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" Fujitsu’s co-creation approach is about collaborating in an ecosystem to create new visions and generate tangible concepts that will create new business value for a whole industry” - Sander Rittersma, Director, SJ-Solutions
SJ-Solutions was established in 2003 as a specialized provider of Data Availability Solutions. It has been designing, implementing and maintaining environments for storage, computing, backup, archiving and virtualization ever since. As a Fujitsu Select Circle Partner and premium partner for Commvault, the company has the knowledge and skills to make the most of its products for every organization and delivers environments for backup, storage, archiving, VDI and server virtualization to secure all data.
SJ-Solutions is making a strategic transition in its business to become more of a Managed Service Provider (MSP) rather than a classic reseller. In particular, it wants to focus on storage, backup and data management (DM), three areas which SJ-Solutions considers afterthoughts for many companies, which makes them ripe to be offered as a managed service.
“In the current market, standard backup and recovery functionality is often regarded narrowly and seen as technically complex and costly, so taking it out of the customer’s hands with a serious, DM-as-a-Service solution seems like an obvious step forward,” explains Sander Rittersma, Director, SJ-Solutions. “However, there are no credible enterprise-class DM MSPs available in many markets. That’s where we saw a potential opportunity; we then needed to find the right hardware partners to make it a reality.”
As a close Select Circle Partner of Fujitsu for many years, the company was intrigued when it was invited to a co-creation workshop hosted in Lapland. This gathering of 25+ C-Level executives was proposed to create new alliances, opportunities and sustainable XSP ecosystems.
“We’ve twice been awarded the top five Fujitsu EU partner and recently won the Data Management Partner of the Year award, and over the years have become familiar with other members of the Fujitsu family. This co-creation event was the ideal way to gather many similar thinking companies in one spot to pool knowledge and creativity,” adds Rittersma. “Despite the fact that many attendees are in some way competitive, sharing our visions for the industry among ‘frenemies’ was an attractive proposition.”
The FUJITSU Co-creating Program helps companies and partners in the ecosystems to harness the power of collaboration to deliver transformational outcomes in the context of digital transformation by driving ideation. The co-creation program has been developed over decades of design experience in Japan and around the world: working with customers, exchanging perspectives, ideas, and information in a highly focused and innovative way. At its heart is the FUJITSU Human Centric Experience Design (HXD) approach, a unique iteration of agile strategic design, which has been refined for digital transformation.
Over the course of four days, 40 senior executives and Fujitsu facilitators split into smaller groups and undertook a carefully choreographed series of workshops. The objective was to come up with new solutions to industry problems; Rittersma’s group proposed the ‘Green Cloud’ secure data management solution. Out of 30 proposals, it was chosen, along with four others, to be explored in more depth.
“Fujitsu’s co-creation approach is about getting to know your peers, networking and creating new visions through the exchange of ideas,” continues Rittersma. “That enables us to take what had been an unformed notion around MSPs and really put meat on the bones to create a credible idea of what DM-as-a-Service might and should look like.”
SJ-Solutions’ adventure didn’t end with the co-creation sessions in Lapland; instead, it picked up the baton on returning to the Netherlands and worked closely with Fujitsu and Commvault to make the ‘Green Cloud’ a reality. It combines Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers and Fujitsu ETERNUS storage technology with the Commvault data protection software solutions, in a robust and secure multi-tenancy environment to provide pay-as-you-go data management, backup and recovery with full transparency of costs and no upfront investment.
“Normally, you have to pay for functionality, agents and data stored at the back end, which means costs grow continually; however, we only charge for every TB at the front end and all functionality is included, so there are no hidden costs,” says Rittersma. “It’s a simple way of telling customers: 100TB equals 100TB and we’ll take care of the back end.”
“There are serious plans to link three data centers in Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt to provide DM services, demonstrating the viability of the idea that was born during the co-creation session,” concludes Rittersma. “We are a proud and active member of Fujitsu’s unique service provider community where we truly engage in a modern, ecosystem-driven way. We look forward to participating in future sessions and expand our cooperation even further.”
As part of exploring new opportunities and offerings within the XSPs ecosystem, SJ-Solutions wanted to create an entirely new service provider category around secure data management. The challenge was to find the right partners and an environment to enable the idea to mature into a formal proposal.
SJ-Solutions was invited to join more than 25 C-Level participants in Lapland to take part in a Fujitsu co-creation event, which enabled them to create new visions and develop new concepts for rapid market implementation. This led to the development of the ‘Green Cloud’ offering.