Vol. 76, No. 5, September 2021

Special Reports

Managed Services Accelerating Transformation into CPS Company



Attention is being focused on managed services as a type of outsourcing service evolved from information technology (IT). Managed services enable users to concentrate on their business operations in response to the rapidly changing requirements of the market by utilizing a variety of asset-light services.

The Toshiba Group has set the goal of becoming a cyber-physical systems (CPS) company capable of delivering efficient infrastructure services. We are making efforts to create and provide new value to customers and society as a whole through the enhancement of managed services based on our tangible and intangible assets, including knowledge and proprietary technologies for systems and components that we have accumulated through the development of infrastructure systems.

IKETANI Naoki / KANO Ichiro

In line with the recent trend toward the introduction of cloud managed services aimed at realizing cyber-physical systems (CPS), various companies have found it necessary to replace the individual management of multiple cloud services designed for specific purposes with unified management common to all cloud services, in order to further improve operating efficiency and ensure higher security.

Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has responded to this need by developing a framework for a virtual private data center as a solution enabling the operation of multiple cloud services through the standardization of security, network, monitoring, operation technologies. This virtual private data center makes it possible to swiftly construct a unified cloud system incorporating the user’s private cloud systems while also reducing operating costs.

HAYASHI Takanori / HIRAYAMA Tsuyoshi / ASHIKAWA Masayuki

Attention has become increasingly focused on artificial intelligence (AI) in a broad range of fields. However, the high cost of introduction and difficulties involved in continuous operation are critical issues that need to be overcome in order to achieve the practical use of AI technologies.

To rectify this situation, Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has developed and is operating the SATLYS AI Common Platform to provide elemental technologies for AI services as a managed service featuring user-friendly functions. This platform provides comprehensive support for processes from the preparation of teaching data through to the monitoring of model accuracy, making it possible to achieve the rapid construction and continuous operation of AI services in response to customers’ requirements.

FUKUSHIMA Nobuyuki / KONDO Yuji / FUJITA Shinichi

Cloud managed services are expected to substantially save labor and reduce costs in the operation and maintenance of information technology (IT) systems including servers, as well as to handle failures occurring in IT systems more effectively, compared with on-premises environments.

Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has already developed and released on-premises GridDB scale-out databases for various Internet of Things (IoT) systems. We have now developed and launched GridDB Cloud, a cloud-based database service with features inherited from the GridDB scale-out databases. GridDB Cloud makes it possible to reduce maintenance costs and shorten the database introduction period through IT outsourcing.


Managed services for the maintenance of computer systems, which can effectively analyze large volumes of data, have been attracting increasing attention in recent years in line with the expanding number of monitored devices accompanying the dissemination of the Internet of Things (IoT).

With this trend as a background, Toshiba IT-Services Corporation has been providing managed services based on its know-how acquired through the accumulated experience of its engineers. In the field of remote monitoring services, we are contributing to the stable operation of customers’ systems by providing an incident management system that automatically classifies alarms and extracts critical incidents needing specific actions for system recovery. Our incident management system has achieved a 96% reduction in the number of manual operations required for such incidents.

ASAHI Kazutaka / FUCHIKAMI Yasunori / SATO Masataka

In the logistics business field, there is an urgent need for labor-saving and further automation of postal processes to handle the increasing volume of parcels being generated by e-commerce transactions as a consequence of the worldwide spread of COVID-19. On the other hand, parcel sorting machines equipped with conventional address optical character recognition (OCR) systems to read address information, including both address details and postal-code data, are showing an increasing tendency to generate errors accompanying the growth in the number of mail items of diverse types and shapes.

As a solution to these issues, the Toshiba Group has developed a dedicated OCR function focusing on the recognition of address information that parcel sorting machines cannot conventionally recognize in address images, and is providing it as a pay-per-use secondary OCR service for users of existing parcel sorting machines. We have confirmed that this secondary service can successfully read about 70% of unrecognized address images under certain conditions. With the objective of expanding this service, we are also developing a new secondary OCR system that can be easily connected to existing parcel sorting machines through the implementation of a manipulation technique.


Swift management decisions are required in response to changes in the business environment due to unexpected events including disasters and incidents, which have become increasingly difficult to predict in recent years. This is particularly true for the procurement departments of manufacturing industries, making it essential for them to plan and execute their procurement strategies in a flexible manner.

In this context, Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has developed Meister SRM (SRM: Supplier Relationship Management), a strategic procurement solution aimed at responding to customers’ changing procurement strategies, and has been providing it in the form of software as a service (SaaS) applications deployed via a cloud management service based on Microsoft Azure. In order to continuously support customers’ strategic procurement needs, we have now further enhanced the service functions of Meister SRM by systematizing the processes for its introduction, establishing a methodology to provide secure services within a short time, and facilitating collaboration with a variety of external cloud services.


The movement toward the introduction of point services has recently accelerated in the retail industry aimed at increasing consumer demand though point collection programs.

Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has been providing the PointArtist point management system to retail companies. However, as a result of the changes that have taken place in the environment surrounding such retail companies with the dissemination of e-commerce and cashless payment systems in recent years, the need has arisen for managed services to flexibly provide functions required for individual point services. We have now developed and launched PointArtist2 as a successor to PointArtist. Through the application of microservices and containers, as well as a modern application architecture instead of the conventional monolithic architecture, PointArtist2 makes it possible to swiftly and flexibly change service functions.


With the intention of enhancing the global competitiveness of the Japanese automobile industry, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is currently working on the establishment of a methodology for model-based development (MBD) throughout the entire automotive supply chain, which will make it possible to co-create digital prototypes by performing simulations using individual models. As part of these efforts, the Japan Automotive Model-Based Engineering Center organized by METI will be inaugurated in FY2021.

For participating members of the Japan Automotive Model-Based Engineering Center, Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation, in cooperation with Nexty Electronics Corporation, has developed a model and data exchange hub service and VenetDCP, a co-simulation platform that makes it possible to perform coupled simulations by running multiple models distributed at different sites via the Internet while maintaining the confidentiality of the models.


In order to make innovations toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) throughout the entire society, a strong need exists for free and fair distribution and utilization of the large volumes of digital data that are now being produced.

Toshiba Data Corporation, a new company established by Toshiba Corporation in 2020, has been working on the development of a data circulation ecosystem in line with the concept of co-creating a better future with customers through enhancement of the value of data generated in the real world. As part of this work, in May 2021 we launched a service that provides customers including companies and municipalities with statistical purchase data in close to real time through the processing and analysis of purchase data collected using the Smart Receipt electronic receipt service operated by Toshiba Tec Corporation. Furthermore, by incorporating various managed services into this service system, we are aiming to offer high-value-added services and further expand the range of data handled in the future.

SUZUKI Masaru / IZUMI Yasuichiro

The Simulated Bifurcation Machine (SBM), a cloud service to solve combinatorial optimization problems through the use of cloud-based graphics processing units (GPUs), makes it possible to find a nearly optimal solution to large-scale problems in a short time. However, actual combinatorial optimization problems usually contain constraints, requiring the tuning of parameters to obtain better results. This task involves considerable time and effort and places a heavy burden on users, thus posing a serious obstacle to practical use of the SBM.

Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation has now developed a method that enables the SBM to tackle constrained combinatorial optimization problems. This method automates the tuning of parameters without the need for troublesome processes, providing users with easy operation as a managed service.

Feature Articles


The Toshiba Group has developed a simulated bifurcation algorithm based on its proprietary quantum-inspired algorithms to rapidly solve combinatorial optimization problems that frequently arise in social and industrial settings.

In addition to the Simulated Bifurcation Machine (SBM) for cloud services released in 2019, we have now developed SBM for on-premises services, which can be embedded in real-time systems. The on-premises service is being provided to users as a packaged module consisting of configuration data to realize a high-performance processing circuit on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and an application programming interface (API) with simplicity and versatility, in addition to newly developed reference designs to verify applicability to real-time systems. This service is a focus of high expectations as a real-time Ising machine for the expansion of applications in various fields and the co-creation of new value.

OKANO Motochika / IMI Hitoshi / OKURA Gentaro

In line with the recent trend toward the electrification of automobiles, demand has been increasing in the automotive field for power semiconductors as key devices of in-vehicle systems. With the increasing use of electronic components, the introduction of simulation technologies using model-based development (MBD) methods to verify the functions and performance of overall systems has been rapidly expanding in order to efficiently develop in-vehicle systems.

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation has been promoting the deployment of power semiconductor products including metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) in response to customers’ requirements for in-vehicle systems, and supplying not only devices but also device models of MOSFETs for such simulations. Moreover, we have been carrying out simulations of in-vehicle systems using our device models with the objective of offering optimal device models for system-level simulations. We found during this work that it was necessary to resolve the tradeoff between accuracy and calculation time. To achieve a balance between high accuracy and high speed, we have now developed the Accu-ROM (accurate reduced-order modeling) technique focusing on the evaluation of thermal performance and electromagnetic interference (EMI) noise in switching operations and confirmed the effectiveness of this approach using the Accu-ROM technique when selecting an optimal MOSFET device and switching speed.

MINAMI Keisuke / KOIKE Ryuichi / ITO Toshio

The Toshiba Group has been devoting continuous efforts to the development and operation of a cloud-based platform service called HABANEROTS so as to offer common functions necessary for various Internet of Things (IoT) systems, and promoting the expansion of its cyber-physical systems (CPS) service businesses. Although HABANEROTS is a server-side solution constructed using cloud systems for CPS services, it has become necessary to enhance the cybersecurity of overall systems including edge devices in order to establish systems that are robust against cyberattacks.

In response to these circumstances, we have now developed the following functions for HABANEROTS: (1) a device authentication scheme to correctly recognize the state of edge devices, and (2) a software update scheme to apply the latest software without cyberattack vulnerabilities to edge devices.

Frontiers of Research & Development

Technique to Automatically Evaluate Productivity of Workers by Means of Image Analysis

*Company, product, and service names appearing in each paper include those that are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.