Fujitsu EMEA head tells us why the UK remains a positive market for the company
As technology rapidly develops and evolves, finding out how to best utilise the latest tools in your business can often be a significant challenge. From storage to security, from BYOD to video-conferencing, what solutions your company brings in can be the difference between success and failure,
At the recent Fujitsu Forum 2015 event in Munich, TechWeekEurope spoke to Michael Keegan, the head of Fujitsu’s EMEIA product business, to find out just what the business of the future will look like, and how it is supporting this development.
“A lot of our customers say to us, IT is changing so fast, how on earth do I keep up with this?” Keegan (pictured left) says.
The answer, it seems, is ‘hybrid IT’ – Fujitsu’s big top-line message, which looks to tie together effective back-end systems with highly developed and responsive software to allow businesses to grow and develop using the latest technologies.
“Our industry is prone to hype,” Keegan says, “but the reality as a business is that you can’t afford hype – you have to serve your customers.”
“It’s not about changing everything…or throwing away everything that you’ve invested in over the last ten years, it’s about transitioning in a safe way whilst keeping your business running,” he says.
Keegan’s remit covers a wide area at Fujitsu, from the company’s well-known desktop and workstation lines to its storage and server business, a sign of how many touchpoints the average worker has nowadays.
“At the end of the day we all have to interact with technology products,” he says.
Fujitsu is primarily business-focused, preferring to focus on corporate and enterprise customers (which Keegan describes as “a very good market for us”) rather than the consumer market.
At the show, Fujitsu was keen to show its portfolio of products, as well as launch several new devices, including the Stylistic R726, a business-focused 2-in-1 device (pictured right) which can operate either as a tablet or desktop workstation. This device, featuring a 12in screen and an all-day battery life, is proof that the business market has a desire for powerful mobile working away from the likes of Apple of Microsoft, Keegan says.
“Tablet technology has grown significantly,” he says, “we’re aware that there are a lot of other vendors out there”.
“The problem Apple has is that it isn’t necessarily the first choice for a business market – their technology is fabulous for the consumer base…but Fujitsu is not in this market. If you’re in the corporate space, and you want access to good products with good security for your data – this is the market we’re interested in. I don’t think the iPad fits in it well.”
“We were in to tablets long before Microsoft was in to operating systems.”
The data stored on these devices is also becoming increasingly important, as companies look to safeguard their information against not just cybercriminals, but increased surveillance from intelligence and government agencies.
The recent ‘Safe Harbour’ ruling has raised this issue higher up the list of priorities for many companies than ever before, and Fujitsu, which has offices around Europe, is no exception.
Keegan notes that having data on-premise and under control, “is utmost in many European nations – not in the UK so much, but certainly in the European markets, data integrity, and compliance is very important”
“If you look at Germany, there’s an absolute paranoia about confidential information being let out into third-party hands, being offshore, and shared with government agencies listening to people’s conversations.”
He says that Safe Harbour “a very major development that opens up the fact that we need to be very careful how we manage data.
“Having (data) all in the cloud…and having it accessible to third parties doesn’t make it fulfil a number of sensitive regulatory schemes that banks and other companies need to ensure they comply with confidence.”
And as well as ensuring that their data is kept safe, Fujitsu is looking to help all of its customers, no matter what sector they may be in, use the company’s technology to the best effect.
The UK has a major part to play in Fujitsu future, Keegan says, as its 10,000 staff helped power a workforce which generated £1.8bn in revenue for the company last year thanks largely to its well-respected outsourcing abilities and business applications arms.
“I think the UK market leads Europe in many ways – you see in a lot of technology that first it goes to the UK, then it goes to Europe,” says Keegan.
And this pace of development is nowhere near slowing down, he notes, as Fujitsu hopes to help any company in need of innovation.
“The pace of disruption is quickening…the journeys to new business models are only going to get faster and faster,” Keegan says, highlighting that this means the need for hybrid IT is greater than ever.
“It’s like everything in the world today – it’s just going quicker and quicker.”
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