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FUJIFILM's popular FUJIFILM Imagine On Line & Mobile platform allows people to print their digital photos on a variety of items including photo books, mugs, coasters, clothing and keyrings to make truly personal gifts and mementos.
Images are stored in the cloud for editing at home or in one of 300 FUJIFILM shops or kiosks, with images either printed in store or sent by post. If consumers were unable to access their photos instantly the FUJIFILM Imagine On Line & Mobile service would grind to a halt and FUJIFILM's reputation would suffer irreparable damage. Consequently, high availability around the clock is critical.
Kyran O'Kelly, General Manager for FUJIFILM, explains, "We're not just storing people's images, we're preserving precious memories that have huge sentimental value. After all, photos are always the first thing people say they would rescue in a fire after children and pets. A resilient cloud infrastructure is absolutely vital."
For this reason, FUJIFILM relies on a private cloud provided by Sungard Availability Services, which comes with a Service Level Agreement-backed commitment to 99.95% availability. FUJIFILM chose Sungard AS as its technology partner following a competitive tender involving up to 12 providers.
While FUJIFILM found Sungard AS's resilient infrastructure impressive and its pricing competitive, ultimately the decision boiled down to Sungard AS's proven expertise. "In business it's the people that matter and the people in Sungard AS's technical team were some of the best I've worked with," says Pamal Sharma, head of IT. "I feel we're on the same side and regard them as an extension of my own IT team."
Kyran O'Kelly remarks, "The customers of today demand instant service. If they couldn't download their photos from the cloud fairly quickly they would soon move their photos to a competitor site so having Sungard AS as our partner gives me peace of mind. As GM of the company I can say it really is the calibre of people who are critical and the Sungard AS team have proved themselves to be exceptional."
FUJIFILM was so satisfied with the uninterrupted service it receives that it renewed its original five-year contract and the two companies have now been working together for more than eight years. "A big factor in the decision to choose Sungard AS again was the reliability we've enjoyed to date. There would be a huge risk in moving elsewhere and we couldn't be sure of building the same deep relationship."
In addition to the UK and Ireland, Sungard AS powers the FUJIFILM Imagine On Line & Mobile service in five other countries – Germany, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and Austria – and Kyran O'Kelly has ambitions to expand even further. With the rest of Continental Europe in his sights, he values the flexibility and scalability offered by the Sungard AS solution. This extends to quoting per terabyte prices for storage that makes it simple for Kyran O'Kelly to resell the FUJIFILM Imagine On Line & Mobile service to sister companies throughout Europe.
He explains, "It reduces their fear of commitment and enables them to dip their toes in the water and try something new. Obviously, the more countries that take up the service the more storage we will need so the ability to scale up is vital."
Sungard AS's global reach is another plus for the fast-growing company, as Kyran O'Kelly demonstrates.
"I like having the backing of a large, international company but the fl exibility and helpful attitude of a smaller business – we get the best of both worlds and our two companies are a good cultural match."
For FUJIFILM availability is paramount, ensuring the images at the heart of its business are always readily accessible. With ambitions to expand worldwide, it needed a scalable, flexible and secure technology platform provided by a company with global reach.