Fujitsu bosses reflect on transformative channel year, lay into HP, Dell

At Fujitsu Forum in Munich, company leadership reflects on a busy year for its indirect business and ramps up the rhetoric against its rivals

At Fujitsu Forum in Munich, Fujitsu UK channel top brass have been reflecting on a year of solid growth in its reseller and distribution organisation, and outlining their plans for the future.

Fujitsu now claims its UK and Ireland indirect business is twice as big as its direct business, and it is booking growth in the UK that, while it remains in single digits, firmly shows it is ahead of the curve when compared to its rivals.

Indeed, Fujitsu Technology Products Group UK and Ireland executive director Michael Keegan and had harsh words for Fujitsu’s rivals in the hardware space, saying HP was so large its business could only really shrink, and suggesting that following its recent leveraged buy-out, Dell had taken on so much debt that its attention would be focused on meeting its investors’ expectations instead of on product and channel growth and development.

“If you’re a Dell partner you want to think carefully about how long they [Dell] can sustain that,” Keegan warned. “We’re sticking to our knitting; we’re a technology lead company, and we’re also now a more joined up, globally consistent company that understands its partners.”

The firm is paying particular attention to its server and storage business, and at its annual customer and partner convention launched a number of new ETERNUS storage products that positions its storage offering firmly in the midmarket and give it unified NAS and SAN connectivity capabilities for the first time, which Fujitsu said means its channel can now provide “unmatched support for data consolidation projects”.

Storage currently accounts for 10% of the UK business for Fujitsu, but the firm has been investing heavily in the ETERNUS business and now believes it will be the firm’s key growth engine through 2014.

It added that it now has the highest level of storage accredited partners it has ever seen, reflecting market satisfaction with its offerings.

Earlier this year Keegan told MicroScope that 2013 would be the year the firm started to make headway in recruiting larger partners, and this week he said the firm had indeed achieved this goal.

“We are transacting much more with some significant names in the channel, such as Centerprise and Systemax,” said Keegan. “Through distribution Entatech is now dealing with over 200 partners on a regular basis, and Ingram and Micro-P are growing significantly.”

Keegan said that its ability to attract larger partners proved that Fujitsu had not been punching its weight, but said this was now starting to change.

Fujitsu leadership credits a number of specific actions, including decisions to focus more on high-end products and extricate itself from low-end devices, and adopt a more consistent approach to rebates and promotions, for the growth it is now seeing.

It has been especially active on channel-focused promotions, especially on its PRIMERGY x86 server family and ETERNUS storage lines, and plans to continue to run a wide variety of them, according to channel and enterprise sales director Simon Worsfold.

“I think the breadth of promotions we run is reaching a lot of organisations in different stages of their evolution. It’s good to have a broad set of promotions because it hits so many different spaces,” he said.

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