"For us, Fujitsu is the guarantee for secure data preservation mandated by Germany’s data protection regulations. At the same time, Fujitsu’s assistance enabled us to make our solution quickly and easily available in the cloud, and to use the Fujitsu Cloud Store to comfortably enter the software-as-a-service business."
Oliver Schulze Managing Director, agorum® Software GmbH
Obtaining software easily from the cloud is clearly one of the most important recent innovations in IT, but the actual steps into the cloud can be a challenge, particularly for medium-sized software companies. In addition, Software as a Service (SaaS) requires high-performing and secure data center capabilities. This is where Fujitsu Cloud Services steps in to support ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) in customizing their solutions. Baden-Wuerttemberg–based agorum® Software GmbH profited from this approach and is now one of the independent software providers who offer their products worldwide via Fujitsu’s SaaS platform. For the customers of agorum®, using the company’s software in the cloud is now possible.
As the provider of document management system (DMS) agorum® core, the company agorum® Software GmbH has been in business since 1998. The firm’s DMS solution is aimed primarily at small- and medium-sized businesses. Previously, sales followed a classic per-user license model. In today’s IT environment, this approach no longer suffices. “The requests for cloud-based document management solutions are constantly increasing,” explains Stefan Roecker, head of marketing for agorum®. “To meet this demand, we decided to work with Fujitsu Cloud Services.”
Customers of agorum® Software now have the ability to access the DMS solution agorum® core from the Fujitstu Cloud Store. “New users save significantly on initial investment costs,” says Roecker. “Our customers do not have to invest in either hardware or licenses. Instead, they can subscribe to our solution with a monthly fee.” Customers are then billed per user, and it is a simple matter to add new staff members to the bill, or to remove them from the subscription. “Software as a Service via the Fujitsu Cloud is also a good deal because it allows the customer to test the software under real conditions without having to pay for investments,” adds Roecker. “Ultimately, thanks to cloud computing the customer saves having to purchase a server for our document management solution.”
The Fujitsu Cloud Store is a web portal that makes a wide range of business solutions from various independent software providers available. After registering, each user, anywhere in the world, can use the Store’s search functions to find the software that meet his or her needs. Someone who enters “document management” or “DMS” into the search engine will find the range of products from agorum® Software and can book a customized subscription that depends on the number of users. Ultimately, both sides profit from the SaaS choices available via the Fujitsu Cloud. “Two advantages for us were that using the Cloud Store from Fujitsu enabled us to increase the degree of brand awareness and to open a new sales channel,” says Oliver Schulze, managing director of agorum® Software. “In turn, our customers profit from the flexibility, the attractive price model — in the end, they only pay for what they actually use — and last but not least from a high degree of security that they could otherwise only obtain with significant investment expenses.”
Starting immediately, customers of agorum® have access to the data center resources of the Fujitsu Cloud. As a global IT provider, Fujitsu commands a group of six Global Cloud data centers, located in the Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Singapore and Australia. The DMS solution is running on servers in the Fujitsu data center in Neuenstadt, near Heilbronn, Germany. Customers of agorum® Software may also reserve secure storage capacity at the data center. “Of course customers can additionally save their data on site at their companies,” says marketing head Roecker. “In this situation, we offer a module for easy synchronization.”
The chief attraction of a document management solution is the faster availability of company data. “It speeds up the business processes,” says Roecker. “The best example is the compilation of invoices. The company receives an invoice on paper by mail. It is scanned, and can then be rapidly distributed to the staff members who must approve it.” Later, all of the documents that are saved in agorum® core can be found easily with a full-text search tool. “The distinctive feature of our system,” he adds, “is the DMS drive, which means that users can address our solution just like a regular drive. That enormously simplifies saving and retrieving documents from our solution.”
That the data resides in the Fujitsu Cloud and not in their own data centers makes no difference for the users — except that they profit from a higher level of security. After all, Fujitsu’s data centers are some of the world’s most secure — an investment that it would be very difficult for small- and medium-sized companies to match. “Our customers receive a full-value DMS via the Fujitsu Cloud,” points out agorum® managing director Schulze. “And because the Cloud’s data centers are in Germany, they also meet the country’s data protection standards. Getting our solution ready for the Fujitsu Cloud Store only too a few days of programming, thanks to the comprehensive support from Fujitsu. We would not have been able to do it so quickly by ourselves.”
For users, not only the software costs but also the amount of administrative input are lower compared with a normal license model. After all, there is no additional hardware that must be maintained; nor is it necessary for anyone on the customer side to take care of software updates. All of that takes place solely within the Fujitsu Cloud data center, which in its turn is monitored around the clock by Fujitsu’s experts. Schulze has many reasons to be pleased with his cloud partnership with Fujitsu. His company has gained an additional global sales channel, and can present itself as a fully-fledged cloud computing software producer.
“With our engagement with Fujitsu Cloud, we are able to offer our customers a full range in the area of SaaS that is thoroughly thought out and financially attractive. It has put us in a position to offer finished products as well as individual solutions that are tailored to customers’ special requests.”
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