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October 6, 1999

Fujitsu to Outline Plan to Become Number 3 IT Supplier

By CBR Staff Writer

By William Fellows

According to insiders Fujitsu Ltd will next week detail how it plans to use technology from its US and European operations and third party relationships to attack markets in which it has hitherto had little traction, including as enterprise hardware and software outside of its home territory.

Fujitsu owns Amdahl Corp in the US, ICL Plc in Europe and has also taken on board Siemens AG’s computer operations in a joint European venture. As part of this deal, Siemens’ non-European computer operations are being folded into Fujitsu’s regional operations worldwide. The goal of the venture is to become the world’s number three IT supplier; the two together now occupy the number five place. To do this it has no choice but to maximize the potential of each property and resource.

How Fujitsu integrates and leverages Siemens’ US operations into its own and combines Siemens’ technologies together with those from Amdahl, ICL as well as its own resources across is being handled by a Fujitsu steering committee. If our sources are correct – and the big Japanese IT companies are notoriously vague when it comes to disclosing plans – Fujitsu will begin to treat all of its properties, relationships and investments as a single market opportunity in a way it has never done so before.

Fujitsu’s US software company is having a coming out party of sorts with the US introduction of the InterStage application server and middleware suite which will be targeted for use on all of the Fujitsu-owned systems as well as on third party platforms including IBM Corp mainframes by partnering with ISVs for their connectivity and integration programs. It’s also about to announce its first channel; an unnamed company based in the northwest with a nationwide chain of integrators.

Fujitsu itself does yet not sell any servers in the US. But last week the company formally unveiled its 64-way commercial Unix server as the GP7000F which will be the capstone of its enterprise server strategy and will be marketed in all territories, including the US and Europe from next April. The server uses Sparc64 RISCs from its Hal Computers Ltd subsidiary and interconnect technology from other units. These building blocks are being be forged with Fujitsu’s mainframe and vector supercomputer expertise to create new lines of high-end enterprise servers for the future.

How Fujitsu plans to leverage its relationship with Sparc partner Sun Microsystems Inc in this effort isn’t clear, but our sources indicate that it is in the game plan.

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