Hitachi Data Systems ploughs ahead with social innovation plans

Hitachi Innovation Forum expects 16,000 delegates to share user cases on how technology is making society safer

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is diving into “social innovation” this year with the aim of making society safer and more secure. 

Hitachi Innovation Forum in Tokyo, takes place this week and will showcase some of the ways in which people use Hitachi’s technology to improve how cities operate.

Mary Ann Gallo, vice-president of global communications at Hitachi Data Systems, said the forum is expected to attract up to 16,000 delegates.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, Gallo said: “There are so many areas in society where improvements are being made through social innovation and this show is about bringing all that goodness together in one place to see what others are trying to accomplish.

“We try to be as open source as possible. When you give people access to data they do things you couldn’t even imagine. There are so many use cases they we haven’t thought of, so the ideal is for people to build on our platform and to expand the ecosystem.”

Kevin Eggleston, senior vice-president of social innovation and global industries at Hitachi Data Systems, said: "We are in the next industrial revolution which will drive economic growth and change the way people operate. We have an obligation to make a change in society, to make it safer and more secure. Social innovation aims to achieve better outcomes and to drive costs down.

"Within the next year we plan to expand our social innovation reach into a range of sectors including healthcare, oil and gas and telecoms,” he told Computer Weekly.

Hitachi's foray into public safety

Eggleston said this will be achieved through the supplier's growing channel partner network and its global sales force.

Last week the company announced Hitachi Virtualization, a system which aims to foster public safety through “connected intelligence” as part of its newly created public safety business. The company bolstered its position in the area when it bought public safety technology firms Pantascene and Avrio RMS Group.

Unveiled at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference (IACP) in Orlando, the technology supports law enforcement and emergency services personnel to prevent and respond to public safety situations by capturing, managing and analysing real-time information.

Combining the internet of things, big data analytics and IT infrastructure technologies, the Hitachi Virtualization includes capture devices called Hitachi Visualization Platform (HVP) and an integrated map-based software platform called Hitachi Visualization Suite (HVS) to pull together disparate data.

Video-capture and gateway devices with wireless networked data and video feeds integrate with private video feeds for services such as license plate recognition and gunshot detection.

The data is then aggregated through the cloud-based Hitachi Visualization Suite into a common, live operating picture. HVS analytics software also uses information from public sources such as social media and online news to search for correlations or anomalies.

“Using this data they can decide what to do and what to change to be more efficient,” Eggleston explained. 

Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department and the New York Waterway are already using these solutions.

Hitachi Innovation Forum is taking place 29-30 October 2014 in Tokyo

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