Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is embarking on an aggressive growth strategy across sub-Saharan Africa, following the full integration of Shoden Data Systems into Hitachi Data Systems Corporation.
Shoden was acquired by Hitachi Data Systems Corporation in February 2012 and officially changed its name to HDS in August 2013.
Shaun Barendsen, HDS General Manager for sub-Saharan Africa, says with the integration process complete, the company looks forward to a surge in growth over the next few years.
“HDS has invested heavily in its new partner strategy, as well as in expanding our presence across Africa, entering new industry verticals and coming to market with increasingly advanced solutions,” says Barendsen.
With a solid track record and more than 150 HDS experts serving the southern African market, HDS is now partnering with seven South African resellers and with another 15 across the continent in a revitalised go-to-market plan.
Traditionally, the company focused on a direct relationship with top-end organisations. Its focus has been mainly on converged stack, cloud and data management in verticals such as the financial and retail sectors.
“However, we have made a significant investment in selecting and training suitable channel partners over the past year, and through this enhanced channel, we are now expanding our focus to include the public sector, healthcare, call centre and media sectors, among others. The channel also expands our reach into the upper mid-market segment,” says Barendsen.
Barendsen says HDS has long been among the market leaders in South Africa, where the company is seeing steady growth as enterprises increasingly focus on reducing the complexity of IT and extracting business value from their data. However, coming from a relatively low base, the pan-African market is expected to surge in the short term, and Barendsen expects to see strong growth in sub-Saharan Africa.
HDS now has regional hubs in Lagos and Nairobi serving East and West Africa, while the South African office supports southern Africa. HDS has also designed and implemented solutions in Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Namibia.
Local enterprises are closely following global trends, according to Barendsen, in that they are looking to solutions that address the cost and complexity of data management.
There is also growing interest in cloud-based solutions, particularly private cloud, as well as in the integrated stack – all areas in which Barendsen believes HDS is positioned to lead.
The acquisition and name change has been well received by Shoden customers, says Barendsen.
He notes customers will continue to receive the personal pre- and post-sales support excellence they have come to expect from Shoden, while also benefiting from the backing of a $100 billion-a-year corporation with a massive global pool of resources and expertise.