Tokyo-based ITOCHU Techno-Solutions is a US$4 billion reseller of IT products and solutions to enterprises and service providers throughout Japan. The company is an investor in the Solinea Series A. We asked Deputy General Manager Hiroshi Koiwai a few questions about the opportunity the two companies are pursuing together.
- Agile requires a new way of thinking about app development and infrastructure management. How are you preparing your clients for success in their transition to agile?
We believe that agile is the right path to enhance competitiveness through software development. The shift to agile gradually penetrates the application development process within an enterprise, must be managed with purpose, and requires strong, committed leadership from within. Our role in that process is to be a valued advisor, encouraging the shift to agile and providing guidance in each key step along the way. We are also a service enabler, proactively contributing products, solutions and services that facilitate the transition to agile development and DevOps.
- Why do you think that OpenStack has been so popular in the APAC region?
In Japan, specifically, the OpenStack User Group has played a big role in enlightening the community about OpenStack. And, as the leading IT service companies here have deployed OpenStack and shared their success, momentum has surged. I expect the popularity of OpenStack in Japan to continue to build this year.
- What are the big questions your clients are asking about technologies like OpenStack and containers?
Many clients are seeking a way to reduce costs compared to solutions like VMware or AWS. And although that is one valid reason to explore OpenStack and containers, there are many other valid reasons as well, such as speed, agility, and scalability. In fact, I think establishing those objectives with our clients is really important if OpenStack and container technology is going to be fully embraced and valued for all the benefits they bring to the enterprise.
- How do you see the ITOCHU Techno-Solutions/Solinea partnership developing in 2016?
Solinea and ITOCHU Techno-Solutions can provide very effective service for our Japanese customers. The timing of our partnership is perfect: OpenStack is growing rapidly in the Japanese market, and our ability to provide experience and leadership in this area is going to enlarge the business of both companies. In partnership with Solinea, ITOCHU Techno-Solutions is able to offer our Japanese customers the latest technical know-how and deep experience with OpenStack that we simply cannot get from the domestic market.
- What trends in agile and/or Open Infrastructure are you paying close attention to for 2016?
I think that the concept of open source software is being embraced throughout the world, although APAC admittedly is lagging in the technical penetration of open source software such as OpenStack. But I think OpenStack specifically is the future of on-premise computing, and Japan can’t afford to lag behind the world in this area. We also are closely watching the trend—culture change, really—of agile adoption. Our partnership with Solinea will help us stay at the forefront of both of these important trends.
Our thanks to Hiroshi Koiwai for sharing his time and insights. Stay tuned to the Solinea blog for “Five Questions with…” other partners and visionaries. — Francesco Paola