Cloud, IoT and pretzels: Fujitsu Forum 2015 roundup

Fujitsu Forum 2015 has come to a close in Munich, with pretzels, frankfurters and lager aplenty supplementing two days of insight into the company’s ‘human-centric innovation’ strategy, as well as some new announcements.

We covered the whole event on our live blog, but here's a quick roundup of everything that went on.

What's new?

As has become the norm in the IT industry, cloud computing was one of the main areas of focus. Fujitsu kicked off the event by announcing the acquisition of French company UShareSoft, a move which will bolster its ability to help customers migrate and manage cloud applications.

Sticking on the cloud theme, Duncan Tait – Fujitsu’s executive vice president and head of Europe – also announced MetaArc, the Japanese company’s new cloud platform which will incorporate UShareSoft’s primary product UForge.

Tait described the MetaArc platform as something which will “help organisations transform their business” by enabling customers to “capitalise on digital opportunities.” Whether in the public, private or hybrid arena, MetaArc will help businesses embrace the potential on offer in the digital world by modernising core systems and supporting the delivery of innovative new projects around areas such as IoT, big data and mobility.

Joel O’Halloran, senior vice president and head of managed infrastructure services and digital business platform at Fujitsu, says: “MetaArc enables customers confidently to embrace the delivery of two-speed business transformation from a position of balance. With MetaArc, Fujitsu reduces the complexity and risks of managing the emerging Hybrid IT environment by providing cloud solutions, expertise and services for both Fast IT and Robust IT systems that integrate and orchestrate both Fujitsu and third-party cloud services.”

But that’s not all, Fujitsu has also grown its tablet range with the launch of the Stylistic R726, a 2-in-1 device aimed at enterprise users. It runs the Windows 10 Pro version of Microsoft’s latest operating system and features a 12.5-inch display, Intel’s sixth generation i7 processor and an impressive 12-hour battery life. Jörg Hartmann, Vice President of Fujitsu’s Client Computing Devices Business said: “The argument has raged for years about whether or not tablets are really up to the task of replacing a traditional clamshell notebook. Until now there have been compromises on both sides. Fujitsu has now delivered the definitive product to end the ‘tablet or clamshell’ debate for good.”

Time to strategise

The majority of the event was spent discussing Fujitsu’s global strategy, which revolves around the idea of using technology and making the most of current trends to better the world, something that the company’s president Tatsuya Tanaka said is “in Fujitsu’s DNA.”

These trends the company will be focusing on will be familiar to all of us – IoT, mobile, cloud, big data and security – but throughout the two days they were spoken about as a means of helping to solve the bigger issues in the world. One example cited was the global problem of a growing and aging population and how data can be used to enable doctors to make better decisions for patients or how connected devices can help save lives in natural disasters. Michael Keegan, head of EMEIA for products at Fujitsu put it nicely when he said “we want to put the human being at the centre, which will make the benefits of the technology much more likely to be realised.”

The words “collaboration” and “co-creating” also came up a lot, as well as the ideas of creating balance and confidence in the modern business world. The thought is that “digitally balanced enterprises” are best placed to derive insight and innovation from their digital transformation by combining agile and responsive ICT with a robust secure IT infrastructure.

Final thought

To finish off I thought I’d share my favourite quote of the event, which came from Fujitsu’s chief technology officer Dr Joseph Reger in his talk called ‘What’s on the mind of the CTO?’ When asked about the progress being made in AI he simply said: “We are closer to natural stupidity than we are to artificial intelligence.”

Someone get this man a pretzel.