Toyota Australia signs up Fujitsu in Cloud migration

Four-month migration planned for 25 dealers to new management system, with others to follow

Toyota Australia plans to offer a Cloud-based management system for 200 of its car dealerships nationally as part of an ambitious four-month migration of existing dealers to Fujitsu’s data centres.

The car manufacturer’s division manager of information systems, James Scott, told Computerworld Australia that the 25 car dealers currently using the company’s TUNE software will be moved to the Cloud infrastructure between March and July this year in an effort to migrate as quickly as possible. The move will ultimately be open to all national dealers, which can opt in to the Cloud service.

“Any future dealers that sign up to the TUNE application will also obviously move into the Cloud system,” he said.

“There’s no desire to force a dealer management system onto our dealers. They’ll pick a dealer management system they feel is best for their business.”

The TUNE software, which has been in use by some Toyota-owned dealers since early last year, provides management options for service booking, financials, sales and customer data. Data is currently hold on a mix of outsourced Fujitsu data centres and on-premise equipment.

Under the migration, Toyota will manage migration of remaining on-premises equipment and data to the Cloud infrastructure, to be hosted by Fujitsu. This includes those on-premises servers installed at selected dealerships when the TUNE system was first implemented last year.

“The idea is to try and get all of those into the Cloud data centre as quickly as possible just so we’re leveraging off the value of the investment the Cloud brings us,” Scott said.

A spokesperson for Fujitsu would not disclose which facilities would be used under the contract, though Scott said the facilities would be different from the existing facilities used under a separate outsourcing agreement signed with the services company in 1999.

Fujitsu has ramped up data centre construction in the past three years, marking out key locations for facilities in Perth and Melbourne following the success of its centre in Homebush, Sydney in 2008.

Scott said that, despite the 33-year relationship with Fujitsu, the services company had fought for the deal in a competitive tender process.

In September last year, the car giant signed with Fujitsu in a four-year services deal that would replace IBM for the services company as part of a managed Windows 7 deployment.

Fujitsu has also historically provided various aspects of hardware in Toyota cars, including stereos and navigation systems.

Toyota Australia has reportedly considered moves to a Cloud infrastructure for some time and  already has a road map to move all applications to the public Cloud in the future.

“Our strategy is to build a private cloud first, bring in a hybrid cloud model and then, over the next five years, push all our applications onto public cloud infrastructure,” Toyota Australia’s manager of enterprise architecture and strategy, Michael Jenkins, told Cloud computing publication SaaS Chronicles in March last year.

(Read more about Toyota’s IT strategy)

Software vendor CA Technologies and energy drinks company Frucor became some of the first local wins for Fujitsu after the services company announced its entry into the Cloud market in October last year.

Follow James Hutchinson on Twitter: @j_hutch

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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