Kathy Gibson reports – The last couple of years have seen massive advances in technology and new business use cases – and IT companies have been leading the charge.

Fujitsu has a 88-year history of innovation. It has moved from a hardware supplier, to a software developer, and is now reinventing as a digital company.

Craig Parker, head of hybrid cloud: Europe at Fujitsu, explains that, four years ago, the company started reorganising internally, and the last three years have seen an acceleration of change.

“We accelerated the drive to be a digital partner for our customers and partners,” he says.

The key to Fujitsu’s continued value proposition lies in its people, Parker adds. “Technical innovation and differentiation last for a small moment of time. Price differentiation lasts for a small period of time. What is critically important to providing value and helping customers to achieve a business outcome is people.”

The new trends in technological innovation are not actually new to Fujitsu, he points out.

“The world is talking about artificial intelligence (AI), but at Fujitsu our history is in analysing huge volumes of data – which is AI. We have huge systems in academic institutions – that is AI.

“We have also done some amazing stuff from a high-performance computing perspective – and now we are doing a lot on the software layers as well. And we are working with our partners to help customers find new solutions in terms of product development and serving their customers.”

So AI is a natural opportunity that Fujitsu is well positioned to address, Parker says. “We don’t have all the answers, CoCre8 doesn’t have all the answers – but working with our ecosystem, we can find the answers.”

Fujitsu is also updating its portfolio, with new investments in entry storage, a fully-fledged AMD Primergy server, and additional R&D resources, Parker shares.

In the medium-term future, sustainable computing is a big issue, and Fujitsu is investing to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of the data centre.

Next-generation infrastructure is also under the spotlight, with work going into creating highly efficient composable, disaggregated infrastructure solutions.

Fujitsu has been a pioneer in the quantum computing space and is now investing to build the world’s first 1 000-Qbit quantum computers by 2026.

Edge computing and networking are now mature use cases and Fujitsu is working to bring leading edge compute and networking to the edge.

“Another major move we are making is in how we are approaching things on the services side,” Parker says. “So much of what we develop is never really seen by people.”

This focus on services includes the new Fujitsu Customer Experience (CX) Lab; the company’s’ co-creation programme; the partner ecosystem; and the DX Innovation platform that offers customers AI test-drives, data, and containerisation.

“Sustainability is also really important to us,” Parker says. Also, along with responsible product design and supply chain, Fujitsu has developed a sustainability value calculator. This is designed to harness publicly available data through a user-friendly interface. It empower users to effortlessly compare their existing systems with proposed new solutions.

Near-term developments and products that will be available in 2024, include:

* Business solutions – software-defined storage, security management software, AI software for accurate elaborate reports from Chromatographs; bespoke BrainPool AI and shrink-wrapped Gramatics AI.

* Services – product-related services, implementation and SPOC services, consulting, system inspection, and BestPlace solutions; and

* Products – servers, storage, networking, and software.

“We have moved along from being product-led to a solutions company,” Parker says. “But the strategic direction is continuous. We have been able to balance the business, optimising the transactional infrastructure business with a volume engine, and expanded data centre solution business and data-driven services, with value-add consulting and solution.

“We always remember our value proposition of sustainability, trust and innovation.”


The CoCre8 value-add

Around five years ago, Fujitsu adopted a channel-led approach in many markets the world, which gave the local operation the impetus to became 100% locally-owned.

This was accomplished in April 2020, with the newly-launched CoCre8 Technology Solutions retaining the Fujitsu rights for sub-Saharan Africa.

“As an independent company, we could also adopt new solutions to provide a full portfolio of solutions,” says Edward Evans, chief operating officer of CoCre8.

“We see ourselves as a key enabler for digital transformation, providing the solutions with best in class services offerings.

“We design, implement and do break-fix support. We invest in thought leadership and skill to be a trusted adviser so we tailor-make solutions, from the architecture all the way to managed services.

“We believe our approach is synonymous with reliability and trust,” Evans adds.

CoCre8 is a Level One Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) contributor, and its commitment to empowerment goes beyond the certificate, says Evans.

“We take on learners and graduates, helping them to develop them into jobs from a security, storage and pre-sales perspective. In this way we are helping the country as a whole to grow.”

CoCre’s portfolio of products and solutions starts with Primergy, PrimeFlex, Eternus and CCD products.

It is also a preferred supplier of NetApp solutions, offering NetApp and Spot.

Security is a major consideration for customers, so CoCre8 has built its own security operations centre (SOC) and also offers the Fortitude and Absolute security solutions.

The Kodak enterprise digitisation, hardware and software solutions round out the product offerings.

CoCre8’s value proposition is underpinned by a range of services, including professional services and managed services, break-fix and support.

Although CoCre8 is a relatively new company, Evans says it is in the unique position of being simultaneously an old and established organisation because of its history as Fujitsu.

The company has clients in retail, financial services, telecommunications, automotive, public sector and more.