By Eimear Dodd freelance journalist/writer

Some insights from Robin Lipscomb, Digital Workplace Services Director of Portfolio and Offerings at Fujitsu EMEIA. We spoke to Robin at the recent Fujitsu Forum in Munich. The interview has been condensed and lightly edited.

Can you please tell us a bit about what your role entails?

I look after all of the end user services within EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) for Fujitsu. That stretches from our service desk business through to the desktops that we use and the mobile devices that we manage and utilise as well as our breakfix business. We’ve put a completely new spin on the way that these services are consumed and we understand that there’s a real requirement for more analytical views of the services. We’re looking to streamline those services and also use it as an aggregation environment which pulls all of the user’s attention to a centralised infrastructure.

The final pillar is our intelligent engineering. This uses proactive and preventive services based on strong service intelligence gathered from analytics and machine information. Then we can apply this as contextual information to deliver applications or services at the right time for the user.

The service aspect appears to be an important part of your role. Is digital co-creation about being in partnership with your customers?

Digital co-creation is all about working with our customers to develop fast activities, fast deployments and fast prototypes to find something which creates value for both sides. We’re looking to develop environments using hackathons and garage type sessions to incubate and develop stuff that really means something to those customers we’re working with and then replicating and standardising those services as we go forward.

And is it a very collaborative process?

Absolutely, very collaborative. There’s a lot of brainstorming. Different ideas come in from various locations. The most important thing is to be able to get in, speak to all of the right stakeholders and then be able to deliver something as a prototype very quickly so that you can prove the value. It’s a bit like the fail fast mentality. You can go down lots of routes and develop applications but if they’re not going to meet the end user requirements, then actually we should probably park that to one side and start again.

What do you think is the value of events such as Fujitsu Forum?

I think the key value is that we get to see a sense of community. We get to see a lot of customers and we’re always learning no matter what we’re doing. As soon as we start thinking we know better than the customers, we’re in a very dangerous cycle. We’re always creating, working out whether or not we’re on the right path and then tweaking it slightly. These events are a great way for our customers to see what we’re developing and also a great way for us to soft test the market to see whether we’re resonating in some areas.

Is there anything you think I should have asked/would like to add?

For me, there’s three key points. Firstly, it’s about simplicity of the service. In the past, you almost needed to be an IT expert to interoperate with some of these services. Now we just want people to consume these services easily.

Secondly, it’s about personalisation. This means providing you with the right information at the right time. Say you’ve got a meeting in London and you take a plane from Dublin, it’s about being able to triangulate your journey so a car meets you at the airport. Maybe the car brings you to a coffee shop because you’ve got 15 minutes to spare. This could be linked into the social side too. You might like to go to the rugby, an opera or something else while you’re in London. Wouldn’t it be great if we could also contextually provide you with those services?

Thirdly, the contextual side is about the right security at the right time. If you’ve got sensitive applications or services that you have access to when you’re in the office, we might not want you to have those if you’re working in a customer location. In the past, we would have to look at which applications have been provisioned in the right way and whether you should be given domain access. What we do now is we actually sense where you are based a number of factors including location, the device you’re using, whether it could be a compromised device etc. We can actually stop you gaining access to some of those sensitive services. This starts to make it a lot more seamless for the user.

It’s about unshackling users. What we’ve discovered is that if you’ve got a device that you use at work and you use it at home, actually you’re probably going to be more efficient because when an email comes in, you tend to just deal with it. It’s about enabling people.

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