Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Impressions of Storage and Service in Japan

Most of the time, I was a tourist in Japan. But once in a while I also had serious discussion with whoever spoke better English than my Japanese or put up with an interpreter who only translated selectively! Some discussions were about population trends, storage market and opportunities and service nuances. Whether it was Sapporo, Kyoto or Tokyo, I was surprised and impressed that most Japanese, I talked to, considered issues with worldwide perspective instead of what is good for Japan unlike some other places.

Storage professionals seem to be as much in demand in Japan and APAC as in North America. I wish I had some Japanese language skills, I would have easily skipped my return flight. ;-)

I also heard similar sentiments about Hitachi storage as I hear in North America about its mindshare and footprint. Main difference being that most comments in Japan were directed not at HDS but at Hitachi's disk drive unit. HGST may be the better known entity in Japan than HDS. Where is storage on its list of priorities at Hitachi? Chime in if you desire. And, what's up with everyone wanting to discuss HDS with me?

I was particularly impressed with the level of service extended to customers in Japan. I don't think I have experienced such service dedication anywhere else. One individual from auto industry put it nicely "Here you get better service because it is ingrained culturally. In US, you get good service because people get paid for it." Just makes me wonder why HDS is generally thought of as "great hardware, ok software, poor service" company.

Promotional display for ASUS-Lamborghini Golden Edition laptop in Akihabara area of Tokyo. If you are in the area, try visiting Yodobashi Camera, a huge discount electronic store. I haven't seen anything like it on this side of Pacific.


  1. I have a considerable amount of experience with HDS products. The hardware is extremely reliable and performs well. The software is another issue entirely. The product suite shows no consistent view - product names change continually - (is it Cruise Control or Volume Migator?) and most of the tools I've attempted to use have had no apparent user validation testing. From a service side, the hardware engineers are excellent; HDS falls down badly on the support part - still no equivalent of EMCs Powerlink; software announcements via email/website is poor (have a look at Cisco's field announcements all via RSS). New product releases and features come out and I don't know about them. Manuals and documentation are weak. There are plenty of things to do...

  2. Chris, hopefully HDS is listening and working! Thanks for your viewpoints.

    My experience with HDS products is limited ... but somehow others are using me as sounding board on HDS issues. I like their hardware, just give me improved total service experience and I am sold.

    Powerlink has lot of stuff but I hear sometime it is also used as scapegoat.