April 18, 2006 3:58 PM PDT

Fujitsu aims for North American growth

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--Fujitsu, trying to extend its Asian influence to the North American market, aims to increase its revenue in the area to $10 billion by 2010.

To do so, the company will have to increase revenue about 25 percent per year from its current $4 billion level, said Farhat Ali, chief operating officer of Fujitsu Computer Solutions (FCS), one of more than a dozen subsidiaries of the Japanese technology giant that's responsible for attaining the goal.

The company is strong in Japan, other parts in Asia, and, through its partnership with Siemens, in Europe, Ali said, but that's not enough.

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"Fujitsu realizes that the U.S. is the biggest marketplace," he said in a meeting with reporters at FCS offices here. FCS sells servers, laptops and information technology infrastructure software.

It's not going to be easy for Fujitsu to reach its growth target, said IDC analyst Jean Bozman. "It's an ambitious goal," she said.

To carry its share of the increased revenue, FCS expects its current businesses to grow by about 15 percent to 20 percent per year, Ali said. The rest will come through acquisitions, he said.

Acquisitions will initially take place to help out FCS' storage business, which it launched last year, Ali said. "We know that's the area we need most help," he said.

More growth will come by expanding sales channels with new partners; offering collections of integrated products geared for specific areas such as regulatory compliance, content management, and services-oriented architectures; and targeting specific customer types such as health care, communications and government, Ali said.

While Fujitsu has several subsidiaries in the Americas, the company is working to make sure there isn't needless expense or market confusion. An internal program called Fujitsu One presents a unified view of the company and its brand to customers, and behind the scenes, common functions such as human resources and accounting are integrated, Ali said.

Having subsidiaries means, for example, that Fujitsu Products of America can sell notebook hard drives not just to FCS but also competitors such as Hewlett-Packard, said Richard McCormack, senior vice president of marketing.

Also, Fujitsu has consolidated some subsidiaries. FCS was born more than two years ago by combining server and mobile computing products, expanded in 2005 by adding bioscience and high-performance computing groups, and expanded again this month by adding a software group.

Other subsidiaries focus on consulting, retail computing gear, and network equipment.

FCS announced on Tuesday a new product from the software group called NeoBatch. It can on Windows systems run "batch" work--routine preset jobs that computers have to churn through without much interaction from operators--that typically has run on mainframes. In particular, the system uses Microsoft's .Net software foundation and runs on Fujitsu's Itanium-based Primequest servers.

Also Tuesday, McCormack said Fujitsu is upgrading its high-end Eternus storage system line with the E8000 models. The systems will be formally announced in Japan on Thursday and available in the United States "toward the end of the year," he said.

Compared with the current E6000 models, higher-end configurations of the E8000 offer and 2.5 times the performance and 2.7 times the capacity--more than one petabyte total--according to McCormack's presentation.

In servers, Fujitsu sells a Primergy line using Intel's Xeon and Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron processors, the PrimeQuest line using Intel Itanium chips, and the PrimePower line using its own Sparc64 chips and Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system.

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