Fujitsu Espana SA vice-president and con sulting director Hiro aki Eguchi talks to Louise Jorgensen.
Fujitsu Ltd’s new partnership with Telefonica de Espana SA three years ago was undoubtedly a seminal development in the Japanese company’s 15-year presence in Spanish market, not just in the boost it gave to Fujitsu’s cross-culture philosophy but also in view of the major importance, now existing of communications between computers. Originally, Fujitsu Ltd was encouraged by the Spanish government to invest in Spanish computer manufacturer Secoinsa to produce a Spanish-built computer based on technology transferred from Fujitsu in Japan. Fujitsu Espana and Secoinsa then worked in close cooperation until the reorganisation in June 1986 in which the Spanish manufacturer was absorbed. Since then, Fujitsu Espana has increased its capital by $17m to $36m and its activities from simple marketing and maintenance of M Series mainframes as far as research and dveelopment and manufacturing of a much wider range of products. Fujitsu Espana currently offers large mainframes – the IBM-compatible M700 and M300 series and VP supercomputers, imported from Japan, and Series K, 400 and Iber minis, Senda micros, office automation equipment, automatic teller machines, Fact II banking terminals, screens and three types of printer – line, matrix and laser – all of which are manufactured in Spain’ at Fujitsu Espana’s Malaga plant. Pick Open Architecture In telecommunications, Fujitsu Espana makes packet switches under the Tesys name, and makes modems as well as offering integrated data communications systems, the fruits of joint research and development efforts with Telefonica. Of those products manufactured in Spain, some are developed in Japan, some in Spain, and some jointly by Fujitsu Espana and Fujitsu Ltd. The company has also been modernising its products to increase versatility investing $12m – 7% of its sales – in research and development over the past year and introducing a new version of the OS Series K, Unios F5 Edition 54; Pick Open Architecture on the Senda 20; Theos V.8.11 for the Senda 20; the DX and DL low cost printers; the Fax 1500 facsimile machine, a new archive management syste for the Tesys-A switching line; a modular storage system for the Tesys-B and various improvements in modems. Much of the equipment has also been enhanced with new communications software packages, notably for X25 packet switching.
Fujitsu Espana’s annual report for the year to March 1988 reveals that the company turned over $170m, up 27% on the figure for 1986-87, and net profits were 37% ahead at $7.6m. Fujitsu Espana also won new business worth $200m, up 43%, and accordingly increased its staff by 17%, as well as opening new technical service centres. The company’s manufacturing sector showed the biggest growth, with a 35% increase in output to $52m, primarily as a result of expanding output of matrix printers, output of which reached 7,000 units a month by the end of the year, and also the 75% increase in automatic teller machine production. Fujitsu Espana invested $10.5m in its industrial plant and increased staff by 68%. With regard to the company’s two commercial operations, the first, Minicomputers & Data Transmission Systems, saw orders rise 41% to $167m, and turnover up 27% to $145m; it puts the growth down to the launch of the Senda Series Models 20/1, 20/2 and Series K 260, 280 and 300 at the beginning of the year and the Model 16-AT personal computer at the end. The division also expanded its Financial & Securities Department and opened four new Systems & Maintenance Centres to cover the wide geographical dispersion of clients and the increased range of products. Finally, it trained 1,500 technical staff in 500 of its client companies. Orders in the Mainframes & Communications division also increased by 30% to $34.6m as a result, the company claims, of the excellent reception given to the M700 and M300 mainframe families, and the increasing penetration into the market of Fujitsu peripherals, particularly high-end disk drives and cartr
idge tape drives. In terms of new business, the Mainframes & Communications division second board added to equipment already installed with Telefonica, the Spanish Ministry of Finance, the Andalucian Regional Government and the Zaragoza Electric Company. In research and development, Fujitsu Espana is doing a lot more of the latter than of the former. Among the systems currently in development is the 80386-based X-40 machine, of which 20 prototypes have been built, which will run the Pick operating system, Unix System V.3 and Theos; a colour Graphic Display Unit with Graphic Kernel System software for the K series; the ILX-32 line interface; a new static memory for the Tesys-A packet switches – contracted to Telefonica’s Telefonica Sistemas systems subsidiary; surface mount chip technology, subcontracted to Telefonica’s research and development subsidiary, which is applying technology developed by Fujitsu back in Japan); a new Secom-2 system for the Depcom and CTP Ibercom national data communication projects; the Cheetah printer – under supervision of Fujitsu Ltd; V.22, V.29 and V.32 jointly with Fujitsu Ltd; and application of artificial intelligence techniques to Spanish English-Japanese machine project in collaboration with Fujitsu Laboratories. Integrated solutions Finally, within the Research agreement with the Spanish government, the company is developing an X400 message handling protocol electronic mail syste with Madrid University’s computer department, and designing a protocol conversion chip for use in X25 packet nets with the National Microelectronics Centre. With regard to future activities, the company will continue bringing new technology into Spain in accordance with customer demands, which change all the time. Although Fujitsu Espana’s general aim is to manufacture and sell integrated solutions combining computers and telecommunications, it acknowledges that one of the most important products for the company in Spain at the moment is printers in that these have just emerged from their initial manufacturing and marketing stage, and also the Series S minis which have just been brought to market. The company also points to an enormous increase in demand for Fujitsu automatic teller machines, Tesys packet switches, and modems.