Fujifilm Business Innovation: ERP, growth engines and the All Blacks

Published on the 30/11/2023 | Written by Heather Wright

Fujifilm Business Innovation: ERP, growth engines and the All Blacks

Global boss Naoki Hama on what’s driving his company…

Fujifilm Business Innovation is gearing up for a wider ERP play across Australia and New Zealand in the coming year.

The Japanese company acquired Sydney-based IT services company MicroChannel Services – which also had a small Auckland presence – in February in an effort to push its ERP plans into the global markets, after moving into ERP in Japan in 2021 with the acquisition of Hoya Digital Solutions, which it used to establish Fujifilm Digital Solutions.

“The A/NZ market is the engine, a really strong, central force within our company.”

Naoki Hama, Fujifilm Business Innovation president and CEO, told iStart that while MicroChannel Services had been focused on Australia, with only a small operation in New Zealand, going forward ERP will take on a bigger role for Fujifilm Business Innovation New Zealand.

“As part of offering clients services and business solutions, ERP is a very fundamental, important play. ERP is a vital link and a service we need to offer for clients,” Hama, who is currently on a flying visit to Australia and New Zealand, says.

In particular, the company is eyeing up the SMB market, saying smaller businesses lack the resource and technology and MicroChannel’s ERP implementation capabilities are particularly suited for the SMB market.

Hama, who professes to having a soft spot for New Zealand – in particular its wines – says New Zealand and Australia are growth engines for the company.

“I really see Australia and New Zealand as leaders in the field in terms of service and solutions.  They have both really taken on digital transformation so much faster and more advanced than other regions.

“The New Zealand and Australian market is very important and for the company as a whole it is the engine, a really strong, central force within our company.”

In the New Zealand market around half of the company’s business is solutions and services based. Hama says both New Zealand and Australia are reference models for Fujifilm’s wider business.

So what sets the local markets apart and is helping drive Fujifilm Business Innovation’s local success?

Hama, a keen rugby fan, draws on some All Blacks inspiration.

“I look on the All Blacks and how tough they are, and the mindset and that impresses me and that comes through in the people here as well. I think New Zealanders and Australians are very honest people, tough, and they get on with things and they’re also an easy business partner for clients to collaborate and work with.”

Hama’s visit is also an opportunity to catch up with new Australian managing director Yasuyuki Matsumoto, who took on the role earlier this month, replacing Takashi Otani, who has moved to a position in the company’s Japanese headquarters.

IT spending in Australia is expected to reach more than $133b billion next year, led largely by software and IT services. Fujifilm is open that it is keen to tap the ‘enormous’ opportunity that exists to support companies in their digital transformations.

The company itself has undergone a major transformation, from a multifunction printer manufacturer and sales company (or even further back a photographic film manufacturer) to its current iteration, rebranded in 2021 to highlight the increasing wider business solutions push with its broader range of products and solutions.

Hama says that internal transformation has provided knowledge the company is harnessing to help its own customers today.

“We are in the unique position of being able to share with them our knowledge of from our own digital transformation and for example smart working and business solutions – we are in that position to be able to offer our knowledge and specialised know-how to clients.”

The company hasn’t been shy about acquiring businesses to broaden its portfolio of offerings.

It has acquired several Australian companies since 2010, including CSG and its CodeBlue subsidiary, which it bought in 2020 for AU$140 million.

Hama says the acquisitions have enabled the company to add a range of services to its portfolio, including digital marketing and security.

In June this year, Fujifilm launched a CodeBlue managed IT service into Japan. On the flip side, the company has also introduced the IW Pro cloud service which supports customer business process transformation – developed in Japan – into New Zealand.

“It is going both ways,” Hama says.

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