Fujitsu Wants To Digitalise Businesses With ‘Human-Centric’ Technology

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Fujitsu says European firms can become more efficient with technology like 3D printing and the IoT

Fujitsu wants to help European businesses become more efficient through digitalisation by offering a range of ‘human-centric’ innovations aided by a €345 million investment by the company into the research of new products and services.

Speaking at the Fujitsu Forum in Munich, Fujitsu CTO Joseph Reger said developments like the Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing presented huge opportunities for European firms, which he said were not leading the way in “business digitalisation.”

“I’m very glad the IoT now has business justification,” he told the audience. “This is a great, great opportunity in the European space where we have enough European industries we can digitalise.”

Digital v digitalisation

Fujitsu Forum 2014 (3)He said a digitalised business used technology to make their process more efficient and did not require a technological breakthrough like a “digital business” whose core product is digital, like Spotify.

“Starbucks is not a digital company,” he explained, citing the company’s use of Wi-Fi and mobile applications attract customers. “The core product, coffee, is still analogue.”

Reger said there were massive differences between the two types of company because digital businesses can generate huge amounts of profit with relatively low workforce because of the high margins they can charge for their products – something impossible in traditional industries.

The IoT for example, could help the healthcare sector move from a system geared towards healing to one focused on preventative medicine – something that would reduce expenditure, especially in countries where the population is aging.

Human-Centric investment

Manufacturing is also another area being targeted. 3D printing could allow firms to create one-off items and complex products in a shift away from globalised mass production in places were costs are the cheapest.

“This 3D printing thing is real and is producing some interesting results,” said Reger. “Part of manufacturing can be local again.”

Fujitsu has pledged €345 million over the next three years to help bring “human-centric” products and services to market to help businesses digitalise, inspired by the company’s Japanese heritage.

“We are in the times of the IoT, but things do not innovate,” added Reger. “People innovate.”

This ethos was present in the company’s PalmSecure ID Match device, which combines a card reader and palm-vein sensor, and the Stylistic Q55 tablet unveiled in Munich earlier this week and could inspire developments in the fields of augmented reality, wearables, sensors and smart devices to make businesses more efficient.

“Everything that can be digitalised will be digitalised… and the rest as well”

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