Samsung and Fujitsu to build artificial intelligence hubs in France
Research into artificial intelligence will ramp up in France after both Samsung and Fujitsu committed to investment in the country.
French President Emmanuel Macron met with Young Sohn, the Samsung executive, earlier this week, with the Japanese firm then revealing its roadmap to develop AI capabilities.
By the end of 2018 it is aiming to increase its number of specialist scientists from 15 to 50, with a longer-term target of 100. It's new AI centre would be its third biggest in the world, only behind facilities in South Korea and the United States.
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Fujitsu will also make France its European hub for AI research, relocating specialists from all over the continent to work from a new centre in the country, work done in partnership with France's INRIA National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control.
Speaking to Business Chief in January, Duncan Tait, CEO of Fujitsu EMEIA and Americas, said that a crucial point had been reached for businesses in the implementation of AI.
"The group, after a review that lasted more than a year, found that France stood out from the crowd in the field of artificial intelligence," said Benjamin Revcolevschi, managing director at Fujitsu France.
Earlier this week, Business Chief picked out headlines from a new report from Allianz's Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) arm, which highlighted the positives and negatives for businesses when incorporating AI.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”