Q&A With Brad Surak, Chief Product and Strategy Officer

Tell us about your role at Hitachi Vantara?

My role as Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Hitachi Vantara is to drive strategy around the entire product portfolio. Our team is focused on driving product and technology innovations to support Hitachi Vantara’s mission to become the leader in IoT, by unifying the different available capabilities: Pentaho analytics, Lumada IoT technology and our portfolio around storage and content. We are also orchestrating the product side of the organization’s work with the product and engineering teams. Our focus is to continue to close the gap between the IT and OT to ultimately help our customers through their digital transformations.

Why are you excited to join Hitachi Vantara?

I believe the team at Hitachi Vantara is differentiated in the market, has the right talent, leadership and corporate mission. We are currently seeing how IoT is changing the way the world works. Hitachi Vantara is well positioned to partner with companies and help them through this transformation. No other company has our trusted track record in IT and deep experience in OT. Now we are applying our unique skills to IoT. There are exciting and challenging times ahead. The leadership at Hitachi and Hitachi Vantara fully understands that transformation is the company’s destiny and is pushing to fully exploit its distinctive potential of broad industry expertise, disruptive technologies, right talent and leadership. To top it off, Hitachi aims for something higher than ROI — global impact through social innovation. Having spent many years at GE Digital, I’m excited to join the team and bring my software expertise to the Hitachi Vantara.

What excites you about Pentaho? Anything specific in Pentaho 8.0?

I spent several years in the analytics division at SAP and at Business Objects starting back in 2002. Pentaho has been on my radar since the very beginning. It has been great working with the sharp team at Pentaho to better understand the endless capabilities of the product. I’ve been impressed to see how Pentaho handles existing data infrastructures, new data types and technologies in both the cloud and on premise. Combining these capabilities with Hitachi’s IT and OT expertise helps our customers to unlock the value of IoT now and in the future. Take for example the latest release, Pentaho 8.0, which is enabled by the broader Hitachi Vantara portfolio, it allows customers to provide their analytics and data science teams access to diverse and trusted streaming data that’s moving faster than ever before — especially with emerging IoT use cases.

Tell us about your future vision for Hitachi Vantara?

IoT is more than a huge market opportunity; it’s a lot of exciting technologies and systems coming together. It’s a true architectural disruption just comparable to the cloud ecosystem. My vision for Hitachi Vantara is to continue to collaborate with our customers and partners to extend their data infrastructure from edge to cloud. Additionally, we will continue to create a holistic architecture capable of unlocking business value through operations intelligence applications at every possible point within their infrastructure. It’s about building a set of products and technologies that honor existing architecture investments and at the same time enable customers to pragmatically evolve depending on at which point they are in their digital transformation journey. In short, my future vision for Hitachi Vantara is about truly unlocking the power of IoT.

Congrats on being Purdue's University's Distinguished Alumni this year. Tell us, what are you most proud of?

The fact that Purdue beat IU in football this season!

Jonathan Shafer

Senior Product Customer Marketing Manager