BY JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant business co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
A revolutionary IT solution that will significantly reduce capital expenditure and operational costs for local businesses: That's how president and CEO of Fujitsu America Tony Doye is envisioning the impact of the new rage in information technology, cloud computing.
Cloud computing allows for IT services to be retrieved via the internet through web-based tools, without a client being in direct connection to a server storing the information. IT providers such as global industry giant Fujitsu have invested billions of dollars in building cloud-like structures where they host information securely for clients, who have remote access to the data. Hence, capital and information management costs are reduced because clients don't have to own a server and they operate with leased capacity.
"We have deployed in all the major regions of the world a standard operating environment which is consistent with a Fujitsu-based cloud... we start by selling infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, software as a service etc," Doye told Sunday Finance in an interview on Thursday
at the Fujitsu Caribbean headquarters on Belmont Road in Kingston.
He explained that the system is a very elastic one geared towards businesses of all types.
"It's a different value for different industries and different size of companies," said Doye, who assumed the head of Fujitsu America in April 2010.
"For the small enterprises, it's a good way to get going: You have low capital cost, you pay as you go and your pits and troughs are managed by someone else, not by you... For the bigger customers, it's a way of doing R (research) and D (development), so they could do development in the cloud," he noted.
Additionally, the Fujitsu America boss stressed that the firm's cloud services give clients the option to choose their own level of control.
"We are allowing customers to choose from private products they manage themselves all the way up to managed services offsite," said Doye, emphasising "Whether you are in financial sevices, where there is a strong leaning towards having your own cloud in terms of security... or (clients) can have it all at our centre and we manage it remotely."
Fujitsu Caribbean CEO, Mervyn Eyre said the firm has some 20 to 30 enterprise customers in Jamaica, among them Sangster International Airport and the Government. The firm's management centres in the Caribbean are in Jamaica and Trinidad.
Just a day prior to the company's interview with Sunday Finance, one of Fujitsu's business associates in Jamaica, Digicel, launched its own cloud services to the local market. Digicel Business, the corporate arm of the telecom provider that offers business solutions, announced that it was now offering Cloud Backup to its corporate customers -- the first in a suite of cloud computing services from the company with plans to roll out additional services over the coming weeks and months including Hosted Email, Hosted BlackBerry Server, Virtual Server and Cloud Telephony. Digicel said its Cloud Backup provides enterprise-level protection of critical business data that is managed by the company.
"It is secure, resilient, reliable and always on, protecting customers' business and data, regardless of location or device," said Digicel in a release last week.
Fujitsu is trumpeting a similar value of its cloud services. In fact, this is how the company said it has assisted millions of citizens and hundreds of businesses to recover from the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan last month.
Fujitsu's new cloud service, dubbed 'Infrastructure as a Service' (IaaS), is a pay as you use service. With IaaS, customers have options that combine Fujitsu's technologies, together with products from partner organisations. These new services, in combination with Fujitsu's consultancy advice and implementation skills, will enable organisations to quickly emerge from the recession, the company says.
"What we are trying to do is to leverage Fujitsu as a global organisation to be able to allow our customers in this region to get everything to be able to be effective and competitive in a global environment," said Eyre.
Eyre has lead Fujitsu Caribbean the last 13 years and is excited about the new development.
He said: "What I can do in the Caribbean is combine the data centre that we have in Trinidad, the assets that we are building out in Jamaica, the assets that we have in Barbados along with the facilities that we have in Dallas where we have a very mature environment... We have SAP capabilities, Oracle capabilities, Microsoft capabilities etc which, at the end of the day, I can reach... so companies ultimately, rather than having to buy Oracle SAP and hardware to put it on, (for example), can now buy it as a service on a usage base."