Ideas, insight and Insider at Fujitsu Forum 2011
Written: Marko, 16.11.2011
When the Blue1 Boeing 717 landed last Friday at Helsinki Airport at 01:20 I was tired but happy. It had been great last two days at the Fujitsu Forum 2011 with Lifebook4Life crew and insiders but now it was time to return to the routines. Work. Fujitsu Forum 2011 was held at the International Conference Centre Munich (ICM) 9.-10.11.2011 and presented many innovative ideas, solutions and insight about reshaping the IT. Words can't properly describe the experience visiting the Forum but read on and also check out the photos from Facebook and you will feel part of it.
First day, 9.11.2011
I'm not really a morning person so waking up at 03:30 for the flight departing from Helsinki Airport at 06:35 wasn't my usual routine but fortunately you can sleep at the plane. I also met Chryssa who was also traveling from Helsinki and the trip to Fujitsu Forum was starting great although the flight was about 1h 30min late. But no worries as we had plenty of time. It had been nice sunny weather above the clouds but below it was a foggy day in Germany as we arrived at Munich Airport. We spotted the revolving door, took some pictures and headed for the hotel which was surprisingly quite far from the airport. Our hotel IBIS München Messe in Feldkirche was relatively small but homely.
Me and Chryssa were first to arrive at the hotel but Giacomo and Aba arrived soon after and we headed for the Conference Centre where Giacomo and Chryssa did a short introduction. As we all were starving we didn't wait for the official meeting in 45 minutes but decided to checkout the Press Lounge's lunch. It was great. After lunch it was time to meet the Lifebook4Life crew Pascal, Alisa (and later Verena) and Fujitsu's Daniel and begin our Fujitsu Forum 2011 experience. The team had provided us with an agenda which was full of action so these two days would be interesting.
The International Conference Centre Munich is beautiful for a conference centre and although it can handle up to 12,000 participants it wasn't too crowded. I heard something about over 7,000 participants. Our day at the conference started with a Press Q&A session with Dr. Joseph Reger, CTO of Fujitsu Technology Solutions. There was a lot of talk about Android, security and of course clouds. Fujitsu has a different products and solutions in Japan but they are thinking about introducing some of them like smartphones and cloud applications also to European market.
The Exhibition part of the Forum showed Fujitsu's solutions to different businesses and showcased also new products. We had a guided tour which gave some nice views of what things Fujitsu does and is going to do. Tablet based solutions were a big thing with rugged tablets for medical use and especially the new waterproof Android slate, which is available in Japan with DoCoMo brand, gathered lots of crowds to marvel it. It seemed great and I hope that they bring it also to Europe and update it to use Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Aba already did a short preview of the tablet.
Our day was organized around sessions and time in the Press Lounge to eat, blog and tweet. Unfortunately the WiFi connectivity to the Internet was slow and a bit unrealiable so couldn't really update things properly. But at least the food and coffee was excellent.
Next on our schedule was an interview with Meinolf Althaus, Director Client Product Strategy / Innovation, who gave us honest answers to our tough questions escpecially about the short comings of the Stylistic Q550. He agreed on many issues, showed us a new prototype of the case with better design and said that there will be new revisions of the tablet which fix things. It was great to hear Meinolf views about things and he had a good vision about how products should be designed but there are always challenges on the way. There could have been some place reserved for us but by sitting on the floor made the interview a bit more informal which was nice.
The first day at the conference was coming to an end but before that it was time for some celebration. The Celebration Night started with some German food like bagels with bratwurst and Weißbier. Excellent. And of course the mainstar for the night Anastacia was fantastic. Pop on! We also saw some dancing robots, dancing Chryssa, flying drummers and other performers.
Second day, 10.11.2011
Our second day at the Fujitsu Forum 2011 was more or less free of organized program so after meeting at the Press Lounge we checked which keynotes and sessions would be nice to attend.
We had some free time to check out the exhibition and Giacomo and Aba decided to do some laser engravings to their smartphones. It was worth seeing the look when Aba's smartphone's backcover got on fire as the material was maybe too soft for the laser. Giacomo's engraving went like it should have although he placed the phone wrong side up. Oops. Anyways both phones worked fine after.
On the "Competitive Product Analysis Session" we got to know how Fujitsu's Lifebooks and other products compared to the competition. The Lifebooks were well thought and other brands paled. Well, Thinkpads were also good. As we previously talked with Meinolf about the Stylistic Q550, Giacomo and Aba provided some tech support for Chryssa as her Q550 had problems.
The flight to Finland was departing on the evening so I had time to participate both Dr. Joseph Reger keynote provocatively titled "Boring IT" and Garry Kasparov "Reshaping For Breakthrough Innovations" keynote. Both speeches were excellent. IT wasn't boring and Reger told us how Fujitsu and partners are working to improve things through software and hardware. Kasparov talked about how the speed of innovation has slowed down in the past decades and being horizontal, incrementing old ideas. He encouraged us to do vertical innovation and take risks, create new things and experiment.
But as always every fun thing comes to an end and after Kasparov's keynote it was time to take a cab to the airport. Our flight departed at 20:20 so we had good time to do some shopping at the stores and eat. The weather was still foggy in Munich and our plane was fortunately just 10-15 minutes late as we had to catch our connecting flight from Copenhagen to Helsinki. We made it with 10 minutes left. Thanks to Chryssa the trip went fast and there wasn't a boring moment :)
The trip to Fujitsu Forum 2011 was exciting and fun. It was nice to meet the crew and other insiders and of course hear about Fujitsu's innovative ideas, have insight and learn about things to come in the future. But can't tell you about those :) Thanks again to Fujitsu and the Lifebook4Life crew. Great work!
For more insight from the Fujitsu Forum 2011 from Lifebook4Life view read
"Fujitsu Forum 2011 - Clouds Gadgets and a popstar",
Dave's "What a week",
Aba's "Fujitsu Forum 2011: That's what I call an event" or
Chryssa's "Highlights and insights from the "Reshaping IT" - Fujitsu Forum 2011".
A short Finnish recap can be found at my blog.