Fujitsu turns attention to workflow management to lift employee experience


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Image: Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

Fujitsu is usually the one providing the technology to help customers solve problems. But this time around, the Japanese conglomerate was the one having issues.

As Fujitsu executive officer, EVP, and global services business group head Tim White described during the ServiceNow Knowledge 22 Sydney event on Wednesday, the company may be a global organisation, but it did not necessarily build out like one.  

“We started as a product-based organisation and like many product-based global organisations, we expanded almost like a franchise [through] a country-based model, so we have regions and countries,” he said.

“What basically happened was what each country had in common was this ability to basically build their own services portfolio around this, but those portfolios and the services behind that — the systems — were not connected.”

White said the result of this structure meant that Fujitsu’s customer experience “was fantastic at the frontline” but it created a poor employee experience as the company continued to grow.

In an effort to improve employee experience, Fujitsu turned to ServiceNow to help redesign its internal processes, so its global offices were connected in the back-end.

“We looked at workflow in our organisation … then we said, ‘How do we redesign our processes to be efficient, to be connected on a global basis, and [be] empowered by our systems overall?'” White said.

“Replacing the back-end in many countries is long, it’s expensive, and we couldn’t wait, so we looked for bridges. How can we use workflow and then technology as bridges across those legacy technology platforms.”

The program, which remains ongoing, was put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic, White said.

“My organisation, I have about 40,000 people all over the world, and we had to bring on thousands of people into our organisation, without ever physically meeting someone or going into an office. We were able to use ServiceNow to define our onboarding process and that’s for HR, IT, finance, the facilities, everything required to link together for an employee experience as they onboard — from interviewing, selection, right through to joining the organisation and induction,” he said.  

“At one point … we had some employees who joined us, work for us, and exited without physically coming into an office, so we use ServiceNow to talk about the whole workflow of the employee experience.”

White highlighted the importance of raising the standard of employee experiences, particularly during a time of the great resignation.

“If we can increase the employee experience and what they do every day, we can attract and retain the right employees. If we do that right with a digital experience, it means people are empowered to do their work — it’s efficient and effective. Those two combinations will drive the customer experience at the end of the day,” White said.

Earlier this week, Fujitsu announced together with Japanese scientific research institute Riken the launch of a joint research project that would involve using supercomputer Fugaku to speed up drug discovery technology to ultimately reduce the development period and cost for new drug development.

According to Fujitsu, through the research, the pair hope to develop an IT drug discovery technology that can analyse targeted protein, as well speed up and improve the accuracy of molecular simulation by the end of fiscal 2026. 

The Japanese conglomerate also signed last week an agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop and provide a full managed solution for finance and retail industries, while also helping customers develop and operate new systems and modernise existing systems using AWS services. 

Under the agreement, Fujitsu said it plans to train and certify 600 of its systems engineers responsible for the finance and retail industries over the next three years with AWS cloud skills.

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