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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Perfecting the Deployment of Mobile, Cloud, and Business Applications with Alex Attal, Fujitsu

June 5, 2013 No Comments

In the below interview, Alex Attal from Fujitsu America outlines ways in which a mobile-enabled operational, maintenance, safety and compliance solution can span across multiple levels of business, and offer a competitive advantage to organizations looking to increase overall business value.

  • Q. How do you see mobile and cloud technologies impacting the evolution of application integration in the enterprise?

A. Mobile, Cloud and Big Data are converging and will eventually drive a stake in the heart of traditional application integration and IT management practices.  Like the tidal wave of Y2K, most enterprises will be driven to enhanced integration across these domains by end users, partners, customers, etc., and will be dealing with significant investment upgrades, often without the knowledge, skills or the tools needed to be successful. Fujitsu has made significant investment to create a portfolio of dynamic business, application and infrastructure services to address new demands for enterprise transformation.

Our Business Application Services practice provides end-to-end application development, modernization and integration services as well as ERP deployment and application management services. Fujitsu also offers a variety of end user cloud, PaaS, and SaaS services to help its customers rapidly transform their IT landscapes to support mobile and other unifying technologies.

  • Q. What role is “bring your own device” (BYOD) playing in the overall mobile trend, and what new IT challenges does BYOD create?

A. In the fourth quarter of 2010, Smartphone’s surpassed PC sales. Mobile devices are rapidly becoming the computing platform of choice. The adoption of mobile devices is fueled in part by the rate at which mobile platforms are maturing.  The capabilities of consumer devices (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, etc.) are out-pacing the advancement of enterprise technologies.  There’s also a growing demand from business users to have corporate systems provide user experiences similar to that of their consumer devices.   The advancement in mobile devices, end-user cloud services, social media and collaboration, and virtual communication tools are enabling new workplace models (i.e., they’re redefining how work gets done).  These technologies are reducing if not eliminating the need for traditional workspaces like offices, cubicles and conference rooms in exchange for more efficient, human-centric, virtual environments.  A quick path to addressing these shifts in how work gets done and the user experience requirements is BYOD.

As end user expectations and BYOD force companies to bridge the gap between consumer and corporate technology, the challenge to IT will be extending business applications, corporate data assets and infrastructure along with the required maintenance, management and protections to a device not fully under the control of the company. The diversity of devices, mobile operating system platforms and applications are exploding, making security, end user support and integration with enterprise IT costly and problematic. Despite the fact that these devices often carry sensitive data, security policies are typically not enforced with any consistency, which subjects companies to significant security threats, the risk of confidential data loss, virus attacks and access control.

As a first step, Fujitsu provides a BYOD assessment and advisory service to help customers define the BYOD business strategy, HR and security policies, and the potential process and application extensions, and then develops an IT impact plan. This helps our customers understand the effects that extending business applications to mobile platforms will have on existing IT systems (applications, data, IT infrastructure, etc.).

Once a BYOD plan is in place, Fujitsu partners with customers to deliver a variety of enablement services including managed mobile, managed Wi-Fi, application integration and modernization, and virtual client services that help them successfully integrate mobility into their corporate landscape.

  • Q. Do you see design, development and integration of mobile extensions to ERP and other lines of business applications as the key to gaining the business value promised by mobility?

A. As companies look to leverage advances in mobile technologies as a way to improve productivity and efficiency, they will need to address the various effects mobility has on IT systems (e.g., applications, data, IT infrastructure, etc.). For most customers, accessibility to ERP and other line of business systems is the most critical, most expansive, and most beneficial to their mobility business case.  So the key to realizing the value promised is the successful design, development and integration of mobile extensions to ERP and other line of business applications.

To be sure, obtaining the true value of “mobility” is less about the extension of a single application function or business transaction and more about dynamically enabling knowledge and transaction workers to effectively interact with the IT systems needed to complete their work, at any time, from anywhere and from various devices.

Enabling accessibility to existing business applications often requires targeted functional investment, replacement or modernization of the given application(s) to support mobile integration requirements. Fujitsu provides application assessment, development and modernization services to help our customers assess their applications and identify feasible options to achieving their current accessibility goals while enabling support for future business needs.

Fujitsu is a leading provider of application modernization and technology consulting services with 20 application modernization teams in eight regions around the world, with more than 1000 modernization experts. Our holistic approach to system modernization consists of integrating best-in-class hardware, innovative software and expert services into a customized solution designed specifically to meet customer needs.

  • Q. How does Fujitsu’s mobile-enabled operational, maintenance, safety and compliance solution span across multiple levels of business, and what primary benefits does it offer?

A. Designed for operational, maintenance, safety and compliance organizations across industries including manufacturing, utility, oil and gas, chemical and mining industries, Fujitsu’s approach addresses multiple levels of business and industries and offers the following benefits:

– Real-time visibility and predictive analysis into the operation’s performance, when and how the information is needed
– Improving productivity and eliminating unnecessary manual intervention with machine-to-machine technologies
– Reducing operation and service costs by eliminating unnecessary maintenance
– Improving compliance and personal safety, minimizing the risk of failure by automating risk mitigation processes
– Improving maintenance efficiency and reducing risk of non-compliance and injury due to human error via 3D visualizations
– Providing a simpler interface and improving user satisfaction with gesture control technology enabled by Kinect for Windows

These benefits are fueled by Fujitsu’s mobile enabled M2M (Machine to Machine) automated process, which provides real-time visibility into all aspects of operations and consumer level experience for both mobile device and gesture-controlled touch screens. This solution provides the information worker from corporate boardrooms to shop floors with a view of manufacturing libraries in a three-dimensional structure. The solution’s integration with SAP’s WorkManager solution enables field service reps to view work order assignments on their mobile devices. With access to key data such as repair histories and safety guidelines on field assets, the corporate boardroom gets better visibility of the performing assets.

  • Q. How else is Fujitsu working to deploy and upgrade mobile, cloud and business applications quickly, securely and efficiently for businesses today?

A. Fujitsu has made significant investments to create a plethora of global services aimed at helping customers transform, modernize and manage their IT systems (applications, data, IT infrastructure, etc.) in support of mobility and other initiatives. Many of our services today are cloud-based and include a variety of services such as:

– End User Services
– Managed Mobile and Desktops
– Virtual Client services
– Service Desk support services
– PaaS offerings
– Big Data
– Business Process Integration (Fujitsu recently purchased RunMyProcess)
– IaaS offerings
– Secure public cloud running in seven  datacenters globally, ideal for deployment of market facing web tiers.
– Fujitsu Hosted Private Clouds, ideal for running enterprise class workloads with a pay per use model.
– SaaS offerings
– Service Desk
– IT Monitoring
– Backup as a Service

Fujitsu’s demonstrated expertise and customer-for-life approach enable customers to confidently pass their IT services to Fujitsu and shift their attention and focus to their core business.

  • Q. Where can I find additional information on Fujitsu’s perspective on this and other trends shaping our future?

A. Fujitsu’s is committed to the constant pursuit of innovation. We are passionate about delivering technologies that are critical to people and society, while harnessing the power of IT to help create value for our customers.

There are several areas where Fujitsu demonstrates its commitment and approach to technology innovation  including the newly launched Fujitsu Technology and Services vision and its annual thought leadership publication, Fujitsu Technology Perspectives 2013, which includes an executive feature from Matt Goldman, senior vice president of Corporate Strategy, who speaks directly to the idea of BYOD.
In these and many other publications, Fujitsu explores the different facets of our connected world and illustrates the trends that are shaping our future. For more information, simply send an e-mail to

Alex Attal
Executive Vice President, Business and Application Services, Fujitsu America

Alexandre Attal is executive vice president of Business and Application Services at Fujitsu America, where he is responsible for all management consulting and application services delivery in the United States and Canada.

Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Attal served as vice president of Offering Management and Business Development for Fujitsu America.  In that role, he managed the portfolio of Consulting and Applications Services solutions delivered by Fujitsu in the United States.

During his career, Mr. Attal has held multiple chief executive officer and senior executive positions for software and services companies that he successfully brought to the next level of growth. Prior to joining Fujitsu America, he served as general manager for X3 ERP at Sage, a leading global provider of business applications.

Before joining Sage, Mr. Attal held a number of senior executive positions at IBM Corporation, as vice president of e-business services for the Americas, vice president of marketing for Global Channels, and vice president of marketing for the Global Mainframe Business. Before his move to the United States in 1997, he was general manager of IBM France.

Mr. Attal has a Master of Engineering degree from Ecole Centrale de Paris. He earned his MBA at Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. He has also completed a senior executive education with IBM at Wharton.

He is a board member of the One Voice initiative, aimed at enabling non-violent conflict resolution in the Middle East and a founding investor and advisor of edevice, a technology startup.

An avid runner, Mr. Attal has completed fifteen marathons. He is fluent in French and English and speaks Spanish.

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