Cloud triggers Fujitsu spending spree

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Fujitsu has set in motion a search to find companies and technologies it can acquire to help the firm move aggressively towards a cloud-based strategy.

Company president, Masami Yamamoto, told Bloomberg in New York he is looking to spur global growth.

"Targets will be companies that have technologies that Fujitsu doesn't have, or that have customers that Fujitsu has never been able to reach so far," he said. "We would like to get engaged very actively in M&A activities."

Like many companies, Fujitsu is particularly keen to get involved in cloud computing. Apart from the hoped-for acquisitions, this will include forming alliances and acquiring middleware technologies.

Having established itself as Japan's biggest computer services provider, Fujitsu has been distancing itself from its unprofitable hardware businesses.

The company has said it plans to invest 100 billion yen (752 million) in cloud technologies this year. It has set a target of making 1.5 trillion yen in cloud services by the spring of 2016.

As a precursor to the threatened spending spree, Fujitsu announced a cloud computing partnership with Microsoft in July. This enabled the company to deploy Windows Azure in its data centres.

Fujitsu is also planning to offer systems integration, cloud migration and managed services. It will also run its own applications on the platform by the end of 2010.

Yamamoto became head of Fujitsu last April, following the departure of its previous president, Kuniaki Nozoe. The company said Nozoe left under a cloud of his own after he was accused of having ties to a company with an "unfavourable reputation", a Japanese euphemism for links with organised crime. Nozoe denied the allegation and insisted he was forced to quit.