UPDATED 17:23 EST / OCTOBER 27 2017

vellante-kobielus-knight BIG DATA

Will Hitachi grow its ecosystem to include AI developer tools and robotics?

Impressive customer testimonials and a strategy for big data management at the edge of computing networks were a major part of the dialogue during the first day of PentahoWorld. But as executives from the newly created Hitachi Vantara business defined their vision of the computing future, there were still questions among analysts around how a few strategic gaps in the model might be closed.

“I want to see a stronger developer focus going forward. For them to really succeed, they’re going to need a solid strategy to migrate up their OpenStack to include a bit of TensorFlow or MXNet or some of the other deep learning toolkits that are becoming de facto standards with developers,” said James Kobielus (@jameskobielus, pictured, center), co-host of of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile livestreaming studio.

Kobielus offered his thoughts during the PentahoWorld event in Orlando, Florida, along with co-hosts Rebecca Knight (@knightrm, pictured, right) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante, pictured, left). They discussed the potential to fill gaps through acquisitions, opportunities for Hitachi in robotics and customer use cases. (* Disclosure below.)

Hitachi Vantara includes the Pentaho data analytics business acquired in 2015. As Hitachi pursues its big data strategy, the company will undoubtedly look toward future acquisitions to complement its evolving model.

“The pieces that aren’t there, I’m actually not that worried about, because Hitachi has the resources to go and get them,” Vellante said. “There’s a lot of interesting software plays out there.”

Robotics for industrial IoT strategy

Another area that could add value to the Hitachi Vantara ecosystem involves robotics. Although Hitachi has signaled its interest in pursuing robotics as part of its Lumada “internet of things” platform, autonomous industrial uses could drive a significant part of its business in the future and create differentiation from larger tech players.

“They need a strong [industrial] robotics portfolio,” Kobielus said. “I don’t see yet the Googles and the IBMs and the Microsofts going there, so if these guys want to stand out, that’s one area they might explore.”

Conference dialogue on the opening day included a number of customer stories that provided context for Hitachi Vantara’s strategic direction. “We had a woman who does autonomous vehicles, we had a gamer from Finland, and we had a benefits scientist,” said Knight, describing the use cases offered during the day.

The gaming example offers an intriguing case study, where slot machines are essentially data-gathering edge devices. “They’re basically instrumenting that edge device for real-time interactions,” Vellante said. “We didn’t find out how to beat the house, but maybe next time.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of PentahoWorld. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for PentahoWorld. Neither Hitachi Vantara, the event sponsor, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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