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Fujitsus Approach to SaaS in Japan„Fujitsu SaaS Platform„

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  • 1. Fujitsu’s Approach to SaaS in Japan —Fujitsu SaaS Platform—  Koji Satake (Manuscript received March 26, 2009) Software as a service (SaaS) and related services have appeared in recent years as an evolution of the application service provider scheme. SaaS enables corporate users to use services that are already being provided instead of constructing and owning business systems on their own. This has an immediate positive effect on business value such as reduced IT investment and new market development. The concept of Cloud computing, which makes use of new virtualization technologies, has also just emerged and an expansion toward Cloud services that encompass conventional data-center services and SaaS-related services is under way. This paper describes Fujitsu’s approach to SaaS business in Japan as a first step toward global expansion, focusing on a SaaS platform that will provide core service functions to support this transition from existing SaaS to future Cloud services. 1 Introduction when they are needed and to pay for only those The mid-1990s saw the launching of the portions of services that are used, the concept of Internet for general users and the appearance Cloud computing has appeared as an approach of application service providers (ASPs), utility that provides extremely high scalability computing, and related services. Then, in (Figure 1). the mid-2000s, as the system infrastructure Against this background, the business environment ranging from terminals and environment is changing greatly. First, it is cell phones to networks, servers, and storage becoming difficult to secure personnel because expanded and matured and as open source of the effects of the aging society and other software flourished and application creation and structural changes in society. Both customers deployment technologies such as Java, Ajax, and vendors are experiencing problems in and mashups evolved dramatically, the software securing the personnel required for planning, as a service (SaaS) concept appeared. The aim developing, and operating systems as a result of, was to overcome the weak points of ASP and for example, a mismatch between the skill set improve the practical use of over-the-network required for designing, developing, and operating services in business. In recent years, system legacy systems and that required for today’s vendors have provided application execution open source systems. Second, infrastructure platforms and services covering the range from and technology are changing dramatically in application to operation from their data centers the information technology (IT) environment. in addition to the traditional provision of system This is being manifested in the shift toward a infrastructure. Furthermore, as customers ubiquitous society, the explosion in data, and the have expressed a desire to utilize services only consolidation of systems in data centers. And FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 265–274 (July 2009) 265
  • 2. K. Satake: Fujitsu’s Approach to SaaS in Japan—Fujitsu SaaS Platform— Environmental changes Technical changes Business-environment changes  Aging society  Ubiquitous network society  Rapid changes in market  Insufficient manpower  Data explosion  Need to improve while reducing  Skill-set mismatch  Dramatic changes in investment  Need to create new business Cloud IT technology (SOA, Web 2.0, Ajax, etc.) markets and opportunities Background Computing service that provides IT-related functions having extremely high scalability as services SaaS Provision of software as a service —One usage format at the core of the Cloud— ASP Technical differences Substantial differences  Multi-tenant  Greater cost savings Single tenant No customization  Mashups  More flexibility  Customization  Faster deployment Mid-1990 2005 2009 SOA: Service oriented architecture Figure 1 Evolution from ASP to SaaS and Cloud. third, as the market environment undergoes rapid between that business and those users in the form changes in combination with the first two factors, of either separate or en bloc services. Fujitsu’s corporate management is being asked to improve service concept consists of three layers. The first productivity while reducing investment and to is the “on-site” layer consisting of the customer’s create new business markets and opportunities. office environment and users’ access devices such Accordingly, effective utilization of IT is also as cell phones and personal digital assistants. needed from the viewpoint of managerial reform. The second is the “network” layer that provides carrier networks, access support for diverse 2. Fujitsu’s approach to SaaS ubiquitous terminals based on those networks, In this section, we introduce Fujitsu’s and network virtualization. The third is the “data overall concept of software services and center” layer for constructing the SaaS platform, describe, in particular, its approach to SaaS, the SaaS applications, and customer systems and SaaS platform providing core functions, SaaS for providing business process outsourcing such applications, and Fujitsu’s service menu. as application execution/monitoring, call-center functions, printing, and forms delivery as well as 2.1 Overall service concept IT operation management. The overall concept of Fujitsu’s service provision is shown in Figure 2. Fujitsu’s 2.2 Positioning of SaaS services in the software services provide a connection between Cloud our customer’s business and the service users Figure 3 shows how various elements such as the customer’s internal users and the are positioned in the Cloud on the basis of the customer’s customers, i.e., general consumers. commonly used concept of a service stack: it shows Fujitsu provides the facilities, IT systems, and not only the positioning of SaaS, infrastructure as management and operation personnel that lie a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS), 266 FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 3, (July 2009)
  • 3. K. Satake: Fujitsu’s Approach to SaaS in Japan—Fujitsu SaaS Platform— Fujitsu’s data center Customer’s system SaaS applications IT operation Operation Robust data center and security monitoring ISO27001 (information security) BPO APM Privacy Mark Data center Service management system and service virtualization technology having a proven API API API record in 2500 companies Outsourcing services (BPO) extending to SaaS platform business systems Network outsourcing Multicarrier support FENICS FENICS Universal accessibility Network Provide various network access (Provision of uniform services anytime and environments. Support diverse ubiquitous anywhere) terminals. On-site outsourcing Rapid response through 850 CE bases and 1 an 8500-man-strong maintenance system On-site in Japan No. of data centers (as of FY2008): 53 in Japan Off Office workers Consumers Overseas users Mobile workers Mobile workers Customer’s office (plus 33 overseas) Provide a total range of services from data-center services to network, on-site, and system development services. Provide high-reliability services from a data center incorporating energy-saving and high-security measures. Develop SaaS business for customers based on an extensive track record in ASP, outsourcing, and system development. API: Application programming interface CE: Customer engineer APM: Application portfolio management FENICS: Brand name of Fujitsu services1) BPO: Business process outsourcing Figure 2 Fujitsu’s service provision concept. Customer application with system integration Company Individual Service management Network services (FENICS) IP-VPN Mobile access Leased lines … SaaS application services Solutions, SaaS Business/office General-purpose Market place … systems integration applications applications SaaS platform services Application platform PaaS Authentication, Software … Utilities billing development kit Resource platform IaaS Resource pool Automation Dashboards … functions Green data center facility IP-VPN: Internet protocol virtual private network Figure 3 Positioning of services in the Cloud. FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 3, (July 2009) 267
  • 4. K. Satake: Fujitsu’s Approach to SaaS in Japan—Fujitsu SaaS Platform— but also the positioning of SaaS services provided 2) SaaS application services by Fujitsu. Here, Fujitsu SaaS platform services Fujitsu provides general-purpose consist of resource-platform and application- applications and business applications as platform services, which are categorized as IaaS SaaS application services. General-purpose and PaaS, respectively. Fujitsu SaaS application applications consist of various types of common services are categorized as SaaS. services such as e-learning, groupware, and E-mail that are independent of the business 2.3 SaaS services fields. Such services are currently being provided. The service menu for the SaaS platform Business applications, meanwhile, consist of and SaaS applications can be divided into three services specific to different types of business service types (Figure 4). such as application submittal and procurement 1) SaaS platform services in local governments and administrative tasks in SaaS platform services constitute the basic medical care. These services are being rolled out components of the SaaS services provided by progressively. Fujitsu and may be used to support customer 3) SaaS business outsourcing services development of SaaS business or to construct SaaS business outsourcing services are a company’s internal IT infrastructure. They directed at companies that are developing consist of resource- and application-platform new SaaS business or companies that are services as core service functions and include reconstructing their own systems while utilizing utilities, development/testing services, and SaaS. They can be provided en bloc from Web security services as supplementary services. system development to operation management 2. SaaS application services 3. SaaS Industry Distribution Finance Medical care government government Education National Local business Business applications ... outsourcing services Various business applications System SaaS platform development Information Emergency platform Information Web video Streaming General-purpose notification, Operation e-learning Groupware E-mail SNS gathering/ Maps Conferencing safety Video management retrieval systems confirmation delivery applications Operation Secure Other Office Web Security exchange CRM/SFA EC/Web SCM Fax marketing diagnosis of e-data Maintenance 1. SaaS platform services Resource platform Application platform Utilities Development/testing Security Fujitsu Internet data center Network services (FENICS) Fujitsu servers/storage Figure 4 SaaS services. 268 FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 3, (July 2009)
  • 5. K. Satake: Fujitsu’s Approach to SaaS in Japan—Fujitsu SaaS Platform— and actual operations. 1) SaaS resource platform This platform provides system resources 2.4. SaaS service targets such as servers and storage including access SaaS services target a wide range of security from the Internet as an on-demand corporate customers from small and medium- hosting environment. The servers come equipped sized enterprises to major firms. Two cases with a wide array of software from basic for the use of SaaS services can be envisioned operating systems to open-source middleware. here: (1) construction of a company’s own IT After performance testing and security checks infrastructure to raise the efficiency of a mixed have been performed, the servers are provided to system resulting from the addition and upgrading customers. They constitute an environment that of facilities in a company with separate-work can be used immediately after applications have systems and (2) launch of new SaaS or PaaS been loaded. In contrast to existing on-demand business as part of new business development. services, in which performance and security must The latter is especially attractive to independent be tested at the construction stage in relation to software vendors, system integrators, carriers, the basic system, the SaaS resource platform is and the information systems department of superior in terms of quick startup and safety. large companies. These cases are depicted in 2) SaaS application platform Figure 5. Fujitsu provides the SaaS application platform to transform business applications to 2.5 SaaS platform Web services, execute them as SaaS applications, An overview of Fujitsu’s SaaS platform is and manage the services so provided. This shown in Figure 6. It shows the positioning platform consists of two core functions: “SaaS of related network services, development and application execution control” for controlling the testing services, and SaaS applications running actual execution of SaaS applications and “SaaS on the SaaS platform. As a platform for loading service execution management” for managing in and executing applications to be provided as SaaS, an integrated manner the operation of various the SaaS platform consists of two components. types of services that provide multiple SaaS Company For improving IT efficiency internally For SaaS/PaaS business (independent software vendors, carriers, (enterprise SaaS, private SaaS) corporate information systems departments) Service integration SaaS Customer applications Fujitsu applications Customer applications PaaS utilization PaaS utilization IT resources Application platform Utilities Development/testing Security BPO Fujitsu’s data PaaS/IaaS operation center Fujitsu SaaS platform management Networks (FENICS) Terminals 1 Figure 5 SaaS service targets. FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 3, (July 2009) 269
  • 6. K. Satake: Fujitsu’s Approach to SaaS in Japan—Fujitsu SaaS Platform— SaaS applications Business applications General-purpose applications SDK incorporation Software development ID/authentication Tenant Log management management Multi-tenant management kit (SDK) SaaS application execution control SaaS Provide services for development/testing Distribution utility group dashboard environment. Operation platform • Mashups SSO Logging control • SOA • Distributed Development/ data centers Common • Global data business testing services Application centers services Application System Performance Perf ormance Performance r rf logs logs logs logs logs Billing SaaS service execution PDF generation management SaaS platform Service integrated Fax Authentication/ Service authorization linking/operation management file ETL Development tools • Version SaaS application platform management • Application- platform test Internet connections Customer’s environment Resource pool environment Common security environment. Company B Company C Storage Company A • Firewall DBB DB DB B Increase/decrease Testing tools DBB DB DB • DNS facilities according to • Performance • Spam/virus business demands testing Web/AP countermeasures Web/AP • Security checks Web/AP Servers Linux Windows Testing Virtualization environment SaaS resource platform NGN Internet Overseas Ubiquitous Network services (FENICS ) terminals DNS: Domain name system PDF: Portable document format ETL: Extract-transform-load SSO: Single sign-on NGN: Next Generation Network DB: Database AP: Application Figure 6 Fujitsu SaaS platform. applications. These two functions are described SaaS application side to control the execution of below. SaaS application functions. SaaS application execution control targets SaaS service execution management business and general-purpose SaaS applications provides integrated management of user data, and provides user authentication functions enterprise data, authentication information, and appropriate to the access rights of logged-in other control data that must be shared between users, identification (ID) management functions multiple SaaS applications; controls function for each corporate user (tenant), screen allocation linking between applications; and provides for each tenant, multi-tenant control functions service catalog/linking functions available for use for switching between database areas, and as Web services and process-data management logging functions. Here, a software development functions for execution services. Also provided kit, which is provided as part of the “SaaS are functions for SaaS service managers. These application control” function, is incorporated as include log management functions that provide an application programming interface on the various types of logs for billing, examining system 270 FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 3, (July 2009)
  • 7. K. Satake: Fujitsu’s Approach to SaaS in Japan—Fujitsu SaaS Platform— operating conditions, tabulating availability, etc. 3.1 SaaS concerns and integrated service operation functions such There are four main points that customers as for integrating Web screens in the form of should keep in mind when applying SaaS: there operation dashboards. may be tradeoffs between enjoying SaaS benefits Looking forward, Fujitsu is also studying and satisfying business requirements, the overall the provision of a “distributed platform control” service level may drop if multiple services are function for linking SaaS applications that are used in combination, quality itself will not distributed among multiple sites. There are necessarily be improved by the application of also plans to expand “SaaS utility” functions SaaS, and business might be interrupted if the as a supplementary function group of SaaS SaaS provider withdraws. applications. SaaS utilities consist of business 1) Tradeoffs packages and business applications that are Under the assumption that SaaS cannot deemed to be necessary when providing SaaS meet all business-function requirements, the applications. They are prepared beforehand customer’s organization should have individuals and provided as a Web service function group. who can decide the pros and cons of applying The plan is to prepare an extensive array of SaaS from a business viewpoint. functions, from billing, settlement, and operation- 2) Overall service level monitoring functions that are needed to manage Although the capability of mashing up a business to form-creation, fax-delivery, Web- services is a key feature of SaaS, customers crawling, and search functions as a supplement should perform a thorough survey of how the to business functions and data-backup functions use of multiple providers or multiple services as a supplement to system operation. The various in combination may affect the performance, functions provided by the SaaS application support, and general service level of the services platform are generally released and provided in in question. They should also perform integrity the form of application programming interfaces verification of the total service level. based on the extensible markup language (XML) 3) Quality improvement and the simple object access protocol (SOAP) or When considering the application of SaaS, representational state transfer (REST) protocol. customers must think realistically about the expense, time, and staff required to obtain 3. SaaS problems and service functions and quality equivalent to that countermeasures of internally developed services. Software services have been provided 4) Business interruption for over 25 years—a period that has seen the Finally, when investigating the use of a SaaS progressive rollout of data center services, ASPs, function for which no alternative services exist, and the like. However, it has been only about the selection criteria should include the financial four years since the beginning of SaaS-related condition of the SaaS provider and alternatives activities, and even in the meantime, new should be studied. concepts such as Cloud computing have emerged. Below, we describe points that customers should 3.2 Countermeasures keep in mind when setting out to utilize SaaS Here, we describe countermeasures that and problems and countermeasures that Fujitsu Fujitsu should take to avoid the abovementioned must consider in relation to SaaS. concerns and problems that occur in relation to SaaS. This is not a transient activity. Instead, it is an ongoing effort to raise the value of services FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 3, (July 2009) 271
  • 8. K. Satake: Fujitsu’s Approach to SaaS in Japan—Fujitsu SaaS Platform— by conferring with the customer and developing 4. Direction of envisioned a common awareness of problems in conjunction services and future with the actual provision of services. developments 1) Visualizing the direct effects of using SaaS The use of SaaS can have various direct 4.1 Direction of envisioned services effects depending on the purpose of application As described in section 2.4, SaaS services and the business targeted. Although uniform target a broad range of companies, from small evaluation is difficult, we consider here the and medium-sized enterprises to major firms. possibility of evaluating the use of SaaS from the In addition, their usage format can be broadly two viewpoints of business system functions and divided into two contrasting cases: providing standard criteria. standardized services widely in their original • Business system functions: business form and incorporating individual needs while functions (applications), system functions adhering to the framework of standard services. (system infrastructure), and operation Although both cases correspond to Cloud services, functions (operation management, the former represents the public Cloud while the operations) latter represents a private or enterprise Cloud (or • Standard criteria: quality (service, load private SaaS). However, in both cases, Fujitsu reduction, and availability), performance, aims to incorporate the latest technology while safety (security and continuity), operability, taking into account the market needs of both. implementability/extensibility (speed, For the latter, in particular, Fujitsu would like to data linking, etc.), maintainability, ease of develop a better understanding of the customer’s evaluation, and cost business and extend the service functions to be 2) Reforming service provision style provided in accordance with customer needs. Upon setting out to provide SaaS services, However, it is difficult to make a big contribution Fujitsu realized that it had to revise the way it to business and management for customers of deployed and provided services, in particular, various corporate sizes by simply combining the way that it defined system business functions. As a countermeasure to this problem, requirements, designed user interfaces, Fujitsu would like to become an even greater constructed systems, and managed operations part of the customer’s business and expand its all on the basis of knowledge gained from offerings to total business outsourcing in a form constructing conventional separate work systems that combines business process outsourcing such and performing outsourcing. Fujitsu seeks self- as call center operations and print delivery and reform in provision techniques and style with the on-site outsourcing such as network management aim of launching high-quality services quickly and management of the customer’s office based on a SaaS service platform. One example equipment. of such a change would be to apply services to the customer’s business and then compensate for 4.2 Future developments differences on the basis of fit/gap analysis. The development roadmap for resource- platform, application platform, and service- visualization functions as the main functions related to the SaaS platform is shown in Figure 7. The period up to 2008 focused on studies of the business model and target market for SaaS 272 FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 3, (July 2009)
  • 9. K. Satake: Fujitsu’s Approach to SaaS in Japan—Fujitsu SaaS Platform— • Global linking • Support of distributed centers • Support of large-scale systems • Trunk-system SOA linking • Development/operation BPO Cloud services • Enterprise mashups Global SaaS platform platform Step 4 • Java-version Web-application execution platform Enterprise SaaS platform • .NET-version application execution platform • Multi-tenant operation/control Step 3 • Public application programming interface SaaS-provider SaaS SaaS p partners Customer enterprise Global expansion provision platform Step 4 Step 22 System development Application delivery Service provision platform Visualization platform Pursuit of usability Step 1 Step 3 Service tion On-site SE, CE operators Integrated control lic a Service level Cloud platform (applications) management Product, component stock center App orm Vertical integration services f visualization Step 4 pla t SaaS applications Black-box conversion Custom applications Step 2 Cloud platform Resource information (system resources) Service components visualization Marketplace Step 3 Step 1 rds form • Expansion to massive Development platform a On-demand platform by Plat SDK/run-time hbo Das virtual resources nted virtual application Orie Dashboards ice- Monitoring Step 2 components On-demand platform by Serv Virtual integration, automated operation physical resources System resource pool Step 1 • Total virtualization of urce (servers, storage, networks) o Res orm • Automatic provisioning infrastructure resources f pla t • Self configuration control Horizontally distributed resources • On-demand hosting (physical and virtual mix) 0.5 generation 1.0 generation 2.0 generation Function expansion 2008 2009 2010 2011 SE: Systems engineer Figure 7 Future developments. services and the selection of products for business and medium-sized enterprises to major firms expansion, platforms using those products, and enterprise SaaS. To this end, the resource and SaaS applications like e-learning. It was platform will come to provide hosting services a period of preparation for full-scale expansion. based on virtual servers in combination with the For software vendors, as well, it was a period conventional scale-out type of on-demand services for making sense of a new situation, that is, for based on physical servers. Moreover, in terms differentiating the new business model from that of application platform functions, a platform of the existing one for selling packaged software, for loading Java-version and .NET-version Web for sorting out target customers, and so on. The applications as PaaS will be provided. The period year for the genuine launch of SaaS is considered up to and including 2009 can be regarded as first- to be 2009. First, to promote SaaS services to generation SaaS using existing Fujitsu products small and medium-sized enterprises, 2009 will and separately constructed systems. see the launch of the SaaS Platform Project for 2010 will be the beginning of second- Small and Medium-sized Enterprises promoted generation SaaS featuring the introduction of by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry new technologies. For the resource platform, the (METI). This project is expected to encourage objective will be to have the customer himself software vendors to turn their efforts toward select a configuration of servers, storage, and SaaS development. Second, with regard to SaaS other system resources that best meets business services, the need to make the SaaS platform into needs and to have him use virtualized services. a corporate IT platform is being felt, which signals For the application platform, the objective will be a transition in the target market from small to provide total services by incorporating a Web- FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 3, (July 2009) 273
  • 10. K. Satake: Fujitsu’s Approach to SaaS in Japan—Fujitsu SaaS Platform— based service oriented architecture platform and service concepts, service definitions, functions, service mashup technologies as well as business service levels, etc. In other words, SaaS services process outsourcing services for application are now in a state very much like an expanding to corporate IT. Looking forward, the plan Cloud. Both customers and providers need to is to support service execution from multiple throw off the illusion that these services will be distributed service centers and to extend able to cover all types of corporate business. On functions and services with an eye to global the provider side, we are obsessed with learning expansion. more about the customer’s business and place top priority on solutions where the application of SaaS 5. Conclusion or Cloud services will be most effective. Instead In this paper, we described Fujitsu’s of beginning with server mechanisms, Fujitsu approach to SaaS, problems and countermeasures stresses establishing a trusting relationship and in SaaS development, the direction that services partnership with customers while remaining are expected to take, and future developments, committed to adding value to the customer’s in Japan as a first step toward global expansion. business. Our plan is to standardize and release The coming of new services like SaaS and Cloud SaaS service functions that fully reflect customer services should bring about drastic changes not needs. only in the format of IT systems, but also in business style. These services, however, have Reference only just begun; they are at various stages within 1) FENICS. (in Japanese). http://fenics.fujitsu.com/networkservice/ each company in which customer expectations and provider-proposed concepts and ideas precede Koji Satake Fujitsu Ltd. Mr. Satake joined Fujitsu Ltd. in 1982 and worked on the development and deployment of electronic data interchange packages. In 1985, he started to develop and deliver a network application service platform, which was the ancestor of the SaaS business. In 1990, he led the IT outsourcing business, which provides system operation services for customers. In 2003, he directed ASP services and Web system integration. He has directed SaaS business since 2006. 274 FUJITSU Sci. Tech. J., Vol. 45, No. 3, (July 2009)