In the run-up to “Activate Now”, Fujitsu’s virtual event, which will take place today and tomorrow (October 14th and 15th) instead of the traditional Munich Fujitsu Forum, the Japanese company announced yesterday that it was shifting towards the service company – even if the Product area is still the strongest source of sales in the CEE region with 80 percent sales. […]
That should change by 2023: Then the service area should account for more than a third of sales in the CEE region, emphasized Rupert Lehner, Head of CEE & Products Europe at Fujitsu, in a (virtual) press conference. The path towards service providers that has been targeted for a number of years is initiated with a new “Service Hub”, which will also be available in the DACH region from November. The reasons are obvious: The trend towards hybrid IT inevitably leads to a significantly increased complexity in the orchestration of the various (cloud) services. In addition, there are provision times of several months in some cases for individually adapted systems and applications.
“Service Hub”: Mastering Hybrid IT
Fujitsu wants to meet these challenges with its new “Service Hub”, a platform that gives companies bundled access to a broad portfolio of services, including managed services from Fujitsu, services from SaaS providers and cloud hyperscalers. This is made possible by maximum modularization, standardization and automation, which also ensure significantly faster availability of even complex services: While it used to take months for customers to access individually configured SAP environments, in future this will be implemented in around a week. The provision times for individual services or new configurations are reduced from several weeks, which was previously common in the industry, to around a day.
“There is a great need for more flexible service concepts,” said Lehner, who sees three major trends that need to be addressed. Mobile working, which also means working from home or teleworking, cloud services or hybrid IT as well as the very fast and flexible provision of services.
This is exactly where the new Fujitsu Service Hub comes in. The aim: simply select, combine and shop different services via a uniform user interface, just like in a normal online shop. According to Fujisu, the integrated, highly automated platform should be designed to be particularly user-friendly and enable the provision of both “traditional” applications and cloud native applications.
Further advantages of the new service platform: There is no vendor lock-in, i.e. no dependency on a single provider, and the hub can easily be integrated into the development operations or CI / CD concepts (Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery) of the customer. Customers can also choose which services should run in their own data center (on premise), at Fujitsu or a hyperscaler.
“Service Hubs” technology
The platform is based on a Fujitsu hyperconverged infrastructure, which is transformed into a software-defined data center through Cisco ACI and VMware. The managed cloud platform Morpheus runs on it, which makes it possible to create templates for managed services that can be used with little effort – on-premise, at Fujitsu or in a cloud. Artificial intelligence (AIOps = Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) is used to monitor the systems, predict possible malfunctions and the rapid elimination of malfunctions that actually occur. Using a user interface from Fujitsu partner ServiceNow, customers can easily and conveniently book services from a catalog, make or request changes, track the status of inquiries and changes, and access reports.
“The trend towards hybrid IT and the need for highly flexible IT services were already clear before the Covid19 pandemic, but have increased massively in recent months. The crisis has brought about a significant leap in teleworking systems and digitalization in general, ”stated Rupert Lehner.
Partnerships and personnel restructuring
Innovative offers are therefore in demand, with which companies and authorities can easily and flexibly obtain highly standardized and automated services from different providers and combine them with one another. That is why partnerships, for example with large technology partners such as SAP, Microsoft or ServiceNow, are important. “In addition, we are continuing to invest in the training and further education of our employees as well as the creation of new positions, especially in the service area,” explained Rupert Lehner, Head of Central and Eastern Europe & Products Europe at Fujitsu.
Lehner also gave specific figures: around 700 employees have already been taken on in the CEE region, primarily for the service and consulting area. “We currently have 400 vacancies,” said Lehner. However, employees have also been made redundant because Fujitsu has now finally closed the flagship plant in Augsburg on October 1st.
New research group founded at TU Hamburg
The CTO of Fujitsu, Joseph Reger, who is known as a thought leader and announced a comprehensive cooperation with the Technical University of Hamburg, also made people sit up and take notice yesterday: Fujitsu is founding and supporting a new chair for combinatorial optimization in industry and facilities together with Dataport at the TU Hamburg a research group. The focus is on the development of innovative solutions for requirements in business, trade and administration that are particularly complex or that involve very large amounts of data. “This is a ten-year commitment, we want to develop projects here where we can also use the Fujtsu Digital Annealer,” said Fujitsu’s CTO Joseph Reger. “We are currently making a mistake, we are placing far too much emphasis on basic research,” said Reger, that is now set to change with the new initiative at the TU Hamburg. It is about the development of industrial applications using the new technologies. Combinatorial optimization plays a decisive role here.
“Fujitsu firmly believes that combinatorial optimization is one of the most important instruments for massively expanding the possible uses of IT systems and pushing their limits. Practically usable quantum computing is still a long way off, but the corresponding hardware and software for solving complex combinatorial tasks already exists. Our customers are already benefiting from it. With the chair in Hamburg we are giving the development an important boost, ”Reger emphasized.
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