David Turner is president and CEO of Hitachi Vantara’s federal business. The data and analytics solutions company recently entered into an agreement to purchase systems integrator REAN Cloud. The move strengthens Hitachi’s ability to provide end-to-end data solutions, Turner said.
WashingtonExec: Hitachi Vantara expects to complete the acquisition of REAN Cloud by the end of the year. How is that process going?
Turner: We’re excited to announce that earlier this week, Hitachi Vantara finalized the acquisition of REAN Cloud following receipt of necessary government and regulatory approval. We have notified customers, partners and employees, and started integration of the organizations.
The REAN Cloud acquisition fits nicely into our growth strategy. Our goal is to be the premier end-to-end data services provider for the U.S. federal government. By leveraging the capabilities of REAN Cloud, Hitachi Vantara Federal is now able to offer federal customers a first-of-its-kind set of end-to-end data services solutions that include product, services, cloud options as well as a team of experts and sales operations support to ensure total customer success through implementation and ongoing systems maintenance.
REAN Cloud has been recognized as a leading cloud service provider and brings us extraordinary expertise around the public cloud with Amazon as an AWS Premier Consulting Partner and Microsoft as a Silver Microsoft Azure Partner to fill that capability for us. They also joined Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure MSPs.
In addition to being a global cloud systems integrator, managed services provider and solutions developer of cloud native applications across big data, machine learning and emerging IoT spaces, REAN Cloud also delivers customized solutions for data lakes, Redshift migrations, real-time analytics and data platforms for extreme event volumes.
Part of our strategy is to take these capabilities, and using the Hitachi Vantara global footprint, take it to our customers globally.
WashingtonExec: That sounds unique for this area. What else can you say about that?
Turner: Hitachi Vantara is literally all over the globe, and we’re looking to take this technology that was born here to continue to serve the federal government. Through our parent company, we’ll be also presenting it as a valuable cloud solution also to our commercial clients across the world.
WashingtonExec: How do you help customers take the proverbial plunge into cloud migration when those projects require upfront investment and may take a year or longer to realize efficiencies?
Turner: I think part of the challenge is that as soon as you begin the migration to the cloud, you then have two locations — the original and then the cloud location — that need to be maintained from a security and a government perspective until that migration is complete. So it’s imperative that the process includes planning, security, tools and a highly engaged customer support team to reduce operational risks while minimizing the impact on the end user. Cyber is just one aspect of it. Data governance and other issues also need to be addressed. It’s the same with any sort of migration, for example, transitioning from client servers to web technologies.
WashingtonExec: As federal customers shift away from legacy infrastructure, what does the landscape look like in terms of aligning with changing policies and ensuring security in a mobile environment?
Turner: I think that certainly the data storage landscape is changing. You have a dynamic security environment that is constantly evolving. Historically, that data was all in the data center, and you could keep an eye on it, and you could implement all the structures to secure it. Now, everything is moving out to mobile devices.
We see the government taking proactive steps in managing those security requirements in terms of policies, procedures and protocols for mobile environments. The government is one of the most stringent monitors of security aspects. I think sometimes they are criticized improperly for moving slowly when, in fact, they are taking prudent approaches to make sure that the data that they are responsible for maintaining is indeed protected.
WashingtonExec: What roadblocks to cloud migration do you see for your industry partners and government clients? How do we avoid making “cloud” just a buzzword?
Turner: One of the biggest roadblocks for government is the reality that not everything makes sense to be in the cloud. The good news is that there are flexible solutions for every federal customer scenario. There are on-premise solutions, hybrid cloud and the public cloud. Using this view, we’re provided with an opportunity to review the applications in the program and make decisions around where that data should live. With data as our focal point, rather than cloud computing, our focus is really around data strategy. Cloud computing is similar to previous terms like “big data” or “web-based.” Everything was web-based, if you will. The “cloud” term does serve to encompass all of the technology movement that’s happening, but as soon as you move past that platform discussion and talk about the customer mission that you’re trying to solve, you really get away from that buzzword.