Fujitsu will migrate all of its internal systems to a new OpenStack-based cloud platform in an initiative that not only will save the giant tech vendor hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years but also will give it the expertise needed to become a larger player in the global cloud market.
Fujitsu officials said the platform will comprise about 640 large-scale cloud systems that encompass about 13,000 servers worldwide, including a mixture of legacy and newer servers. About 450 of those complex cloud systems—which include about 8,000 servers—will be housed in Japan, with another 190 systems (about 5,000 servers) operating outside of the country, according to the company.
The move will save Fujitsu about $300 million in total cost of ownership (TCO) expenses within five years, officials said.
The transition to the cloud platform will be done in phases over five years, with the first phase beginning this month. Among the internal systems that will make the move to the cloud are Fujitsu's customer relationship management (CRM) and sales-support systems, as well as its supply chain management (SCM) and enterprise content management (ECM) systems, and corporate systems, such as human resources and accounting.
Also included in the list is Fujitsu's global communications platform, which Fujitsu officials said was deployed starting in April 2012 and covers about 170,000 employees across about 540 group companies. The deployment of the platform helped Fujitsu cut system operations and business trips by 2013 by 30 percent over 2010 numbers, the officials said.
In addition, Fujitsu was able to leverage the expertise gained through the development and deployment of the global communications platform to create new business opportunities. The company created reference architectures based on its global communications technologies that it could then sell to customers to help them build similar systems. According to Fujitsu, about 150 companies worldwide that account for more than 1 million employees are using systems based on the Fujitsu technology.
The vendor is hoping to do the same with the move to its new OpenStack cloud platform. Officials expect to create reference architectures based on the expertise they develop during the project that can be used by large-scale organization that also may be looking to make the move to the cloud. Throughout the migration process, Fujitsu engineers will develop new features that will be validated by customers, and the company will begin offering new services based on the acquired knowledge during its fiscal year 2015, starting with customers in Japan.
Fujitsu officials said they are seeing increased interest among large businesses to move more of their work to the cloud in hopes of being able to better respond to constantly changing business needs and to increase the efficiencies of their internal IT environments.
The company has been aggressive in its cloud and OpenStack efforts over the past several years. In 2011, Fujitsu extended its cloud solution beyond Japan, and two years later launched its Cloud Initiative. In July 2014, officials said the company will spend $2 billion over the next two years to grow its abilities in such areas as platform-as-a-service (PaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud integration in hopes of reaching $3.5 billion in annual cloud revenues.
Last month, the company announced plans to expand its two main data centers in Japan to help accelerate the development of Fujitsu's cloud services, outsourcing and Internet of things (IoT) businesses.