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Software Technologies to Support Digital Innovation
Vol. 54, No. 3, July 2018
Fujitsu proposed a new integration concept called FUJITSU Knowledge Integration in 2015 and announced a co-creation service system the following year. In 2017, Fujitsu established the Digital Transformation Business Group as an expert organization moving forward in-step with customers. This organization aims to develop personnel that specialize in digital technologies as digital innovators and integrate such technologies on the basis of know-how cultivated in co-creation activities with customers. This issue introduces practical examples and solutions for achieving harmony between digital technologies and people as well as software technology that supports digital innovation.
Digitalization has advanced, spreading to all industries. Companies are required to improve marketing efficiency and strengthen engagement with customers more than ever by utilizing digital technology. Promoting emotional value through the customers service user experience is important and contact centers play a key role in the experience as customer contact points for companies. However, contact centers currently face a mountain of problems, including labor shortages, support for diversifying channels, and the need to improve efficiency by making use of AI. To solve these problems, Fujitsu has started offering the Customer Engagement Solution CHORDSHIP, a contact point sophistication solution. The CHORDSHIP Digital Agent, which is at the core of CHORDSHIP, is equipped with an AI technology ideal for contact centers: conversation-machine learning hybrid AI. Its biggest feature is the capability to deliver highly accurate automatic answers simply by using existing FAQ data, in addition to its realization of support for diversifying channels and 24/7 service availability. This paper outlines the contact point sophistication solution offered by Fujitsu and describes the AI chatbot technology behind the solution.
Many companies are considering the utilization of digital technologies with the aim of improving work quality and acquiring highly accurate condition data at manufacturing and maintenance sites. However, it is not easy to reliably introduce and establish digital technologies at sites, the technologies often fail to fit operations, and such efforts often fail to progress beyond the trial and demonstration period. On-site, continuous improvement (KAIZEN) activities are implemented on a daily basis, and leading companies in industry tend to change operational procedures very often. In addition, work environments and conditions vary site by site. This leads to the need for solution agility to nimbly accommodate differences and keep up with changing on-site conditions. Accordingly, Fujitsu has adopted an approach that realizes applications that can be used continuously by converting business and digital technologies into standard business components that can be combined into design patterns for application at sites. Not only does this approach allow the quick launch of a first trial and demonstration on a small scale but it also enables the people at each site to easily modify applications to match operations after the trial phase. The introduction of new digital technologies drives operational sophistication and further growth. This paper describes key points for utilizing digital technologies at expanding manufacturing and maintenance sites with examples.
At power stations, plants, and manufacturing factories, priority is given to safety and security, and guaranteed stable operations are required. Failures with machines and equipment, in particular, do not only affect power generation and manufacturing capacity but also cause significant losses due to the production of defective products. To solve these problems, Fujitsu has developed “FUJITSU Business Application Operational Data Management & Analytics (ODMA) Indication Monitoring Model for Optical Fiber Temperature Measurement,” which is equipped with an indication monitoring function that utilizes AI. This product detects anomaly indications that could potentially lead to errors and failures by using optical fibers to detect the temperature of machines and equipment and to monitor their heat generation conditions. It also enables temperature measurements in confined spaces, which is a difficult task for conventional measuring instruments. This paper presents the developed optical fiber temperature measurement technology as well as its features and examples of its applications.
In recent years, work style innovation utilizing ICT has attracted attention. A printing environment for virtual desktops to support this work style innovation requires a system that allows printing regardless of the place or the model of the printer or multifunction printer (hereafter, printer). To that end, technologies for the virtualization of printers, print distribution, and the integration of printer applications are necessary. Fujitsu has developed FUJITSU Cloud Service Print Anywhere, a new cloud-based service that realizes convenience and security in a printing environment for virtual desktops. This service combines the technology resulting from co-creation with printer manufacturers and the technology that we have developed with form middleware to meet the needs of work style innovation. This paper presents an approach to the realization of printing as usual regardless of the place of work through the implementation of Fujitsu's work style innovation.
Due to the vast amounts of video on demand (VOD) service content, scene viewing, in which users select only scenes they want to view within short amounts of time, is expected to go mainstream in the future. Conventionally, global delivery of VOD has used content delivery networks (CDN) to reduce latency (time delays in communication generated during data transfers) in viewing. With scene viewing, however, the huge number of search patterns has caused lower cache hit ratios on CDNs, making it difficult to reduce latency. For the delivery of FUJITSU Business Application Operational Data Management & Analytics PITCHBASE, a scene viewing service specialized in professional baseball videos, to users overseas, Fujitsu has developed a video delivery architecture independent of CDNs and is working toward its realization. This architecture is capable of quickly providing scene viewing even to users overseas by releasing viewable scenes in stages while deploying baseball videos, which are increasing on a daily basis, outside Japan and reducing latency. This paper describes this delivery architecture, which enhances user experiences (UXs) in scene viewing globally.
Digital Service Platform for Realizing Functions Common to Different Business Categories and Operations on Platform as a Service (PaaS)
The spread of digital innovations that disrupt existing business models, such as Uber's ridesharing service and Airbnb's short-term lodging service, has been accelerating. Against this backdrop, Fujitsu has started working on the co-creation of new businesses by combining the business know-how of customers and Fujitsuʼs digital technologies. For example, our co-creation work with TOMOE Corporation combines assembly know-how at manufacturing sites with augmented reality (AR) and other digital technologies to superimpose and display design drawings (3D CAD data) on steel frame components assembled on site, allowing early detection of defects and improving yields. In this way, we are working to deploy standardized business components that implement business know-how acquired through co-creation with customers, and design patterns created by combining such components on a platform built by integrating the cutting-edge technologies and the latest open-source software (OSS), in the form of cloud services. Incorporated into this is the business expertise we have accumulated through co-creation with customers. All the above helps accelerate the creation of digital solutions and the expansion of the digital domains of system integration (SI) in existing categories of business. This paper presents the approach by Fujitsu to the utilization of digital technologies.
To accelerate digital innovation by customers, Fujitsu has carried out over 1,000 cases of co-creation from 2015 to 2017. Working to realize digital innovation through co-creation with customers, we have found out that issues exist that are particular to digital innovation. To resolve these issues, Fujitsu has started working to deploy standardized business components that implement business know-how acquired through co-creation with customers, and design patterns created by combining such components on a platform built by integrating cutting-edge technologies such as IoT and AI and the latest open-source software (OSS) such as Hyperledger Fabric, an implementation of blockchain, in the form of cloud services. Incorporated into this is the business expertise we have accumulated through co-creation with customers. By using these design patterns, the creation of solutions that accelerate digital innovation by customers can be realized in short periods of time and at low cost. This paper presents examples of our co-creation with customers, including Japan Water Agency and TOMOE Corporation, together with digital technologies offered by Fujitsu and their effects.
Platform Software for Supporting Systems of Engagement (SoE)
Digital transformation is now a major strategic focus for organizations of all sizes. But, "transformation" is not an end state-it is literally the process of becoming something else. So what exactly are organizations transforming into as a result of widespread digitalization? The answer in our view is composite businesses. Composite businesses will create and monetize adaptable, intelligent, and highly automated business models built on the orchestration of millions of real time connections spanning people, systems, and things. However, controlling the huge complexity of this web of connections is beyond the capabilities of today's business and ICT practices, requiring more powerful tools, higher levels of automation, and the pervasive use of machine intelligence. To succeed, we must therefore build platforms that enable people to explicitly model, visualize, and control the highly complex distributed ecosystems underpinning the next generation of connected business models. This paper describes the four defining characteristics of future composite businesses resulting from digital transformation, the software being developed to support their implementation, and the way in which these software components combine to create a platform for composite businesses.
Today's businesses are looking to increase ICT responsiveness with agile methodologies and DevOps processes. But they must also ensure that governance and compliance are not compromised. Furthermore, hybrid ICT or multi-cloud environments can exacerbate these conflicting requirements, where different infrastructures are used for development, testing, pre-production, and production environments. DevOps can be interpreted in many ways: there is no common definition. It can be seen as being an environment that promotes communication and collaboration, while Agile is a method of working within the environment. DevOps stresses effective collaboration and communication between various teams and departments within a culture that optimizes release cycles of high-quality and thoroughly-tested end products. By viewing the entire delivery process holistically, DevOps helps us identify and solve bottlenecks that traditionally happen when one role in the process is overloaded. UForge AppCenter is a platform that follows DevOps principles and focuses on reducing manual coordination across the different stages of the application delivery life cycle to speed up the process end to end. UForge provides native hybrid functionality to DevOps processes. Cloud-neutral application templating enables repeatable processes that can be used across multiple clouds or datacenters throughout development, testing, pre-production, and production. This paper describes how UForge can provide the speed and agility needed from DevOps without sacrificing control and consistency.
Customers' new digital businesses are heading toward business-to-business (B2B) digital co-creation, where a large number of service users are linked with a large number of service providers through digitalization. The digital co-creation space will become a connected world in which necessary information is exchanged for individual business purposes beyond the borders of any one category of business or industry, and will expand as an ecosystem. In this connected world, for both service providers and users to conduct business in a stable manner, various technologies will be required to provide a system that allows for easy participation by both parties with a sense of security to maximize the value and convenience that can be enjoyed by the two parties and end users. The key factor in the process is the wide variety of data, which is to be handled differently according to customers' systems. Combining this data based on business purposes and agreements to convert them into connectable information that is worth analyzing and utilizing for distribution can lead to the creation of new businesses and services, or digital innovations, as well as lead to economic and industrial growth. This paper presents trends in software technology related to the realization of these and Fujitsu Laboratories' activities.