On November 25, 2016, Fujitsu hosted the Fujitsu Asia Conference Bangkok in the Thai capital. It was the third time that Fujitsu hosted this conference in Thailand. This year's conference theme was "Human Centric Innovation - Driving Digital Transformation." The conference featured speeches covering current ICT needs and utilization case studies as well as Fujitsu's latest technologies.
The first speaker was Toshio Hirose,Corporate Executive officer SVP and Head of the Asia Region of Fujitsu Limited. After a minute of silence honoring King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away in October, Hirose talked about Fujitsu's vision in Asia going forward. Announcing that resolving business and social issues using ICT solutions was Fujitsu's mission in Asia, he introduced the company's digital business platform MetaArc. He emphasized Fujitsu's participation in a wide variety of projects including a joint project with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research of Singapore to reduce traffic congestion and crowds using big data.
Next, Eiji Furukawa, Managing Director of Fujitsu (Thailand) outlined the company's history in Thailand. He explained that since its inception in 1990, Fujitsu Thailand has expanded its scope of business along with the growth of local Japanese companies in the fields of manufacturing, finance, and distribution. Fujitsu Thailand plans to offer high value added solutions to help clients implement digital transformation by first integrating the latest technologies such as mobile, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and security, and then combining them with Fujitsu's know-how.
"The Thailand version of industry 4.0" - Smartification of Existing Industries
The conference welcomed guest speaker Thanong Bidaya, the former Minister of Finance of Thailand. He talked about utilizing digital technologies for economic growth of the Thai economy
Thai GDP growth has remained on the average under 3% since 2006, and he called the recent ten years the "lost decade." He listed the difficulty of democratization, low consumption, the delay in research and development (R&D), and the delay in high-tech technology transfer from developed countries as the causes of such a low GDP growth rate.
He then introduced "Thailand 4.0" as a solution. More specifically, it is a measure to make existing industries smart by introducing digital technologies and robots. He emphasized the necessity of using digital technologies in the entire business supply chain.
Another serious issue regarding the Thai economy he pointed out was low agricultural productivity. Approximately 40% of the population engages in agriculture in Thailand and low productivity has led to low per capita income. He noted that Fujitsu is involved in a smart agriculture project in Vietnam and expressed his intention of requesting Fujitsu to help Thailand digitize its agricultural sector.
The last speaker for the first half of the conference was Yoshikuni Takashige, Fujitsu's Vice President and Marketing Strategy Manager. He gave a lecture on the conference theme, "Human Centric Innovation - Driving Digital Transformation" to describe Fujitsu's visions and endeavors in this digital era.
Looking back on the global digitization trends, he stated that the Internet was the very first trend, followed by mobile technology and the IoT, being the second and third, respectively. AI and robotics were listed as the fourth trend. Then he introduced an AI project called "Can a robot get into the University of Tokyo?" in which Fujitsu is a participant. He explained that reasoning technology has already allowed a robot to pass a math entrance exam for the University of Tokyo.
He then demonstrated SPATIOWL, a Fujitsu positional information cloud service for enabling users to locate people or objects on a real time basis. As an example, he introduced an on-going big data project carried out jointly with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore. This cloud service allows users to locate ships near ports and issues an alert if necessary in order to avoid collisions. Takashige told the audience that the use of these technologies could further enhance urban mobility and that a "Sci-Fi-like world is becoming our reality."
"Visualization" of Production Process Raises Motivation for Improvement
The second half of the conference featured a panel discussion and a relay session on utilizing IoT technology.
In the relay session, Yukiko Sato, Director, IoT Asia Regional Sales, IoT Market Development of Intel Corporation spoke on utilizing IoT. According to her, Intel launched the IoT division more than three years ago and is currently exploring its effective use. She said, while IoT can offer the most suitable solution for each industrial field, it can also reduce platform development costs if specifications are standardized.
Then, Takaaki Suga, Head of the IoT Business Division at Fujitsu Limited spoke on implementing IoT technology. He shared a case study in which Optex Co., Ltd., a sensor manufacturer and marketer, offered a solution utilizing IoT technology in Thailand. This solution allowed users to analyze water sampled at a work site and upload the data to the cloud immediately for remote management.
He also mentioned introduction of the IoT at the Shimane Plant. Beacons are affixed to products from a production line that produced defective products to manage the progress of the process. This allows the company to determine the repair priority. He also emphasized the positive outcome of utilizing IoT by saying that tracking progress has resulted in a reduction in the number of shipments after the deadline and additional steps of arranging trucks, which has reduced logistics costs by 30%. Another example was teraSpection, an equipment inspection cloud service offered by Fujitsu. With this service, digitization of work inspection records at facilities, such as factories, facilitates data collection. He told the audience that Fujitsu plans to offer this service in Thailand going forward.
Attentive Audience Filled the Venue
The Thai Conference welcomed a large number of visitors and was once again a great success. The visitors attentively listened to the talks on ICT in Thailand and Fujitsu's latest technology. Fujitsu will host the Fujitsu Asia Conference in other Asian cities such as Taipei and Jakarta. Please stay tuned for future reports on Fujitsu's latest technologies and ITC trends.