Fujitsu hugs SAP, says it's all about solutions now

Welcomes users after saying goodbye to boss

Fujitsu Forum 2012 Fujitsu Technology Solutions insisted its integration into its parent company and parallel global expansion was on track this week as it kicked off its European user forum minus CEO Rolf Schwirz, who left the firm on Halloween.

At the same time, it tied its wagon to SAP, declared support for third-party hardware, and put Windows 8 desktops at the centre of its product announcements at its user forum in Munich.

FTS CEO Schwirz left the company last week, with Fujitsu SVP and president of international business Rod Vawdrey stepping in as interim boss.

Vawdrey said the Fujitsu Technology business, whose roots lie in Siemens’ and UK-based ICL’s computer business, was making progress in its efforts to globalise and streamline the division. The firm’s historic regional businesses were using common tool sets and processes, he said. This would leave them better placed to support their customers as they too globalise, as well as Japanese firms looking to expand worldwide.

The firm plans to generate 40 per cent of its sales outside Japan by 2015, with a 5 per cent operating margin. First results were flat, at €1.95bn (£1.56bn, $2.51bn) in the first half.

Vawdrey pointedly referred to the company as a "global services company underpinned by technology". He added that cloud services will account for 30 per cent of its business coming from cloud, saying the current pipeline for cloud and solutions business was "promising".

However, the firm immediately followed Vawdrey’s positioning pitch with a slew of product announcements. These included the extension of its Flexframe data management platform’s support for SAP. FlexFrame Orchestrator will support SAP’s HANA in-memory database and analytics platform. HANA is central to SAP’s repositioning of itself as a database company rather than an ERP outfit, and Fujitsu seems to be working hard to align itself with its German-centric fellow firm.

CTO Joseph Reger said the firm would now extend the FlexFrame platform to support qualified third-party hardware and software. Fujitsu has traditionally been a big server and storage vendor, and a partner of Oracle, with whom it collaborates on the development of Sparc chips.

Reger said FTS had a very strategic relationship with SAP, but that it also had several customers whose needs required it to work closely with Oracle. He added: “Definitely we have a strong technology relationship going forward with Oracle.

Meanwhile, the vendor unveiled a line of desktop products dubbed the Fujitsu X Line, spanning PCs, laptops and monitors.

The vendor made great play of the Esprimo PC and Futro thin client’s touch-enabled screens' ability to swivel flat, allowing them to be used as table-top panels - and bringing a touch of old-school gaming fun to any workplace.

While most of the ballyhoo about Windows 8 has centred on the consumer and mobile markets, Fujitsu CTO Joseph Reger said enterprises needed Windows 8, and said the OS couldn’t be considered a success if it failed to win on the desktop. ®

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