Fujitsu Drives Growth and Work Style Innovation through the Knowledge of 170,000 Employees Worldwide

Growth is a requirement in all corporate activities. Fujitsu believes that the driving force behind corporate growth is "people power" and by fully utilizing the tacit knowledge of employees, we encourage a human centric approach to work style innovation.

This article investigates work style innovation achieved through a global communications platform, currently being constructed by Fujitsu.

Optimize human resources to maximize profits

Maximizing corporate profits is one of the key challenges imposed on every company regardless of market or industry, and Fujitsu believes the driving force behind answering this challenge is people. People are the most important resources that the management of a company has at their disposal. The goal of work style innovation is to utilize valuable human resources efficiently to always provide high-quality value to customers.

A company has various specialized human resources across many of its departments, for example; Planning, Development, and Sales. So it's important for people from these diverse departments to connect and work together smoothly. However, tacit knowledge; knowhow and skills that have been accumulated empirically, is acquired through personal experience and intuition. For this reason, tacit knowledge has historically been difficult to share and communication often takes too long.

In support of achieving and maximizing profit objectives, Fujitsu is building a global communications platform for sharing employees' tacit knowledge. The platform not only visualizes the expertise of all Fujitsu employees across the world, achieving seamless information sharing among them, but also stimulates communication and enables efficient use of time.

Global communications platform bringing together the tacit knowledge of 170,000 employees'

This global communications platform will promote collaboration among the organizations diverse, previously unconnected divisions.

For example, today it is not uncommon that development of a new product involves collaboration between different departments or even different group companies. This is different to previous practices in which the Product Division formulated a plan, carried out marketing surveys, and developed a product.

If you post on the in-house social network, "I'm planning to market this product. I would appreciate your input," you can gather a large range of ideas from the various departments.

"It's better to do it this way."
"Here is another idea."

This active communication will make new, out-of-the-box proposals possible, and establish a system which will enable us to deliver products with enhanced value to customers.

Fujitsu has the knowledge and skills of 170,000 employees working all over the world. By sharing this vast tacit knowledge using ICT devices, document sharing tools, and web meeting systems, we will establish communications that do not depend on location or environment.

With rapidly advancing business and technology, to resolve customer challenges speedily with quality service, a new level of smooth and seamless communications is imperative.

In such increasingly fast paced business situations, on-demand content, which can be viewed in one's spare time to easy gather information, is expected to become a great tool for intra-company training and sales support.

Global communications platform

This is a platform for centralizing and sharing tacit knowledge of all Fujitsu employees in Japan and overseas, for the purpose of accelerating business operations and expanding opportunities. Active use of ICT devices, such as tablets and smartphones, promotes seamless communications regardless of location or environment.

Business scenarios that leverage the global communications platform

Here are two case studies where the global communications platform is used to support business operations.

Case 1: A problem with a customer's ordering system

An engineer stationed in an overseas office reports the problem to the sales staff in Japan. Due to the nature of the problem, the sales staff immediately contacts the Development Department. The engineer, sales staff, and Development Department hold an online meeting, sharing documents onscreen.
The online meeting facilitates; the checking of detailed data pertaining to the problem, a discussion on how to solve it, and the implementation of a solution, all at the same time. This process thereby enables speedy and high-quality troubleshooting.

Up until now, as these departments are geographically divided in different countries, it would take a long time to troubleshoot through such a problem. Communication via the global platform not only helps overcome these challenges, but also accelerates business. Even though the office locations are very far apart, people can communicate with the relevant staff member in an instant to solve a problem. This new solution is straight forward, easy for users, very effective and a trailblazing approach in the market.

Case 2: New requirements from ideas gathered during a customer visit

The sales representative leverages collective tacit knowledge from within the company. They accesses their personal site on the in-house social network to conduct a "Know-Who" search and quickly find experts in the required field. They can contact experts from within the company in real time to gather knowhow and ideas from across a large range of departments and sections. In this way they collect expert information and tips that will contribute to solving the customer's challenge.

Previously, a similar situation may have required the sales representative, unable to finalize requirements on the spot, to complete further research and develop another proposal. But now, they can incorporate opinions and suggestions, from experts of other departments, at the customer's office and respond right away.

At present, we have 3,000 online meetings every day. By increasing the efficiency of meetings, we can make better use of our time as well as reduce business travel expenses by approximately 20%.

Moreover, there is a noticeable reaction from customers, with many pleasantly surprised at Fujitsu's problem solving process they say, "You handled our request at a speed unthinkable for such a large company." Fujitsu is receiving high praise from customers.

Work style innovation brings new business opportunities

In the future, it is expected that the relationship between computers and people will change drastically. Computers, traditionally just a tool for efficient paperwork, are now increasingly supporting people's thoughts and activities, as the age of the Internet of Things arrives, connecting the knowledge and knowhow of people with networks.

In such an environment, we believe that it will be vital that Fujitsu's global communications platform maintains a human centric approach.

Various pieces of information accumulate around each individual and people connect with each other through the exchange of this varied information. As communication becomes tighter, untapped potential within the company will be actualized, thereby realizing a system for maximizing the value of human resources.

This platform will become something every company must have regardless of industry or area of business; becoming a part of the social infrastructure. That is, if we make good use of the global communications platform, it will promote work style innovation.

Takahiko Koketsu, IT Strategy Headquarters General Manager

New connections will reduce the time required to overcome challenges, and greatly expand areas of business. That will translate into more challenging opportunities for individuals and more business opportunities for companies.

Fujitsu will continue to actively use the global communications platform, connecting 170,000 employees to create new business innovation.