Hitachi drops Consulting from brand after Vantara integration

18 September 2019 Consultancy.org

Two decades after launching it, Hitachi is retiring its Hitachi Consulting brand. The integration of Hitachi Consulting into Hitachi Vantara will form a new unit with over 12,000 consultants and digital experts. 

Hitachi Consulting was launched by parent Hitachi in 2000, at a time when large IT services companies where ramping up their advisory capabilities in a bid to tap into market developments – including demand for more integrated offerings and a booming consulting market – and capitalise on more lucrative margins compared to mainstream IT work. 

Over the past nineteen years, Hitachi Consulting has grown to a global team of more than 5,000 consultants and technologists. Much of that growth was fuelled by a buy-and-build campaign. The foundation was laid by the acquisitions in the United States, of Grant Thornton’s Chicago-based consulting wing (2000) and of a 400-strong team from Arthur Andersen Business Consulting (2002). Since then, among others Dove Consulting, Impact Plus, JMN Associates, Edenbrook, Stone Apple Solutions and Celerant Consulting were acquired to beef up its footprint. 

The decision to now drop Consulting from its brand per January 2020 builds on a recently launched strategy by Hitachi’s leadership. The Japan-headquartered company is seeking to integrate its consulting and technology solutions in order to provide for a more end-to-end digital transformation offering.

Hitachi drops Consulting from brand after Vantara integration

The rebranding is part of an internal reshuffle within Hitachi, which sees Hitachi Consulting integrated into Hitachi Vantara, which is the company’s data services division. The unit was formed in 2017 when Hitachi merged Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Insight Group and Pentaho into one arm. Hitachi Vantara has around 7,000 employees globally, and focuses on helping clients adopt and embrace emerging technologies including internet of things (IoT), cloud, artificial intelligence, big data and analytics.

Elaborating on the rebranding, Hicham Abdessamad, chief executive officer of Hitachi Consulting, said: “Hitachi Consulting has been focused on delivering tangible business outcomes to customers by leveraging Hitachi’s vast information technology and operational technology capabilities. This integration uniquely positions us to accelerate time to value for our customers and provide digital solutions at scale.” 

“With this integration, Hitachi will strengthen front line and delivery capabilities to increase alignment and unlock the synergies between Hitachi Vantara and its vertical business units,” said Toshiaki Tokunaga, who will lead the new division. Tokunaga will be flanked by Hitachi Consulting’s Abdessamad and Brian Householder, the current chief executive officer of Hitachi Vantara.

“This is a great next step to bring two complementary organizations even closer together to help our customers and partners tap more broadly into the power of Hitachi to drive meaningful business outcomes,” added Householder.

The move comes one year after another major IT services firm, French-origin Capgemini dropped Consulting from its advisory brand. The integration of Capgemini Consulting with several other internal creative and digital units saw the formation of Capgemini Invent. Meanwhile, other large IT players such as Atos, CGI and Cognizant are moving in the opposite direction – investing in the standalone positioning of their consulting brands.