This blog post introduces a joint project in which Panasonic and Fujitsu set out to deliver greater convenience and a better quality of life to society through the innovative use of smart appliances and cloud services.
The vision behind this project was to generate innovation in home appliances by combining smart appliances with cloud computing. Bysharing this vision, Panasonic and Fujitsu set themselves the challenge of creating new value that neither could have achieved alone, in the form of a new B2B service.
This project focused on the customers of food manufacturers. One of the problems faced by food manufacturers is that they launch dozens of new products onto the market every year, but have no way of finding out how consumers actually consume these products.
The project team wondered whether, by combining smart appliances and cloud services, they might be able to solve this problem. They thought that information about how consumers actually use food products could be obtained and mined for hints on developing new products, leading to improvements in products and services.
Studying food data generated by consumer testers
The smart appliances used in this project were microwave ovens. Consumer testers were recruited, and before the project started, their agreement was obtained to provide the team with certain data. The data in question concerned the length of time for which they heated microwaveable frozen foods.
Point of Sale (POS) data has been extensively used in the food industry for some time now. By connecting smart microwave ovens to a cloud service, as in this experiment, it is possible to obtain and analyze Point of Use (POU) data. In this case, the POU data included the times when the consumer testers microwaved their food, how long they microwaved each item, and which items they microwaved.
The experiment worked by using a special smartphone app. A consumer tester would scan the barcode for a frozen food item. The appropriate heating time, electricity consumption and other data would then be downloaded from a cloud database. The consumer tester would then input the number/quantity of food items to be microwaved into the app, and touch his or her smartphone to the microwave oven. The cooking time, the category and quantity of the frozen food item, and other data would then be uploaded to the cloud. In this experiment, the team also had the consumer testers upload a photo of each meal, so the team could study what they were eating.
New value created by the data
To analyze the data gathered from the consumer testers, Fujitsu provided a cloud-based convergence system. Covering everything from hardware and software to consulting, “convergence system” is a collective term for big-data analysis and other services that extract useful observations from high-volume sensing data. In this experiment, the curators, well-versed in big-data analysis, not only built a cloud service for analyzing POU data, but also focused on POU analysis and consulting.
If the widespread collection of POU data from family microwave ovens catches on in the future, food manufacturers and wholesalers might be able to use the data to optimize their inventory coordination. By enabling the accurate planning of deliveries from food factories to distributors and from distributors to consumers, this could even increase the efficiency of the industry. Again, if retailers were able to time their sale events to match patterns of consumption, food waste could be eliminated from the system, benefiting both businesses and consumers.
Towards human-centric innovation
By uniting three elements—consumers (i.e. consumer testers), food data obtained from smart appliances, and Fujitsu’s cloud-based analytical infrastructure—this project was designed to create a service enabling inter-industry collaboration and deliver a better quality of life to consumers. The process of drawing out the latent power of people, data, and infrastructure, and achieving new value for business and society, is known as “human-centric innovation.”
Through this joint project with Panasonic, Fujitsu has achieved innovation that could not only assist the business community but also deliver a better quality of life to consumers. In the future, Fujitsu intends to continue connecting businesses in a wide variety of industries, aiming to provide services and solutions that improve the quality of people’s lives.
Learn more about the Fujitsu Technology and Service Vision 2014 here.
We all feel it, data use and growth is explosive. Individuals and businesses are consuming — and generating — more data every day.
The challenges are common for nearly all businesses operating in every industry: ingest all the data, analyze it as fast as possible, make good sense of it, and ultimately drive smart decisions to positively affect the business – all as fast as possible!
Fujitsu brings the processors of supercomputing in the Fujitsu M10 enterprise server family to help organizations meet these everyday challenges. What once was reserved for data-intensive scientific computing is now especially relevant to mission-critical business computing, and it’s all driven by big data.
From high-throughput connectivity to data sources, to high-speed data movement to and from high-performance processing units, all the way to serving data and analytics results for mission-critical business intelligence (BI) applications, Fujitsu’s innovative technologies leveraged from decades in High-Performance Computing (HPC) enable enterprises to impact decisions, boost business productivity, and enhance the bottom line.
The Fujitsu M10 server line ranges from one to 64 SPARC64 X+ processors, each with 16 cores at speeds up to 3.7 GHz. Extending the existing SPARC V9 instruction set architecture, the SPARC64 X+ adopts HPC-ACE (High Performance Computing Arithmetic Computational Extension), which was developed for the Fujitsu supercomputers. “Software on Chip” technology on all M10 models enables faster computational results by taking functions previously handled by software and putting them right into the processor itself. Through this innovative approach, the decimal floating-point arithmetic processing required by financial applications and database computing is done directly on the hardware in the processor, eliminating the overhead of binary-to-decimal conversions and speeding up overall computational results. Further, Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) technology, once reserved only for HPC, also allows processing of multiple data in a single instruction cycle, dramatically accelerating results. This vector processing capability allows certain workloads such as columnar databases and business analytics to process massive data faster.
The Fujitsu M10’s interconnect technology matches the power of its processors. Fujitsu’s innovative high-performance interconnect provides high bandwidth and low latency for high-speed internal data access and transfers among all SPARC64 X+ processors in the Fujitsu M10 server. All processors access all memory and all I/O slots equally, so that a large workload is as easy to deploy and support as a smaller workload.
Fujitsu M10 also offers the latest PCI Express serial I/O technology to provide fast connectivity to data warehouses, operational systems and other data sources. The data can be fed to high performance BI systems through as many as 128 internal I/O slots on the Fujitsu M10 servers and up to 928 slots with the optional PCI Expansion Units.
With the extreme performance of SPARC64 X+ processors and unrivaled utilization efficiency through innovative high performance supercomputing technologies, the Fujitsu M10 servers allow customers to quickly leverage large data sets and access the critical information they need for real-time decisions in ever-changing environments. It helps companies get results with big data, faster.
No, I am not referring to cars here. For our IT-departments new approaches to governance are needed in order to avoid replicated old, fragmented-enterprise IT-problems and to match the new pace of business with all the potentials coming from hybrid IT-infrastructures that nowadays clearly also include Cloud. But one Cloud is not like the other, the variety and flavors are tremendous and choosing the ones that fit best and seamlessly integrating those afterwards will represent the challenge of the future.
Having said that, I really found it inspiring to study this new Whitebook ….
The FY13 special incentive rewarded those SELECT Circle members, that registered the largest amount of server & storage opportunities, while in parallel met at least 80% of their individual revenue targets. On one hand side, that was a very challenging target but on the other hand the trophy was to visit Fujitsu Forum in Tokyo, Japan! So, that made things interesting!
The competition was very high among the SELECT Circle members but finally the winning partners came from Austria, Belgium, Russia Spain, and Turkey and were accompanied to their trip to Japan by Veerle Limbos, Vice President of Corporate Channels, and myself.
This international group of partner CEOs was impressed not only by Fujitsu products and solutions, but by Fujitsu’s Japanese hospitality and philosophy as well. Our colleagues in Japan welcomed our SELECT Circle members and did their best to support them right from the moment they landed in Japan.
Travelling to the other side of planet can be nothing else than mind-changing – it is the sum of all little things, that are so fundamentally different, that give you the whole picture: Tokyo, the people, the food, the culture, the architecture, television, travelling, tradition – it´s a million things and nothing. By visiting the Fujitsu Forum and seeing Fujitsu´s capabilities and new offerings, the partners could feel how important the role of Fujitsu is within the Japanese economy and they returned back with new ideas for their own customers and markets. But Fujitsu’s hospitality did not stop at the new technologies, but it introduced the partners to the Japanese culture such as visiting temples, shrines, the imperial palace, Sumo, electronic malls, Zen gardens, teahouses, food markets and a special karaoke event that nobody will forget!
But the most rewarding thing is what our channel partners wrote to me after returning home. It makes me feel proud of achieving to transfer Fujitsu’s vision, culture and philosophy to our valuable channel partners, members of SELECT Circle.
“I am right now sitting on my desk and enjoy a cup of Green Tea – a taste of Japan and remember that great week we had. Thanks a lot to all of you and to the people who made this possible! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! It was a great pleasure for me to be part of this group! To meet friends, to visit this very interesting land and to get the spirit of Fujitsu.” (Erich Huber-Tentschert, Austria)
“I want to thank all of you for the very pleasant and educative journey to Japan. I’ve not only learned a lot of Fujitsu and its products, but also experienced another culture & met some inspiring Fujitsu partners from other European countries. Many thanks for that!” (Kris Walraevens, Belgium)
“Thank you a lot for this splendid journey to the land of Rising Sun. I happened to spend my time with great people and I found new friends. Everything was just wonderful.” (Alexander Alekhin, Russia)
“Thank you very much for such an impressive program that allows me to better understand Fujitsu´s vision and strategy for the coming years. It has been an honor to participate in such a program and I would like to thank you and the Fujitsu team that made this possible. On the other hand, thank you for your hospitality. I had an enjoyable week meeting Tokyo and the surrounding areas, having the opportunity to know much better about the culture and history of Japan. You and your team make me feel like at home. It would be more than a pleasure to see you again in Tokyo or in Spain.” (Manuel Climent, Spain)
“I want to thank you and all the Fujitsu team, it was a once in a lifetime trip for me, historical places was wonderful, food was great, and hospitality was perfect, I was happy to be in Tokyo, Japan. But most important thing is that I understood that I’ve given the right decision to do business with Fujitsu. Thank you for everything.” (Ugur Isbuyuran, Turkey)
So stay tuned because more news will come from SELECT Circle and new “hot” incentives!
Point solutions for IT Management and Service Desk turn out to be fragmented and inflexible approaches which fail to provide all the capabilities and insights needed to proactively optimize the increasingly distributed and multi-tiered IT environments.
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