Fujitsu Software gets serious outside of Japan

Stealth marketing

Fujitsu Software's head of application integration middleware, Robert Sepanloo, is targeting $100m revenue from the business in Europe and the US by 2006. It may be one of the best examples of stealth marketing the industry has seen, as despite Fujitsu Software being relatively unknown in Europe and the US, it has annual sales of $2bn and over 4,000 engineers worldwide.

Of those sales, 90 per cent have been in its domestic Japanese market, but since Sepanloo took the reins of the Interstage application integration suite in April last year, he claims already to have tripled its sales outside of Japan. That's not bad going considering that the company only announced a full suite of products - the Interstage Suite - last October.

Until then the company was peddling just one product, formerly called iFlow. This is a workflow engine with 12 years of development behind it, which has since been remodeled for business process management and duly renamed Interstage Business Process Manager. The company claims that 8,000 companies use one or more Interstage modules and that equates to 83,000 installations worldwide.

Increasing its partner and reseller base

It is through this channel that Sepanloo hopes, at least initially, to turn Fujitsu Software into a powerhouse outside of Japan. So far the company's partners and resellers look a little patchy, with Sybase and Fujitsu Siemens among the major players in its list of 35 distributors, resellers and services partners. But Sepanloo is confident of increasing that list to 100 channel partners by 2006. He is also going to "get one or two of the big six" IT services companies as systems integrators, he says.

In the meantime, the company is now selling that Interstage Suite, and leading sales either with the former iFlow product or with another component of the suite, Interstage XML Search, which is said to be the first commercial offering of its kind that can achieve high-performance XML querying of data, reports and documents.

The other modules in the suite include Interstage XBRL Processor, which is for building and deploying applications to the eXtensible Business Reporting Language, and Interstage Portal to integrate a variety of back-end systems into a single view. There are also modules that handle content integration, business intelligence, integration development and an application server. Finally, there is an over-arching security schema and a load balancer module called Traffic Director.

Later this year the company will launch Business Packs, which tackle specific problems such as Basel II, Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA regulatory compliance.

Future acquisitions if strategic fit is right

Sepanloo also said that he has been authorized to acquire up to one company per year if it fits in with the broader Interstage suite of products, though he said the priority is building up the channel first, and possibly making acquisitions further down the line.

Targeting sales of Interstage Suite of $100m by 2006, up from just $8m today, might seem optimistic considering the competition comes from infrastructure companies like IBM and BEA, as well as integration specialists such as Tibco, webMethods, SeeBeyond and Software AG. But as Mr Sepanloo points out, $100m is a small contribution towards Fujitsu Software's annual sales of $2bn, and even smaller compared to parent Fujitsu's annual revenue of about $38bn.

Sepanloo could have the right pedigree to grow the business. While at Sun Microsystems reporting to COO Ed Zander, he grew Sun's OEM sales of SAP software into a $2bn business and he grew Baan sales at Sun into a $250m business.

Source: ComputerWire/Datamonitor

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