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CEBIT Report: Fujitsu’s Business Solution Store and the Global Cloud

March 12, 2012

One of the winners of 2012 will be Fujitsu. Their concept is sound technology wise and the sales and marketing approach is focused and neat. I have had a glimpse of it prior to my CEBIT visit but only the discussions I had there opened my eyes to its full potential.

The Technology Foundation – Fujitsu Global Cloud

Let me start with one of Fujitsu’s biggest assets – the global reach. For Fujitsu acting global is not new. The company though being Japanese has many interesting roots in the different regions, ranging e.g. in Europe from Fujitsu Services with a strong focus in the UK market, Fujitsu Invia in the Nordics and Fujitsu Siemens in Germany. The range is also covering all areas of IT from HW manufacturing, IT services to outsourcing of all levels. The challenge for the Fujitsu bid teams when bidding a global service has always been to get consistent quotes from all these and many more different local companies. This has changed fundamentally with the Global cloud offering. It consists of a centrally designed technology base that is rolled out to global data centers. As the mantra with cloud is standardization and scalability the Global Cloud foundation is a non-negotiable in terms individual changes.

This creates the foundation for IaaS and PaaS services to customer. So far so good and you might argue that this sounds pretty much like the Amazon ECS or Windows Azure offering from Microsoft. I would not disagree and see these in a direct competition. The key question on the technology side to compare is not the servers in the datacenter but rather the question how much effort is needed to transform and existing application into a cloud application as well as to create a new one. As I am no software developer myself I need to rely on experiences gather over the years. This gives me a clear ranking in this space. The 3rd place in for Amazon as it is a proprietary platform that requires you to rewrite you complete code. The 2nd place is for Microsoft. Azure supports .net and other competing programming standards and while MSFT is claiming that application migration into the cloud is easy I have heard some voice over the years that say that extensive recode is needed for Azure as well. Given the fact that I have also heard positive stories I call Microsoft a 2nd winner being very close to the winner. The 1st place goes to Fujitsu. Its well-built platform allows migrating applications with ease and the graphic UI makes things much easier.

My recommendation to you though is not to follow my judgement but rather try for yourself. All cloud vendors do have trial programs and also you could start small and grow over time.

What really set Fujitsu apart from its competitors is the strategy to drive ISVs into the cloud.

The Business Solution Store (BSS)

The major story around PaaS has always been to address two audiences, 1st the enterprises with an in-house software development and secondly independent ISVs. Fujitsu’s strategy to get ISVs on board is just fantastic. First of all it is ego free. Where Microsoft has proven in the past that they want to have access to end customers and own the billing relationship, Fujitsu not only creates a white label approach but also encourages it. There is a complete sales strategy to win and support ISVs on the way to become SaaS vendors themselves.

The support not only encompasses the porting of the code base but also the basics of billing, reporting and business strategies. The billing is prepared in a way that enables the ISV to create and customer billing without hassle and the billing relationship with the end customer remains with the ISV. This is the defined strategy of Fujitsu and quite important to ISVs around the world.

The top differentiator is the Fujitsu Business Solution Store. It is a marketplace for ISV applications that have been successfully deployed in the Fujitsu Global Cloud. It creates an additional sales channel for ISVs and as it is an international approach also enables local ISV to sell to customers globally without the need for a global sales force. As the Fujitsu “SaaSification-Model” is based on sharing revenues it enables ISVs to enter this world without the need of huge up front investments. So far this is the first marketplace for enterprise software of global magnitude. It is rumored that Microsoft is planning an identical approach but let’s wait and see.

To watch the Business Solution Store video follow this link: BSS marketplace video

Video explaining the journey to the cloud. And I must not forget to mention that Fujistu won the “Best in Cloud 2011” award from Computerwoche in the category “Cloud Enabling Software”. This is a presentation discussing what too look for when wanting to become a SaaS vendor.

My recommendation is twofold:

1st If you are an independent ISV rethink your cloud strategy and consider Fujitsu’s offering as a top alternative.

2nd If you look for enterprise software makes sure you and your procurement check out the Fujitsu Business Solution Store.

I have seen some very good examples. A great example is SAPERION a Berlin based ISV with a focus on ECM. Whereas I was critical before and called their offering hosted rather than cloud (which it was at that time) they have now moved to become a true SaaS vendor by utilizing the Fujitsu Global Cloud.

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