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By - Darren Straight

Fujitsu celebrates 75 years of innovation from 1935-2010

This month Fujitsu is celebrating its 75 year anniversary – a milestone very few other global IT companies have reached.  Fujitsu, which is today the largest Japanese employer in the UK and Ireland (11,500 employees), has been a fundamental part of some of the IT industry’s most notable breakthroughs and innovations – from the early days of telephone switching in the 1930s; the mainframe and parallel computing generation of the 1970s, to more recent inventions such as palm vein authentication and the world’s first 3D PC.
Today Fujitsu is a £2 billion revenue company in the UK and Ireland; managing over 1 million desktops across government departments and private organisations; was the first company in Europe to have a Tier III certified data centre, and recently won the UK’s largest desktop and thin client outsource deal with the Department for Work and Pensions.   Globally the company is ranked by Gartner as the worlds third largest IT services provider based on total revenue*; employs 170,000 people worldwide; is present in 70 countries, and reported revenues of 4.6 trillion yen ($50bn) in the financial year ending 31 March 2010.
History of Fujitsu
Fujitsu’s roots began in rebuilding the telecommunications infrastructure in Japan after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 had destroyed much of the public infrastructure of Tokyo and Yokohama.  In 1935 Fuji Tsushinki Manufacturing Corporation, the company which later became Fujitsu Limited, was founded as an offshoot of the communications division of Fuji Electric Co, Ltd. 
In 1990 Fujitsu took an 80% stake in the British International Computers Limited (ICL).  In 1998 ICL became a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu and was known as Fujitsu ICL.  The company dropped the ICL name in 2002 and is now known as just Fujitsu. 
In 2008 Fujitsu acquired Siemens’ 50% stake in the PC, server and storage joint venture Fujitsu Siemens Computer and in 2009 took full control and renamed it Fujitsu Technology Solutions.  
Commenting on the milestone of 75 years, Fujitsu UK and Ireland CEO, Roger Gilbert, said: “Companies with as long a history as Fujitsu inevitably change in shape and focus over the years.  What has remained constant and will continue to do so is the corporate philosophy and ethos of customer focused innovation that runs through the company.  We’re entering a new chapter of our history as the world changes in the way that technology is adopted and used by the masses, both in the developed and developing worlds. 
Roger continued: The unprecedented challenges that organisations are facing in today’s economy mean that IT is finally being recognised as a driving force in helping businesses overcome some of those challenges.  The future for Fujitsu is about how we can work with our customers to move beyond the here and now and help them ‘shape tomorrow’.”
Global Fujitsu chief technology officer (CTO) Marc Silvester, added: “IT in the future at all levels will not be a finished product.  The future is about a living, breathing IT infrastructure where change is going to become much more rapid and predictable.  IT will be built for change rather than have change ‘done to it’.  The big departure in the next few years is the move to a subscription model.  No longer will it be a case of simply paying for what you use, rather one where different types of information have a value and therefore where you can ‘subscribe and thrive’.”
An interview with Marc on his predictions for the next 75 years is available as part of this social media release and can be viewed on the Fujitsu website http://www.fujitsu.com/uk/news/video/newsflashes/75-years.html
Key Fujitsu innovations have included:
1935 – The Step-by-Step telephone switching machine
1945 – The Fuji Model-3 telephone
1954 – The Facom-100 mainframe computer
1974 – The ICL 2900 series mainframe (ICL)
1979 – The ICL Distributed Array Processor, the world’s first parallel computer (ICL)
1980 – The Oays 100 first Japanese language word processor
1989 – Colour plasma displays
2003 – Palm Vein authentication
2010 – the world’s first 3D PC
Further information on Fujitsu’s history can be found here
Photographs of the products and innovations that have made Fujitsu famous can be found here.

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