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Building Digital Success Through Cooperation

Japanese ICT giant Fujitsu, which is in the process of fine tuning its business model in Hungary, says it has decided to concentrate on one area.

Juan Maria Porcar, head of sales for EMEIA focus portfolio countries

“Business in Hungary is growing,” Juan Maria Porcar, head of sales for EMEIA focus portfolio countries, tells the Budapest Business Journal. He says the company has decided to put its products on the market “fully through channel”, in other words to sell them through partners, rather than directly.  

“It turned out to be a very clever decision, because of the type of partners we have in Hungary.”  

It is this kind of success Fujitsu is looking to build on in the future. Porcar was in Hungary in for its annual Select Partner conference and awards party with Tier 1 partners. Other members of the leadership were also there, including Knuth Molzen, head of EMEIA focus portfolio countries, and also a member of the board for Fujitsu Central Europe. Molzen explained the future plans for Hungary.

“We have two main business areas, one is products, the other is services; both are core business areas for Fujitsu in the region. In Hungary we have decided to focus on products, as the majority of our business here is product-based,” he tells the BBJ.

By Q1 of next year, Hungary will be “100% a product country, with product related services of course” he adds.

Best Sellers

He says it is a question on focusing on what is already working very well in the local market, and where growth can be driven most effectively. So, what are the top sellers in Hungary?

“Our data center solutions,” Molzen says. “We have the most reliable servers, that use less power, and, of course, our mainframes are the quickest. […] Security is also getting more important, and Fujitsu is focusing quite massively in this area. We build the most secure products.”

He gives the example of the company’s PalmSecure system, which scans a person’s palm vein to retrieve biometric information and is, he says, 1,000 times more secure than face recognition.  

He says the company is also working hard to make its supporting infrastructure “more customer centric, so they can work where they want, when they want, without limitations.”  

That means office equipment as much as personal computers. With labor markets getting ever tighter, employers are realizing they have to make offices attractive places to be in to help to attract and retain staff in the longer-term. That means more flexible arrangements, quite rooms, brainstorming areas, conference rooms, all equipped with large screens and software systems that allow people to cooperate and share documents and video.

“We are working with global office furniture manufactures, to put our technology in their equipment to enable this human centric approach,” Molzen explains.

That the Japanese firm’s products sell well in Hungary is not a surprise to Porcar. He cites the leading global technology market analyst Canalys, which describes itself as having a “distinct channel focus”.  

Shared Success

“Fujitsu is ranked at the top in terms of profitability for partners,” Porcar says. That, in turn, reflects an open business philosophy. “It [success] does not come from nowhere. It comes from sharing.”

Sharing is something of a common theme. Porcar talks about “co-creation” by putting together development teams that include both technical staff and business experts, but he also talks of “leveraging our partners and customers.”  

Success is also based on having the right people, and there, again, Porcar has no complaints when it comes to Hungary.

“The technical university education is excellent, although we are going through a phase where there are not enough [people]. We are facing with some challenges to recruit new technical people, but the quality of those we have is excellent. It seems to me that new technologies are well represented in universities in Hungary. Quantity, not quality, is a problem for us, as it must be for the rest of the IT market. But this is an EMEIA-wide effect; it is not unique to Hungary.”

Knuth Molzen, head of EMEIA focus portfolio countries

Research and Development  

This country has seen a spate of recent R&D centers opening here, in part attracted by Hungary’s engineering reputation, but also in no small measure by favorable government subsidies and incentives. Does Fujitsu plan to move any R&D roles to Budapest?, I ask Molzen.

“We concentrate it in one point, to get the best results; we are not going to bring any R&D [roles] from Japan to Hungary or the region,” he says.  

Research and development is something the company takes seriously, though, as Porcar confirms. “We spend a large amount of our revenue, about 6%, on R&D. And a considerable amount of that is going into new tech.”  

That includes the company’s Deep Learning Unit, and investigating so-called “explainable AI”, which takes artificial intelligence beyond the mute running of clever algorithms in a “black box”, to producing solutions that can be explained to human experts. It is like when your math teacher didn’t want you to simply give the answer to a sum, but to explain your workings, how you got there. Only these are far, far more complex sums.  

So much so that Fujitsu has been working on creating what it calls its Digital Annealer, a computer architecture that, as Porcar says, “uses the principals of quantum computing”. It looks like the future might be just around the corner...

Fujitsu Fact Box

Japanese multinational ICT equipment and services company Fujitsu is headquartered in Tokyo.

Last year, it was the world’s fourth-largest IT services provider, measured by global IT services revenue, according to statista.com

The company has approximately 132,000 employees worldwide, and its products and services are available in more than 100 countries, according to the company’s global website.

The company has been present in Hungary since 1999.