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5 big questions on innovation

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Martin Summerhayes, Head of Delivery Strategy and Service Improvement, Fujitsu

Martin Summerhayes, Head of Delivery Strategy and Service Improvement

In the UK’s world of IT, Martin Summerhayes is known as “The Billion Dollar Man,” having once innovated a billion dollar business for HP while also working as a field engineer.

His expertise in customer experience and service needs derive from innumerable physical visits from his field engineer days, which have enabled him to create enhanced service models with a customer-friendly but up-front extended...
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1

How is your team changing the game within your industry sector?

Fujitsu is an organization that manufactures everything from telephony systems to PCs, mobile phones, enterprise servers, mainframes - and much more. It operates in a software development space and provides solutions for customers.

In Fujitsu, we hope to bring intelligence, big data, analytics, predictability, and predictive tools together to answer big questions: How can we better track trends and anomalies? How can we predict failure before failure occurs? How can we drive preventative programs? How can we use our engineering workforce, our partner workforce, and our repair workforce to ensure our customers do not experience downtime? My team is leveraging software tools and partners, plus the knowledge we have developed to be able to look at that space.

A new type of service model called CARE uses intelligent engineering to drive and support the customer’s changing requirements. One of our prominent customers, McDonald's, is leveraging our CARE service to allow customers to pre-order and select a time for pick up before the customer gets to the store via an app on their phone; the customer can use a connected kiosk; customers have a choice.

Fujitsu ensures uptime and availability to those stores, which often operate 24/7.

As a part of the outsourcing space within my team, I look in how Fujitsu provides managed services to customers who have either IT products or It services provided by another partner we can take over.

From a game-changing perspective, ten years ago, there was IT outsourcing version 1.0 – where the company decided to move it to a partner who managed its IT provision on a holistic basis. Outsourcing moved through a tower model called IT managed services or outsourcing version 2.0, in which the IT provision breaks up into various towers. It is like an orchestra of independent companies playing together, or the company orchestrating it themselves.

My team is looking at how we provision engineering-type services, provided either remotely or on customer sites. It is how we provision and make available those engineering services to customers that is a key game changer. We hope to provide a service before the customer realizes they have a problem.

Fujitsu tries and pilots programs like an intelligent error engineering deployment for one of their customers in the UK. Their goal is to take it from white screen concepts to a working prototype within two weeks.

We are looking at augmented reality from our engineering workforce perspective. The ability to use a smartphone, and point at another device for both visual and providing verbal instructions to the engineer in the terms of how best to resolve the problem.

Fujitsu hopes to use virtual reality tools to train our engineers like "just in time training" - broadly scaling our engineering workforce in terms of a core set of skills.

2

What are some of the biggest impediments to innovation in your organization or industry sector?

Speed is the biggest hurdle to overcome when it comes to IT services, as our customers expect rapid deployment and zero downtime. The complications of adopting speed of change with the challenge of demonstrating return on investment limit innovation. It becomes difficult to clearly articulate the value of innovation without taking the C-suite on a customer experience journey, where they can clearly articulate those savings.

3

How has innovation become engrained in your organization's culture, and how is it being optimized?

Fujitsu’s innovation depends on the speed of adoption versus the speed of change. Most companies, whether banks, retail institutions, or manufacturers, have a legacy environment plus a small element of new code, and its service models vary dependent on those factors.

Amazon is a disruptor in retailing and supermarkets. In the UK, Amazon states they are the online supermarket. Consumers can even order fresh produce from Amazon. Many companies are seeing disruption within their industry by new competitors.

There is little to consider as first generation, innovative. Small pocket organizations create an innovative idea, it develops, and then it is realized as a blue ocean market opportunity or a disruptive market opportunity. That is how innovation happens, and how innovation gets inculcated in an organization.

I see innovation in Fujitsu and in many of its competitors. Fujitsu implements an encouraging culture for innovation. The challenge is in demonstrating the business case and the return on investment.

4

What technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in your industry over the next two years?

Within IT services, the Internet of Things, the connectivity of many devices, and the integration of big data through analytics will be the major industry disruptors.

Augmented reality and virtual reality will have an impact, although AR will be more prevalent. It is how companies bring those various elements together around industry vertical solutions. How vertical solutions are brought together to offer a solution to the customer is key.

5

Can you share a specific innovation strategy you’ve recently encountered which you find compelling?

Google’s innovations are highly compelling. When traveling, Google gives online recommendations through Google Maps in terms of products and services nearby the user. A consumer can submit photographs and narratives of places they have visited via social media channels, and contribute to shared information.

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