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A service offensive generated from the Cloud: Interview with Marcel Schneider, Managing Director Fujitsu Germany

It cannot be a coincidence that the blue sky over Munich today should be interspersed with the occasional white cloud. The weather also fits the mood of Marcel Schneider, the CEO for Germany Fujitsu, i.e. bright and sunny. He brings this good mood along when joining us at the table.

>>Mr. Schneider, at the press conference for CeBIT 2012 we were able to register a real personal enthusiasm for the Fujitsu Cloud portfolio. Are you still enthusiastic or is everything in and around the Cloud now normal and routine?

(Schneider leans forward and nods in confirmation)

Yes. The enthusiasm is not only still there – it has even increased. The Fujitsu Cloud Store is now active and we have already won our first customers with whom we are jointly gathering some more hands-on experience. This in turn will be beneficial when we open the store in other markets which are traditionally not so conservative as in Germany.

We are also making immense progress with IaaS services which we now also offer via this store. Since CeBit we have been able to win many projects which include IaaS services. And you can see: Cloud Services are becoming a major factor in sourcing – which is integrated as a part of the overall service delivery.

>>In your opinion, what is the significance of Cloud Computing for the German market and is there a big move towards Green IT?

Green IT is certainly a positive effect, but it is just one of the arguments for Cloud Computing. Other benefits are extremely important and in the foreground, for example, the advantages of standardization, the added value obtained by combining various Cloud Services, and the lower and more flexible costs as well as fast project implementation.

Cloud Computing will in future also define standard applications in Germany, however, the German market is certainly much more conservative and will grow less than other markets. Nevertheless, we will continue to invest strongly in Cloud Services and position ourselves within the German market as it represents added value for our customers and we wish to exploit our competitive advantage.

>>Are there differences in the branches?

(Schneider raises his eyebrows)

Yes. There are branch differences whereby I would see the differences being more in the individual criteria, e.g. data security and protection It has been seen that global companies have to fulfil a much greater range of security requirements. We also see conservative branches “holding back” to a great extent, e.g. the finance sector or local government authorities. But there is an increasing amount of movement in these sectors. The lack of qualified employees is forcing IT operators to understand and accept such Cloud offers even more.

The size of a company also plays a significant role. The decision procedures are certainly quicker in smaller companies but – as time progresses – the benefits provided by Cloud Services will also be convincing for major companies as well.

>>What, in your opinion, are the applications which are particularly ideal for using from the Cloud?

(Schneider nods and starts listing)

I currently see a main focus in email and collaboration as well as in Office solutions, project management, CRM systems and in small, task-oriented applications.

Using individual application is one matter but networking existing individual services offered via the Cloud into one new service is the crux and this is what will get the market moving again. For example the Taxi App which combines Google Maps data with taxi-driver data, thus providing potential taxi users with a completely new service.

>>Where does Fujitsu want to go? The Fujitsu Cloud Store now has its own Fujitsu software. How does the software react and behave with the offers from software partners?

(Schneider leans back and laughs)

It is very compatible. After all, our primary business model is to win partners for the store. It is probably not necessary – but indeed it helps – when we can use our own applications from the store to show how successfully we can already market Cloud Services today.

>>Do you need more software providers in the store?

(Schneider nods vigorously)

Yes, of course – the more, the better. We are registering a great deal of interest as our competitors operate a less attractive business model for the software providers. I invite all the providers of software to have a serious look at our store and to test it thoroughly.

Another advantage for them is our partnership with ALSO Actebis which offers them a wider market access.

>>Mr. Schneider. What will Cloud Business look like in five years?

(Schneider does not hesitate and answers immediately)

Cloud Services is already today an engine for innovations; its importance will continue to increase. Both users and manufacturers will benefit accordingly. And I am proud that we have been able to develop a good lead over the competition.

Commodity IT will in future mainly be provided via mega data centers. IT will increasingly become an integrator and broker of IT solutions. And it is this combination of different individual services that will generate the real added value from using Cloud Services.

The future lies in networking the individual Cloud solutions; this will generate the required extra business value.

Thank you very much, Mr Schneider.

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  • avatar image
    Vishwaroop
    October 24, 2012

    People like Marcel Schneider and Mark Wilson are an ideals for young guns like us

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