Fujitsu is set to open an enterprise app store for its platform-as-a-service, in hopes of seeding its cloud with software from independent developers.
The Fujitsu Business Solutions Store, announced on Wednesday, is mounted on top of the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) within Fujitsu Cloud Services. It will host third-party applications as well as software developed by the Japanese giant. Alongside the launch of the store, scheduled to begin in early 2012, Fujitsu plans to release a new product called Fujitsu CRM Cloud Services.
"The Business Solutions Store is not just a place where you can buy stuff and that's it, like the Apple Store," Joseph Reger, the chief technology officer of Fujitsu Technology Solutions, said at the Fujitsu Forum 2011 in Munich. "The independent software vendors we are partnering with are offering [software] into our cloud and everything that's needed to run that, meter it properly... everything associated with it is automatically taken care of by the platform."
The aim of the store is to help customers move away from paying traditional software license fees to a 'pay as you use' model, but still avoid the costs of operating their own IT environment, according to Reger.
Software developers will split the revenue from their apps with Fujitsu, in exchange for getting a store to host the application and infrastructure for payment and security, he added. Fujitsu did not disclose what the percentage split will be. In the mobile world, Apple takes 30 percent of the revenue from apps purchased on its marketplace.
If Fujitsu works to develop an ecosystem of software vendors around the store, it could be a success, according to Michal Halama, who covers business networks and IT services for Current Analysis.
"It makes a lot of sense, particularly for smaller independent software vendors, as a way of getting on [the cloud] without a cost," the analyst told ZDNet UK. "It's not the only thing they can do, but it is one that doesn't cost them anything for the infrastructure."
The upcoming Fujitsu CRM Cloud Services app is based on open-source
software. Fujitsu said it will be available at "a more affordable entry
point than traditional CRM software packages", but did not give prices
nor a description of its features or underlying technology.