Fujitsu Reaches for the CRM Cloud

Fujitsu has jumped into the CRM cloud computing space with its own marketplace as well as a new application. The marketplace is called the “Business Solutions Store.”

Besides Fujitsu’s new cloud-based app, the store also makes available in SaaS format software and business processes from its partner ISVs.

Affordable Entry Point for CRM

Fujitsu is carving out new space for itself with this rollout, as it traditionally has not focused on smaller businesses, much less a cloud environment.

However, it has made an about face, debuting its first cloud solution, called “Fujitsu CRM Cloud Services.” Based on open source technology, the company is positioning it as an affordable entry point for CRM users.

An ISV Ecosystem

The Fujitsu Business Solutions Store also helps the company with another relatively new endeavor — its growing ecosystem of ISV partners. Fujitsu has been cultivating its ISV partners since last year as part of a larger effort to develop its own cloud-based initiative.

The Fujitsu Business Solutions Store and Fujitsu CRM Cloud Services will go live in different global regions early next year.

Fujitsu was unable to provide an interview for CRM Buyer in time for publication.

Going Cloud to Be Credible

By now the industry has become so cloud-oriented that if a vendor doesn’t have some kind of cloud message to offer it is not credible, Nucleus Research Vice President Rebecca Wettemann told CRM Buyer.

“We saw with Oracle and we are seeing it increasingly with SAP. Now, Fujitsu is playing in this space as well,” she said.

Fujitsu, Wettemann noted, has not been a small- and medium-sized software provider, “which makes it interesting that it thinks it can attack this market segment with its ISVs.”

Likely it can, she added, because the cloud is becoming increasingly commoditized and vendors need to do something to differentiate themselves. In this case, Fujitsu is differentiating itself by offering additional services via its partners.

“A company has to provide extra value now, not just the infrastructure or software offering. We see that with Oracle creating its special management tools and Salesforce.com’s Force.com. You can’t just create a cloud and expect customer to come,” she said.

If vendors were to do that, Wettemann said, companies would just opt for the cheapest service.

Challenging Times

Still, it is not easy for a new cloud provider to penetrate the market, even if it is bringing a value-add element to the table. The market is becoming crowded, Wettemann said.

“I wouldn’t want to be a new-to-market company entering a space where IBM just entered weeks ago,” she said, referring to its SugarCRM-based new offering.

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