Planning for Fujitsu Forum 2014: Human Centric Innovation

In late November it's again time for business- and IT decision-makers, experts, project managers, IT architects, consultants and bloggers to travel to Munich, Germany to visit Fujitsu’s largest IT-event in Europe: Fujitsu Forum 2014. This year the event is held 19th and 20th November at the ICM in Munich and there will probably be over 10,000 attendees around the world getting insights and looking for strategic and operative ways to modernize and develop their own IT or the IT landscapes of their customers. Last year I was one of the bloggers invited by Fujitsu to visit Fujitsu Forum 2013 and it was an insightful experience.

The motto of the Fujitsu Forum 2014 is "Human Centric Innovation" which expresses focus on a safe and prosperous future through innovations in information and communication technology. The event description tells us that these ICT innovations strongly support enterprises, public organizations and individuals in creating wealth and value. In overall Fujitsu Forum is a good place to find innovations that reduce costs and risks as well as increase agility and improve efficiency. Big and important words but what does it mean in practice? The event overview with summary about keynotes and breakout sessions gives you some idea about the different topics covered so let’s take a short look at the events I would select to attend.

There are a lot of simultaneous events so to make it easier to organize the events of your choice there's an excellent schedule builder. The presentations in in the list of Keynotes and Breakout sessions are divided in three conference tracks: "Human Empowerment", "Connected Infrastructure", "Creative Intelligence". The topics cover themes like how to design the future, workplace of 2020, tablet meets notebook, digital transformation, wearable technologies, Internet of Things and connected vehicles. Overall I selected 14 sessions to my agenda but pruned it to three keynotes and five breakout sessions as you don’t have time for every interesting topic.

From Fujitsu Forum 2013: Keynote
From Fujitsu Forum 2013: Breakout session

Keynote: Human Centric Innovation & how to design the future by Tango Matsumoto and Brian Johnson (Intel), 19 November, 11:00, Auditorium

"How value can be generated for your business and for our society by the new Human Centric Innovation approach. Matsumoto will explain how Fujitsu contributes to business growth and the resolution of social challenges which will set the scene for all the subsequent presentations."

"What kind of future do you want to live in? What are you excited about and what concerns you? What is your request of the future? Brian Johnson answers these questions and more with The Tomorrow Project, a fascinating initiative to investigate not only the future of computing but also the broader implications on our lives and planet."

Workplace Anywhere - Increasing enterprise productivity by David Rosewell, Simon Gray and Thomas Zell, 19 November, 13:00, Room 13b

"Organizations are mobilizing the enterprise to deliver both increased productivity and cost savings. They seek to empower and enable their people to get the job done and look to embrace more flexible working practices to maximize productivity. We will guide you through the options and a vision for the 2020 workplace to identify your ideal workplace strategy."

Keynote: Fujitsu and its customers by Jürgen Walter, 19 November, 14:00, Auditorium

"Human Centric Innovation is for a world where technology complements all of our lives. A place where information continually delivers knowledge and innovation thrives. How does Fujitsu implement this vision and how do customers benefit from it? Jürgen Walter will address these questions, depicting some remarkable customer examples."

Fujitsu Laboratories Group’s R&D vision and key initiatives by Hideyuki Saso, 19 November, 15:00, Room 13b

"Fujitsu Laboratories’ R&D vision, highlighting key activities, under a mission to conduct R&D from a mid to long-term perspective, to generate new business models and discover new markets to drive Fujitsu’s business. We backcast future markets, products and services, engaging in trend-conscious R&D of: platform/applied/verification technologies, ubiquitous computing domain human interfaces and devices, data-leveraging domain knowledge platforms and cybersecurity, ICT platform domain computing and networking, software-supporting product development and manufacturing, and electronic devices. By interlinking such technologies, we aim to drive global business."

Keynote: Digital Transformation & Fujitsu in Society by Joseph Reger and Duncan Tait, 20 November, 10:00, Auditorium

"As the Internet and other information and communication technologies penetrate all areas and aspects of life, business and infrastructure, a hyper-connected world is created. Digital and analog businesses, processes and, indeed, worlds converge on the basis of ICT technologies. Innovation accelerates, new value propositions and new businesses are created, existing businesses fundamentally transformed. What this development means, what technologies it requires and will create and how to not just cope with it but how to make good use of it, is the subject of the presentation."

"Fujitsu uses the power of technology to contribute to the development of sustainable societies around the world. Working with both businesses and governments, in fields as diverse as energy, transportation, food, health, the environment, and education, Fujitsu’s ICT can drive social innovation and generate solutions. Duncan will present highlights from this area of Fujitsu’s activities and show that the company’s vision of a Human Centric Intelligent Society is already becoming a reality."

The human-centric workplace: Joy and efficiency got married by Christian Bock, Markus Seifart and Jeffrey Shomper, 20 November, 12:00, Room 13b,

"A successful workplace IT strategy is all about people. Generation Y and BYOD drive a new understanding of workplace IT, one that puts the user at the center and embraces individuality. Progressive companies realize that this new thinking boosts both productivity and employee satisfaction. Fujitsu shares best practices that empower users to achieve their full potential."

Wearable technologies for human empowerment by Naoyuki Sawazaki, 20 November, 13:00, Room 12

"Although various types of wearable devices such as eyeglasses, watches and other gadgets for health and fitness are gaining more attention in consumer markets, the true potential of wearable technologies lies in enterprise or business use. Because they enable users to get ICT support in a hands-free manner, they offer a clear advantage especially for workers in factory or building maintenance and other onsite operations to make their work more efficient, with fewer errors and oversights, even when they are not experts. In this session, current trends of wearable technologies are briefly reviewed, and then, research activities in Fujitsu Laboratories including the newly developed glove-style wearable device are introduced."

Exploiting IoT & Hyperconnectivity - A Life & Death Example by Joseph Reger and Antonio Jara, 20 November, 15:00, Room 13b

"The Internet of Things promises to create huge new opportunities in business and society. In this session we demonstrate the use of Fujitsu RunMyProcess to connect wearables, mobiles, cloud software and physical sensors in order to show how time saved through hyperconnectivity could literally mean the difference between life and death for a critically injured cyclist."

And of course there's a comprehensive exhibition of products and solutions which reveals e.g. how data center and client landscapes can be improved through innovation initiatives. Though this year I'm not sure what to expect and look forward to regarding Fujitsu's Ultrabooks and tablets. Anyways the exhibition offered by Fujitsu and its partners has always been interesting. Last year we got i.a. hands-on with U904 and T904 Ultrabooks and tested the 360 degree video conferences and collaboration setup.

From Fujitsu Forum 2013: Intelligent desk
From Fujitsu Forum 2013: 360 degree video conferences

We all love technical topics and talks but there's time also for refreshments and entertainment. On Wednesday evening there's an opportunity to enjoy Oktoberfest themed evening event. It's a nice entertainment and networking opportunity with drinks and special Bavarian dishes. Last year there was crispy roast chicken (Hendl), spiced strips of pork belly (Hüttenspeck), bread and dripping (Schmalzbrot), chive bread, savory cheese spread with pretzels (Obatzda und Brezn). Hmmm, and now I’m again hungry :)

Fujitsu Forum with keynotes, breakout sessions and exhibition looks interesting and also this year I'm one of the Fujitsu Digital Influencer program's bloggers invited to visit Fujitsu Forum 2014. It will be exciting to see the latest technology trends and other bloggers and Master your Business campaign team. In other news I'm again taking part in Fujitsu's Master Your Business campaign which starts on November 6th. The campaign will be fun as I just got the device I'm testing and it's pretty sweet.

Until then, read about my insights from last year’s Fujitsu Forum 2013 where I was invited by Fujitsu and follow me on Twitter (@walokra) for technology insights and maybe we will see on 18th and 20th November at the ICM in Munich.

Mastering my business with LIFEBOOK U904

Technology has changed our workplace and the tools we use to master our business by replacing the desktop computers with laptops and Ultrabooks and also enabling us to work regardless of our location. For couple of months I have been testing Fujitsu's LIFEBOOK U904 as part of the Master your business campaign and put the Ultrabook through different tasks and tested how it performs. As the project has turned to it's last third let's see what have been my experiences. Also there's still time for readers to take part and win an overnight stay at a Marriott hotel.

Couple of months with LIFEBOOK U904


It has been about three months since I got Fujitsu's LIFEBOOK U904 to be used for the Master your business campaign with 16 other bloggers. During that time I have put the Ultrabook through different tasks and tested how it performs to the campaign blog.

This far I have explored the topics and features of LIFEBOOK U904 concerning its special features like display, touchscreen, security, vPro, explored what are Fujitsu's services and solutions and though about how the workplace and changed and how the future workplace might look like. We also tested unified communications and collaboration tools with 10 other insiders and experts. The Master your business campaign has turned to it's last third and there's still five exciting tasks to fulfill although I have "earned" to keep my precious new Ultrabook.

As I previously wrote the Fujitsu LIFEBOOK U904 is marble black with aluminium and magnesium housing which makes it robust and light. Behind the 14" screen there’s brilliant IGZO touchscreen with 3200 x 1800 resolution and it’s run by Intel Haswell Core i5-4200U -processor and integrated HD Graphics 4400. It comes with Windows 8.1 Professional and 6 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD drive. To make it a perfect for mobile office the U904 is equipped with embedded 3G/LTE modem. You can also find full size Ethernet port, WLAN, Bluetooth and dock connector. Also the power adapter is now pretty small compared to previous models.

Couple of months with Fujitsu’s second generation Ultrabook has been good and it still feels good although some aspects could be better. Notebook Check has made good review of LIFEBOOK U904 and on most parts I agree what they have to say about different aspects of U904. They also have some nice pictures also from behind the bottom plate.

The multitouch screen is an edge-to-edge glass pane with 3200x1800 resolution makes single pixels are virtually invisible and picture is sharp. It also brings more usable scenarios for Windows 8 but it would be better if it could be turned around for tablet use with pen as the T904 is capable. I'm not quite adjusted to use the full potential of the 10-point multitouch screen but it works great. The display's hinges are firm but the screen is still wobbling slightly when inputs are made. As the screen isn't antiglare coated it can be annoying to use in bright environments.

The chiclet keyboard works nicely and is responsive but is a bit tough to press and thus doesn’t have as precise and sharp feeling as in my Macbook Pro. And if the evening gets dark you can turn on the keyboard backlight. The touchpad is generous in size and smoother than before and inputs are accurate. The stereo speakers’ sound is a bit cold and hard but using headphones is fine. The connectivity is good with WiFi capable of 2.4 and 5.0 GHz bands but unfortunately doesn't support the ac standard. The Wi-Fi card can be exchanged if required. The more interesting part is the embedded 3G/LTE support for situations where you don't have WLAN.

The ultrabook is is barely audible when idling but fan speeds up during load and the laptop starts to squeal even during simple load (fan speeds up temporarily) which is unpleasant. The machine is very cool in both idle and low load and doesn't get very hot even with heavy load (due throttling). The battery runtime is great with light use and lasts for over 12 hours and with more active use with WiFi and surfing the internet you get about 6,5 hours. It takes about 2 hours to recharge.

The serviceability and upgradeability are ok and by opening the bottom tray it is possible to access all important components. The batter is non-removable but you can upgrade the SO-DIMM memory module and the 2.5-inch size SSD. Also the you can access the fan for cleaning purposes.

Although LIFEBOOKs are meant for business applications they can be also used for entertainment like light gaming. The graphics chip could be Iris Pro series but also the 4400 has enough power to run for example Mark of the Ninja, Dead Space, Rocksmith and Alan Wake. You just have to take care to leave the bottom's fan outlet clear or the CPU and GPU throttles as the machine heats up. Also it seems that it does not max out its Turbo Boost.

I also ran couple of performance tests:

The machine performs nicely and is more than enough for office work and with the SSD there are barely any waiting times. The test results are somewhat higher than e.g. LIFEBOOK U772 Ultrabook which has Intel Core i5-3427U (1.8 GHz) and Intel HD Graphics 4000. It got 3DMark 06: 4501 and PCMark 7: 4146.

Technical specifications

The Fujitsu LIFEBOOK U904 can be configured as you need and my specimen has the following features:

  • Display: 3200 x 1800 (WQHD+) IGZO touch screen, 14" (35.6 cm), LED backlight
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4200U, 3 MB, 1.6 GHz @ 2.6 GHz
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4400
  • Harddrive: 128GB SSD SATA III, 2.5"
  • Memory: 6 GB, 1 -module, 2 GB integrated, DDR3, 1600 MHz, PC3-12800, SO DIMM
  • Network:
    • WLAN: Intel Centrino 7260 802.11 a/b/g/n
    • Mobile: Sierra Wireless EM8805 / LTE Sierra Wireless EM7305
    • LAN: 10/100/1000 MBit/s Intel 218LM
  • Antennas: Dual band WLAN antennas, 2 UMTS/LTE, 1 Bluetooth antenna
  • Sound: Realtek ALC283
  • Battery: 45 Wh, Li-Ion 4-cell, 10 hours, charge 2 hours
  • Interfaces: Bluetooth 4.0, SD/SDHC/SDXC -memory card reader, SIM-slot, 2 x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, Ethernet (RJ-45)
  • Other: Fingerprint sensor, backlit keyboard, magnesium lid, stereo-speakers, integrated Web-camera (HD), dock connector
  • Operating system: Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 329.9 x 229.9 x 15.5 mm
  • Weight: 1,39 kg

Summary

Fujitsu LIFEBOOK U904 is the second generation of Ultrabooks from Fujitsu and is a solid business device and feels much better than the previous U772. The 14" sized Ultrabook has elegant design, is ultra-slim and light but still robust with aluminium and magnesium housing. The IGZO 3200x1800 resolution multitouch screen is brilliant and sharp. The machine performs nicely and is more than enough for office work although under heavy load the CPU and GPU throttles easily. The keyboard and touch pad works nicely and pretty smoothly. For mobile workers the connectivity options are great with 3G/LTE and long battery runtime. Also the power adapter is now pretty small compared to previous models and is easier to carry with you. Here in Finland you can get the U904 from Verkkokauppa.com with 1900 euros.

Pros:

  • Touch screen is brilliant
  • Light, slim and robust housing
  • Connectivity: WiFi, LAN, 3G/LTE
  • Somewhat repairable and upgradable
  • Performance for office work
  • Docking connector

Cons:

  • CPU & GPU throttling: don't provide maximum performance
  • Fan placement at the bottom isn't optimized
  • Speaker's sound is metallic

Master your business campaign

Tool for diverse work environments

I’ve been testing the LIFEBOOK U904 as part of Fujitsu’s Master your business campaign with 16 other bloggers around the Europe and Middle East. Part of the participants tests the ESPRIMO Q920 minicomputer. The campaign will last about three months until 11.4.2014 and there will be 15 tasks for the bloggers to solve. I have done the two thirds of the tasks so I can keep this nice Ultrabook. Also the readers can participate and win an overnight stay at a Marriott hotel.

This far I have explored the topics and features of LIFEBOOK U904 concerning its special features like display, touchscreen, security, vPro, explored what are Fujitsu's services and solutions and though about how the workplace and changed and how the future workplace might look like. We also tested unified communications and collaboration tools with 10 other insiders and experts. Read the detailed solutions from my campaign profile and for more insights about information technology follow me in Twitter.

Check out the Master you business campaign site for more information about LIFEBOOK U904 Ultrabook and ESPRIMO Q920 minicomputer. There are lots of interesting articles and creative solutions to the tasks.