We are not a pure stand alone consulting player. It is a big piece of our go-to-market strategy, said Hicham Abdessamad, senior vice president, Global Services, Hitachi Data Systems
CW: What exactly does HDS' Global Services division look at? Clearly, it's more than just implementation and support services.
Hicham Abdessamad: Within the umbrella of global services, we have multiple areas--our consulting business, professional services business, managed services and cloud, and also customer support services. Software and services is about 50 percent of our business now. It has been growing over the last several years and has become more and more strategic as the market is headed in that direction. We have seen a lot of demand around such value added services as we see new consumption models like cloud. The services division alone has been witnessing a steady double digit growth in the last few of years.
CW: What do you think has contributed to this growth in services? Is it the fundamental shift from capex to opex?
Abdessamad: I think the emergence of cloud in general has been a strong driver. Though there has been a lot of hype around cloud in the last few years, it is finally coming to flourishion. In the enterprise space, most customers are not ready to go to public cloud. They are looking for more hybrid models and also private models.
There are purely financial benefits as well as flexibility and ease of deployment; but cost savings are pretty much the predominant factor (that drives cloud adoption). So cloud is an efficiency play, and it changes the way enterprises consume technology. For Global Services, it's an opportunity because it gives us incremental revenue, which we did not have before.
Cloud allows us to offer more inclusive services. It expands the scope of what we can potentially sell. The cloud opex model is a bit easier than the traditional way of competing in multiple markets. When you give customers an all-inclusive cloud offering, with guaranteed savings and SLAs, in multi-year contracts format, it's a different kind of relationship and opportunity.
CW: So, like many other vendor services arrm, cloud seems to be your final answer too. Because all said and done, organizations want to have other options as well.
Abdessamad: A private cloud deployment is very different than public. Firstly, it resides in the data center. You give the customers technologies they already know, but you're giving them a different way of consuming it and it's financially compelling. Storage is consumption based, and hence it's a good prospect to offer it in a consumption model. Large organizations are reluctant to move to public cloud, but they are starting to think about a hybrid cloud strategy. We are starting to see content archiving and back-up moving to cloud. We are starting to see a shift from disc-to-disc-to-cloud Vs disc-to-disc-to-tape. But the cloud here is an enterprise cloud that has public cloud capabilities with an enterprise level feel in terms of reliability, service level agreements etc. So, cloud is a good place for the exploding enterprise and unstructured data to go.
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