The business world has never been as challenging as it is today — and there is no single recipe for success. Every company is different and so too are the paths to success. As part of the “Master Your Business” project, we are interested in finding out how you manage to stay ahead of the game. What started off 5 years ago as a blogger relations platform, has now evolved to include a wider spectrum of topics (e.g. BYOD, Generation Y employees or Unified Communication) and channels like Instagram, Vine or blog posts)
I would like to invite you to check out our new platform and find inspiration on how to master your business. We are also looking forward to your feedback and stories about how you deal with hot topics like BYOD, Unified Communications, Generation Y employees, etc. via the comments or the hashtag #masteryourbiz
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When you built your IT infrastructure, did you go for the ‘latest and greatest’, or were you thinking about how to bring your business forward? Be honest. If you did choose the latest and greatest technology for its own sake, then you’ve probably acted the way many people do.
Technology in itself is not a bad thing, but before spending your hard-earned money it’s worth doing some hard thinking about your business. What really drives your business? For, say, a food manufacturer it could be: customer tastes, access to retail outlets or the effects of the weather on the costs of raw materials. A steel producer selling to the construction industry might point to mineral costs, energy costs or interest rates to finance house purchases. A passenger airline might place emphasis on fuel costs, numbers of passengers and time required to turn around a machine between two flights. A neighborhood retail store would be interested in location, convenience and customer relations. In none of these cases is technology the number one concern.
The next step is to look at your facilities, processes, people, service agreements, etc. — without losing sight of your projected business outcome.
What does your current infrastructure look like? Does it help or hinder your employees from doing their job? Are they spending more time feeding the system than they are adding value to the company?
The third step is, again keeping your business goal in mind, to choose the right technology. This might be ‘bare metal’ where you purchase the various building blocks and integrate them yourself. Alternatively, you might choose a solution with all the components perfectly integrated. Or, you might choose a ‘pay-as-you-go’ cloud solution.
The key aspect to bear in mind is that each business is different. The best way to get the most out of your money is to look at how your business really works and what you want to achieve.
How do you go about purchasing technology? What problems have you come across?
At Fujitsu Forum we are introducing, together with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, an “Intelligent Desk”. Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization with a strong focus on people’s needs, e.g. health, security, communication, energy and the environment.
This Intelligent Desk acts as the front-end device for a wide range of End User Services and shows the latest technology used in ergonomic and efficient working. It covers state-of-the-art illumination concepts as well as current ergonomic furniture technology. The Intelligent Desk integrates Fujitsu’s IT know-how and demonstrates our UC&C solutions live. You can see that the workplace of the future is almost cable-free. Touch functions and gesture control are also fully integrated together with digital import options for analog documents so that they can be processed further.
We invite all visitors to experience the future of workplaces first hand at the Democenter (Innovation area). We have prepared some interesting showcases, where we would like to invite you to join us on a journey to a Reshaped Workplace.
Dr. Joseph Reger, Chief Technology Officer, International Business, Fujitsu spoke about the main trends which will impact our lives and businesses.
What are the technology trends that are going to affect our lives and businesses in the next few years? Most people would talk about big data, social, mobile and cloud. Cloud is now maturing and needs to be integrated. Big Data is not mature. This year we will talk about the Internet of Things (IoT) and in the coming 2 or 3 years IoT will touch our lives and businesses.
The internet has lots of people and devices generating and consuming information. The IoT operates in exactly the same way as the internet but without the people, and with an IP address to exchange information.
Today the internet is dominated by ‘things’, people are not that important. The number of things today is estimated at 10 billion. The amount of data is rising exponentially. By 2020 there will be 50 billion devices on the internet and the market size will be huge. The IoT keeps generating things all the time. This ties strongly into Big Data and the Cloud. Everything will be a part of the internet. Everything can have an IP address, even a light bulb. The light bulb on the internet never sleeps — an internet light bulb is always on even when it’s off.
If it has an address, and there are 7 or 8 billion light bulbs, then there is a problem. IPv4 can only provide 4.3 billion addresses which is not enough. IPv6 can provide us 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses. But how can you migrate?
If the migration is painful, customers need help. We have a stateless tunneling through the old internet as part of a solution which can share up to 65000 addresses from one IP v4.
On the IoT every device has its own proprietary protocol going through umpteen gateways. That’s not good, because what we want is to control the light bulb from the smartphone. We need smart applications that handle the management of light bulbs. Once that happens everything becomes much easier. Machine 2 machine (M2M) protocols are not identical with the IoT but in the future they will be more and more standardized. Right now M2M is only a subset of the IoT, but in the future M2M will catch up and generate more and more data. Very big data.
This brings a lot security challenges. People can read all the light switching patterns in your house, but the really big danger comes from attacks. One vulnerability is replicated across billions of things. Now, all the light bulbs are an army attacking you.
Why would you want a light bulb? It requires zero installation and uses the same infrastructure as the rest of your house. It talks to the light bulbs in your house and checks their own status. If you walk into a home improvement store, you get a message on your smartphone telling you to buy some new bulbs.
Imagine an intelligent baby mat which sends you a warning if something is wrong. It has sensors monitoring the baby. Your toothbrush can have a sensor telling you how to brush properly, and if necessary it can book a dentist appointment. What is the right time to harvest farmland? What if your car automatically drives in an optimally efficient way? What if we have sensors at the bottom of the ocean telling us when the next tsunami is coming? What about smart medicine? They release the medicine where it’s needed in the right amounts. What about energy saving in buildings? The big data analysis can be used to build a better world. The infrastructures of the analog world now merge with the IoT. There is no unplanned downtime and much higher efficiency. If we can shave off 1% inefficiency in the analog world we could save 15 trillion USD!
How do we find our way through this new IoT trend ? All the areas, people and processes are described in the Fujitsu Technology and Service Vision.
CTO End User Services and Devices
There are all sorts of connected devices. They enable transactions and generate information remotely. The smart devices will act as gateways. The smart devices behave as an IoT device themselves and everything will happen in a known and sensed context.
What opportunities does this create?
The sensors will know your mood and the light bulb will adjust to it. The medical pills effects can be studied to provide data about how to treat a disease. What is Fujitsu working on? A context aware desktop. You get the type of apps you need only for a given meeting, but when you come back to your desk you get all your normal apps back. So, it’s all very context driven. In the exhibition reality we have an augmented reality walking stick.
Dr. Alex Bazin
CTO Application Services
We’re focusing on all the data coming in. How can it be turned into useful information for people and businesses? Context aware apps really deliver the value. Customers generate vast amounts of data and Fujitsu can help them monetize that data, e.g. logistics companies offering traffic information. Right now, Fujitsu has:
- Mobile initiative: delivering quickly and cheaply apps with the data
- “Runmyprocess” allows you to connect different systems into a process that can deliver value to an end-user
- Healthcare: if you’ve got a chronic medical condition it’s important to get useful medical data to the patient and doctor. Fujitsu’s SPROUT application can monitor patients in their home and feed the information to the patient and the doctor.
CTO Platforms & Infrastructure Solutions
We’re moving from an analog to a digital and connected world. We need a robust and efficient platform to help us in this change. We see the opportunity for easy and quick access to the data in a secure way. It’s about using a predefined and available access which gives us quick access. Fujitsu has a lot of experience in this area.
We have a Fujitsu M2M cloud to deliver a flexible and scalable platform. We have an optimized version of SPATIOWL to deal with electromobility, which helps us get closed to a smart city. We’re making towards a PaaS layer for the IoT.
CTO Data Center Infrastructure
All the essential work happens in the data center. Data centers do not have to be reinvented and customers can start with IoT projects right away but the infrastructure does have to be updated. To improve hardware infrastructure, we will introduce a new Intel optical interconnect technology called Silicon Photonics. This will foster and intensify parallel technology and this will generate much more data.
Director of Technology Transfer
The following solutions are currently in laboratories, but Fujitsu is working on bringing them to the market.
How to build and keep trust in M2M communications?
The use of the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) has become a standard.
The TrustCube® Concept established a trustful relationship for machines to communicate to each other and uses the TPM to establish how they communicate to each other.
What if the number of sensors in a network becomes very large?
Sensors need to communicate autonomously with each other. Such a network though needs to be robust. To ensure the robustness Fujitsu has developed WisReed and scales up to 10,000 nodes per gateway.
Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a human movement visualization system via cameras. It includes a person’s identification without recording a person’s personal detail and uses a 3D laser range sensor. It could be used in, say, retail or collision avoidance scenarios.
Fujitsu’s Human Centric Intelligent Society is more than just the IoT.
The IoT is mankind’s next step in the quest for efficiency and sustainability. The Human Centric Intelligent Society is the IoT done right, i.e. for the people.
How do Cloud Integration Services give value? The Cloud Integration Services platform is just below the megatrends of mobility, big data and social networking and underpins them all. Cloud integration is the key to getting through to underlying cloud technologies like PaaS or IaaS.
The value of cloud though does not come from single clouds, but from how different clouds can be used together. The integration of clouds is hence essentia,l but it must be done without compromising on quality of service and without losing control or increasing overheads.
The Fujitsu Cloud Integration Platform has 3 key services:
- Cloud management
- Cloud integration
- Cloud aggregation
These services can be offered to Fujitsu Cloud services, Cloud services from other providers or non-cloud systems. The platform can be delivered on or off-premise.
With single sign-on, users can logon to several cloud services at once.
Once you login in you have access to the resources, monitoring and operational management.
How does the IT department set up Cloud services for other users? With a few mouse clicks is the answer. The user sets up the parameters including, charging or technical parameters or licensing conditions. Within minutes, the cloud service is available in a service catalogue. The end user looks at the catalogue, chooses the service and selects a subscription conforming to the parameters set up by the IT department. The user agrees to the license terms and then the system provisions the services in minutes.
The Cloud services need to be monitored by the IT department. This is done from a single pane of glass. The IT department can view how the Cloud services are being used but the pane can also be used for software and infrastructure.
To enable the IT department to be proactive in finding out where there are problems, another pane of glass shows the critical items. The service desk also automatically generates tickets enabling the service desk to be more proactive.
How is the data being managed and protected? The Fujitsu Cloud Integration Platform lets you see the various servers, Cloud or non-Cloud ones, and you can simply select the operations you need to carry out, e.g. backup and restore, with a few clicks. You can also move workloads just as easily.
The Fujitsu Cloud Integration Platform also allows you to quickly set up processes. In, say, Salesforce, an account manager could set up a meeting with a customer. With the RunMyProcess functionality it pulls from Salesforce all the previous orders and meetings with the customer. After the meeting the order is placed and RunMyProcess links to SAP and the meeting details are updated back to Salesforce. The IT department can see what business activities are being done. The CIO can see which department is using what services by using the built-in reports, as well as by supplier.
The key benefits of the Fujitsu Cloud Integration Platform are:
- Ability to drive faster innovation
- It provides the IT department with a way to become a strategic service driver
- The business unit gets the cloud services they want, effectively and efficiently
- The CIO gets to support what the business wants and is also able to manage risk
- The CFO maximizes the return for the company
- The CEO gets the agility necessary to take the business forward
The Fujitsu Cloud Integration Platform will be available from the end of the first quarter of calendar year 2014. Alternatively, you can join the early adopter program before.
Come to the booth at Fujitsu Forum 2013!