On October 21, 2016, Fujitsu hosted the Fujitsu Asia Conference Hanoi in Hanoi, Vietnam. It was a part of Fujitsu's Asian conference tour, under the theme of "Human Centric Innovation - Driving Digital Transformation." In Hanoi, Fujitsu introduced its latest technological developments, one of which was artificial intelligence (AI). It also featured a guest speaker from the Vietnamese government. The conference audience was introduced to a wide variety of topics.
IT is essential for strengthening national competitiveness
The conference began with a speech by Toshio Hirose, Corporate Executive Officer, SVP and Head of the Asia Region of Fujitsu Limited. Recognizing the challenges currently faced by Asian cities and companies, such as natural disasters and surging labor costs, he told the audience that digital technology must be used to resolve these problems. He then continued, "We want to realize the future our clients are looking for with our technologies and experience, one that enriches people's lives with infinite possibilities."
The second speaker was Sei Kudo, Country President of Fujitsu Vietnam Limited. He gave specific examples of Fujitsu's initiative to create a prosperous future in Vietnam. One of them was a river water level monitoring system. Fujitsu has been testing a monitoring mechanism that only requires a smartphone to operate. This solution could dramatically reduce investment costs compared to a system that uses exclusive devices.
The conference featured Dao Dinh Kha, Director General - IT Department, Ministry of Information and Communication of Vietnam, as a guest speaker. He talked about measures to revitalize the Vietnamese IT industry and his future vision. "IT is used in every business field in Vietnam such as transportation, medicine, and agriculture. It is an essential ingredient for strengthening national competitiveness," commented Kha. "Vietnam is expecting much from the IT industry, including its economic effect resulting from the generation of jobs and exports." He expressed his wish to cooperate with Japanese companies particularly in AI and security fields, and to cooperate with Fujitsu in creating an even more livable urban environment.
Connecting people, information, and infrastructure for digital transformation
Hiroyuki Sakai, Corporative Executive Officer, EVP and Head of Global Marketing of Fujitsu Limited, gave the keynote speech on techniques and the latest technology embodying the concept of digital transformation. As examples, he described a system that allowed users to remotely check on their children in real-time and a technology to display an image of the user dressed in clothing they were thinking about purchasing. Based on the prediction that digital transformation would also trigger a business model transformation, including a shift from simple product sale to provision of services that matched customer needs, he emphasized the necessity of a platform that could connect people, information, and infrastructure (objects). He then introduced MetaArc as a means of making such connections.
The next topic he covered was the AI Zinrai, which is Fujitsu's latest technology designed for digital transformation. Using the example of RoboPin, a robot equipped with Zinrai used for reception at an exhibition held in Tokyo, he emphasized that Zinrai has already achieved the practical usage stage. In the future, Zinrai will be used to address global social issues such as global warming, aging society, food shortages and natural disasters. Sakai concluded his speech by saying "Fujitsu wishes to promote digital transformation with its Vietnamese customers too."
Improvement of AI accessibility and usability will quicken its business application
In the business session, Takashi Kakitsubata, Deputy Head of Integrated Solutions Marketing Unit of Fujitsu Limited, spoke about business applications of AI. In his speech, he illustrated the strong demand for AI in supporting call center operators and mentioned that as many as 260 business negotiations regarding this technology had already taken place.
While recognizing the demand mentioned above, he described the importance of providing an easy-to-use framework to customers. He revealed the plan to offer 21 kinds of AI services as APIs within a year.
Next, Tatsuhiro Tanaka, Research Principal, National Security Laboratory, at Fujitsu System Integration Laboratories LTD., came onto the stage and reported on current cyber terrorism events and described countermeasures. According to him, cyber terrorism may be intended as both physical and psychological attacks, and cyber terrorists globally advertise for new members and help. Key factors in developing countermeasures were assessment of the value of products and infrastructure at the office and creation of the according risk avoidance measures. Tanaka also emphasized the importance of sharing information among the heads of organizations in order to defend not only their companies, but also society as a whole.
The final presenter of the business session was Jun Funaki, Senior Director, Data Center Platform Business Unit of Fujitsu Limited. He raised the issue of the growing burden and cost of maintaining an IT environment, due to system complexity, insufficient human resources or skill levels while companies strived to expand their businesses.
Funaki introduced Fujitsu data center technology as a solution. For example, the cooling system Cool-Safe could reduce as much as 27% of system operation costs, including power bills and hyper converged infrastructure would facilitate server expansion, allowing further cost reduction. He suggested that these solutions would help customers expand their business, which in turn would lead to business innovation.
The Hanoi Conference, which welcomed near 200 guests, ended in success. It offered the guests an opportunity to be introduced to the latest high-profile technologies, like our AI, and the guests attentively listened to the speakers. Fujitsu will host the Fujitsu Asia Conference in other Asian cities such as Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Please stay tuned for the future reports on ICT trends and Fujitsu's advanced case studies in these cities.
(Note) The titles of the presenters are as of October 2016, when the event was held.