Finding and evaluating real-world applications for the Digital Annealer of Fujitsu
Sommersemester 2021 / Fujitsu
The goal of this project was twofold: First, it consisted of identifying promising application fields in the public sector for the Digital Annealing Unit (DAU) of our project partner Fujitsu. Second, a selected few application fields were to be analyzed in greater detail in order to determine the market potential as well as the competitive landscape of those fields. Taken together, those two subgoals were supposed to lead to new insights for our project partner on where their technology could be successfully applied as well as to provide them with a better understanding of the market situation of the most promising application fields.
First and foremost, our primary methods of collecting information on our project partner’s novel technology consisted of screening research articles on the technology, conducting interviews with university professors and scientists who have experience in the fields of digital annealing and the related field of quantum annealing, and also regularly checking in with technology experts of our project partner. In order to collect innovative ideas for potential application fields, we consulted specialized Reddit communities on where the solving of complex combinatorial problems (which is what the DAU does in its essence) is most needed. The proposals we received can be categorized in a broad range of topics as diverse as logistics, urban planning, emergency vehicle coordination, etc. Within the scope of the TCL method, we then calculated the so-called Strategic Fit and Benefit Relevance which relate individual application fields to the internal resources of our project partner and their technology’s use benefits. For the second part of our project, evaluating the market potential of selected application fields, we relied more heavily on interviews with practitioners in the field and public sector consultants with many years of experience in process management and implementing large-scale IT systems. On top of that, we collected information on the market size and competitive environment of individual application fields by scanning industry reports, datasets of statistical offices as well as annual reports of companies in the respective sectors.
In the first part of our project, we identified a total of 40 potential application fields. Out of those, we elaborated on 17 fields in our report and presented our project partner with twelve application fields that we could imagine being a good fit for their technology in the public sector. After joint discussion, we determined that the three fields of transit scheduling, hospital logistics, and rescue coordination would be most interesting to look into from a market and business perspective. The following market analysis resulted in specific market size estimates for those application fields, an understanding of the most important macro influences, and concrete implications for Fujitsu in their efforts to eventually do business in those sectors.
Johannes Franz Anreiter
Tuong-Vi Sophie Quach