Hitachi Partner with Google to Expand GenAI Enterprise Offer

Hitachi is entrenching GenAI into its operation through partnership with Google Cloud and creation of the new Hitachi Google Cloud Business Unit

Hitachi is solidifying its implementation of GenAI by bringing onside AI leader Google Cloud in a multi-year partnership to expand the conglomerate's use in its enterprise operations. 

Through the partnership, Hitachi will further accelerate growth of Lumada, its core digital business, and it will advance operational efficiencies for the Hitachi Group.

Alongside using GenAI to upskill things like customer service, the crux of the partnership is the formation of a new Hitachi Google Cloud Business Unit.  

The unit will work to develop GenAI solutions for enterprises by utilising Google's technologies like the Gemini large language model, Vertex AI platform, and other cloud AI tools. 

Areas of focus
  • Modernising legacy software systems through GenAI
  • Transforming customer service operations with AI-powered tools like Google Cloud's Contact Centre AI
  • Enabling secure, hybrid deployments of GenAI across on-premises and cloud environments integrated with Hitachi Vantara's data storage platforms

The companies will also establish a Google Cloud Centre of Excellence to rapidly deploy co-developed AI solutions to Hitachi's customer base across its sectors, like energy, mobility, manufacturing and digital services.

"Through this partnership, Hitachi will leverage Google Cloud's AI capabilities to improve productivity and accelerate innovation," said Toshiaki Tokunaga, Executive VP at Hitachi. "Solutions like Vertex AI and Gemini models will augment our teams to better serve diverse customer needs."

Hitachi’s history with GenAI

The partnership expands on Hitachi's existing initiatives to adopt GenAI across its operations. 

Although focused on internal uses, Hitachi was somewhat ahead of the curve when In May 2023 it established a new "Generative AI Center". 

With the aim to bring together experts to help manage the risks whilst using the insights from GenAI, the centre acts to accumulate know-how in the activities of the 320,000 employees of Hitachi as they write, summarise, translate, and generate code. These are then offered as insight for consulting services to its clients implementing its solutions.

Through collaboration with Microsoft Japan, a partner of its Lumada Alliance Program, Hitachi announced it would also  provide environment building and operation support services that combine Azure OpenAI Service and Hitachi's strengths in mission-critical cloud system integration. 

This was then shortly followed by the establishment of a new position, the Chief AI Transformation Officers, which was created to embed GenAI strategy across Hitachi's business units and drive productivity gains through AI-enabled process transformation.

Partnership plans

Strengthening AI skills is indeed a core aim of the Google Cloud tie-up. Hitachi plans to train over 50,000 "GenAI Professionals" on Google's AI solutions and models as part of its global training curriculum.

"We are strategically aligning our go-to-market approach with Google Cloud to establish clear pathways for accelerated innovation and revenue growth through GenAI," said Nitesh Banga, CEO of Hitachi's Digital Engineering business.

The partnership includes aligned sales, marketing and engineering initiatives by the two companies to support enterprise customers throughout their GenAI adoption journey - from strategic planning to implementation and management.

For Google Cloud, which offers an integrated AI stack spanning large language models, development tools and AI-powered applications, the Hitachi alliance fits its vision of upskilling its GenAI capabilities across its internal operations, and across its industries to its business customers.

"Our partnership provides enterprises with the technology, expertise and resources to optimally build, deploy and manage generative AI capabilities," said Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian.

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