On Jan. 18, 2017, with the Lunar New Year - the most festive period in China - just around the corner, Fujitsu hosted the Fujitsu Asia Conference Hong Kong in Admiralty, where leading international companies and government institutions gathered. This event showcased the long-standing relationship of trust between Hong Kong and Fujitsu, with guest speakers from various fields. Having listened to their speeches, we strongly feel that the wave of digital transformation has arrived in Hong Kong. The hall was filled with an air of excitement from the audience, who listened intently to the speeches.
First to the podium was Toshio Hirose, SVP and Head of Asia Region of Fujitsu Limited, who talked about the history of Fujitsu's innovation over the past 80 years since the company's founding. Hirose explained that Fujitsu had accumulated trust, while contributing to customers achieving their goals and dreams. He also spoke about challenges facing companies, including social issues in Asia, such as the lack of natural resources, the occurrence of natural disasters, globalization, and increased labor costs. Hirose went on to say, "We want to solve these problems using Fujitsu's technologies. We will support further social development in Hong Kong by working with all of you, aiming to achieve human centric innovation."
Next to the podium was Hisaki Asahi, who took over as CEO of Fujitsu Hong Kong Limited in November 2016. He explained that Fujitsu has had a great deal of experience in the Chinese cultural arena for more than 50 years and reported that Fujitsu was selected among the top five IT service providers in Hong Kong in 2016. He also spoke enthusiastically to customers and partner companies, "Digital transformation is the core of our future business strategy, which brings a host of advantages, such as enhancing customer experience, reducing ICT costs, and raising productivity. Let us start rowing together to the ocean of the new digital world."
Innovation to Prepare for the Third and Fourth Waves
Albert Wong, CEO of Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, was invited as a guest speaker. The Science Park, which consists of 634 technology companies in an area of 330,000 square meters, is highly rated as a hub of advanced technologies and innovations in Hong Kong and is said to be a pioneer of the future smart city that Hong Kong is aiming to become.
A smart city is a city that uses digital technologies to improve the efficiency of the environment, transportation, medical care, finances, supply chains and other systems with the aim of improving the quality of citizens' lives. To achieve that, it is necessary to aggregate, manage, and analyze various data, and they will soon open a data studio that will consolidate data from various fields at the Science Park. Mr. Wong said, "By gathering and analyzing vast amounts of data, it becomes information, knowledge, and insight, which ultimately becomes wisdom that allows you to use such data smartly," and explained that the Science Park was developed in cooperation with Fujitsu and other technology partners.
The keynote speech was given by Yoshikuni Takashige, VP, Marketing Strategy of Fujitsu Limited, in which he talked about changes in business models of Fujitsu's customers, such as fashion and medical equipment companies, brought about by digital transformation. Furthermore, he explained the waves of digitalization that will usher in a new digital era: "The first wave is the Internet and the second is the mobile Internet, which are already starting to become part of the past. The third wave that is coming now is the Internet of Things, or IoT, and the fourth wave that will surely come is AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics."
In the new digital era that will come - with the advent of the third and fourth waves - human creativity will become more important than ever. To that end, "Human Centric Innovation" becomes important, which is Fujitsu's key approach to improving life experiences and quality by empowering people. Takashige declared that this is Fujitsu's future vision, and showcased Fujitsu's technologies, including the digital business platform MetaArc, as a foundation for driving innovation. He said to customers and partners in the hall, "Let us work together to bring about a brighter future."
Latest Technologies Strongly Supporting Culture and Industry
In the Business Session, Ker Yang Tong, Regional Cloud Offering Lead, Regional Managed Service of Fujitsu Asia Pte, Ltd., introduced Fujitsu's digital business platform MetaArc, which enables customers to realize digital transformation by connecting people, things and information.
Tong first showed a survey result that 70% of IT decision-makers feel uneasy about digital transformation - although they feel the necessity - and then explained that MetaArc is the solution that resolves such anxiety. He said that customers can survive the third and fourth digital waves by fully taking advantage of a wide variety of technologies and expertise, which Fujitsu has developed up to now, and introduced some case studies, including the data center set up in Hong Kong and the Nanto Bank in Japan.
The next speaker to take the podium was Eisuke Kimuro, Manager, Data Center Platform Business Unit of Fujitsu Limited, who introduced data center solutions. Propelling digital transformation increases data throughput and complexity, which often leads to an increase in ICT expenses - a challenge managers all over the world are facing.
As a solution, Kimuro introduced Fujitsu's latest cooling system, Cool Central. Then he mentioned that Fujitsu's server product lineup, meeting a wide range of demands from small offices and large data centers, has recorded outstanding performance in key benchmark tests, and that simple hyper-converged systems supporting easy server expansion can reduce operating costs. He also referred to Fujitsu's support system that provides extensive hardware support for customers who aspire to achieve business growth in this new era.
In the third session, Emily Chang took the podium. She is the CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, a noteworthy development district that serves as Hong Kong's art and cultural hub.
Exceeding 160,000 square meters, the West Kowloon Cultural District is the largest project in Hong Kong that requires digitalization, utilizing human-centered innovation. The district contains the M+Museum, which collects contemporary arts mainly in Asia, the Xiqu Centre for traditional Cantonese opera and other facilities, as well as open space where citizens can relax.
"With Fujitsu as a partner, we will look into various digitalization solutions going forward. To improve the quality of visitor experience, we need to proceed with developing applications. For that, installing data centers and API management will be the most important tasks," she added.
The Key to Success is Collaboration with Business Partners
The final event was a relay session with the theme of IoT. The first speaker at the podium was Jimmy Wai, Business Client Sales Executive of the Industry Sales Group at Intel Corporation, a longtime important partner of Fujitsu. Wai commented on Intel's IoT approach that connects wearable devices and network clients to its data center cloud platform: "Right now, Intel's products are used for all kinds of devices, including wearable smart watches and devices embedded in automobiles, and are playing an important role in creating the best IoT environment."
As an example, Mr. Wai said that Intel contributed to improving the accuracy of Levi Strauss & Co.'s inventory management by 3%, which has led to a 1% increase in Levi's sales.
The concluding speaker, following Mr. Wai, was Takaaki Suga, Head of Office, IoT Business Division of Fujitsu Limited. He introduced examples where business models have changed through innovations in the IoT environment. For example, Okuwa, a Japanese supermarket, analyzes the number of customers' in-store shopping hours and flow lines based on data from trackers installed in shopping baskets and sales data from POS systems. Based on the analysis results, Okura has successfully improved the customer experience and sales by optimizing the display of products and streaming digital advertisements in a timely manner while observing customer movements. Suga closed his speech by saying, "Fujitsu will further accelerate digital transformation by digitalizing customers' business know-how and skills and collaborating with business partners."
Shortly Hong Kong will be caught up in the Lunar New Year festivities. In the party following the conference, after New Year's greetings and prayers for visitors' prosperity, Fujitsu and its partner companies and customers interacted with each other in a friendly atmosphere. In the exhibition hall, various exhibits displayed by Fujitsu and its partner companies attracted visitors, and the hall was filled with a lively and cheerful Hong Kong-like atmosphere throughout the entire conference.