Evans), Devang Panchigar (@storagenerve) and Elias Khnaser (@ekhnaser), which overlapped some of the main event. By comparison, this portion of the event was more exciting than what was missed in the main event (in my biased opinion). I kicked off this breakout session with an overview of our “R&D and Futures” and an introduction of the new Innovation Lab at our headquarters. I also did a brief one slide description of three active projects we are working on in the lab and noted that these projects will be demonstrated the following day. Sorry, these projects are under NDA.
After that tour, and while walking Greg out of the rest of the day’s activities, he stated to me “…you’ve probably have the greatest job in the world!” I replied back “trust me, this isn’t the only thing I do, and the rest of my job isn’t so great” (sorry Michael). However, I took this in meaning that my team is instrumental to changing the industry’s perception of the “New HDS”, or at least that’s how I interpreted his comment.
I didn’t think much more about his comment until this week when he followed up with an email to Michael Hay and myself basically stating the same. Unfortunately, he didn’t say that I WAS ‘doing a great job’ and he included Michael so I couldn’t edit his email before forwarding it ;^) Obviously, there’s a sense of pride when someone recognizes the work being done, especially since being so close to the work can take your focus off the larger vision.
It is rewarding for me and my team to know that we are helping to transform HDS from being viewed as a storage company to something more while keeping to our roots. I normally describe the difference between HDS and other technology companies in this market space as – companies that are primarily seen as a server company see storage as a place to keep data, but a storage company would treat data as the digital assets of an enterprise and use servers as a way of making that data useful to the business. To this, I also like to describe storage (at least the way HDS does it) as maintaining the “state” of the company, while servers can become “stateless” interchangeable components that essentially are data processing offload engines to the storage infrastructure.
I am definitely looking forward to following up with several participants of this event as I received many requests and questions. Also, I am looking forward to next year’s event, and what we will be sharing.
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