Adrian De Luca, Hitachi Data Systems director of pre-sales and chief technology officer for Australia and New Zealand, says its new offerings will enable partners to break into new markets. HDS will also be seeking new channel partners, and De Luca says the company is in discussions with potential partners. "We’re carrying discussions with a number of companies on how to leverage off the new solutions. It’s still early days.”He says while some organisations feel threatened by the cloud movement, there are a number of channel partners who are ‘looking at it as an opportunity’. "Not everyone will want to become a cloud provider, but a number have diversified into that space.”New OfferingsThe company says one of the key enablers of its cloud strategy is its integration of storage, server, data network and systems software into a single cloud infrastructure foundation. "This approach allows customers to deploy, consolidate and scale cloud solutions at their own pace, without needing to undo pre-existing IT systems.”The initial set of converged solutions, released in June, includes Hitachi solutions built on Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track, a converged platform for Microsoft Exchange 2010 – the first in a new series of pre-tested, application specific converged packages – and the Hitachi Unified Compute Platform."We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg at the moment, with emerging cloud providers offering services like remote disaster recovery, archiving services and managed back-up.” De Luca says with the maturing of the market, services such as outsourced email and file servers are also being seen and predicts increasingly utilisation of cloud infrastructure for services specific to different vertical markets. He cites the example of an Australian company which is now providing outsourced specialist 3D rendering software for media via the cloud."We’re starting to see it map out not just on an enterprise application level, but into specialist verticals,” De Luca says.He says New Zealand tends to lead the way in the ‘effective and optimal use of IT infrastructure’ and he expects the country to be quick to adopt converged computing solutions.