Top tier for SELECT partners on Fujitsu agenda

An enhanced programme tier for top performing partners is on the agenda for 2014 as Fujitsu’s confidence goes from strength to strength

Fujitsu will put in place an enhanced VIP partner tier as it seeks to capitalise on steady growth in the UK market and targets market share of 10% in the next three years.

Speaking to MicroScope, Fujitsu exec director Michael Keegan said the VIP tier would offer lead generation using the Fujitsu Customer Interaction Centre that was launched in October, extra marketing funds, and new levels of accreditation. It will go live sometime in Q2 with around 10 to 20 partners expected to make the grade.

Having grown the number of engaged partners in the UK to 3,000, 150 with SELECT status, and grown channel revenues by 250% since 2011, Keegan said the business had come a long way in engaging the British market, was bucking the overall market decline still affecting PC sales, and set out plans to go further still.

“Our position is different from the massive incumbents. They only have one way to go and that is downwards. I want to get to a fair to reasonable market share for Fujitsu, 10% of the market is ambitious but we will continue to invest to drive this business to get that,” he explained.

“Over three years we have consistently delivered the right technology, at the right price, demonstrating the right channel behaviours and offering the right level of rebates. We have earned the trust of our partners,” he added.

Other items on Fujitsu’s bucket list include the recruitment of more channel sales specialists – adding to its existing tally of around 60 – to offer further support for partners, among who will be a dedicated marketing head for the channel. It will also continue to run more promotions and incentives, having seen over 300 partners register for last quarter’s Pay4Performance rebate plan; Fujitsu claims that buy the end of its financial year on 31 March it will have spent a seven figure sum on rebates. These programmes will be extended in fiscal 2015.

Keegan also talked up Fujitsu’s efforts around its high performance x86 business in light of the sale of IBM’s competitive business unit to Lenovo in January, and said he was keen to offer a lifeboat to concerned IBMers.

With the future of the unit still cloudy, Keegan said he was waiting to see if Lenovo would be able to make it stick.

“We’re not complacent, but Lenovo must show that it has got what it takes to be successful in the server market, which is very different to the PC market,” he said.

“In the interim there is opportunity for IBM resellers to look around and say, ‘you know, maybe we need to be talking to other people’. We will encourage them to do that, and some of them are already looking around on their own,” he added. “We’re certainly not afraid of the competition.”

In Q3 last year Gartner data show that Fujitsu came fourth in both server revenues and shipments in EMEA, with 29,900 units worth $195.7m shipped, while IBM shipped 44,763 units and made $563.8m. In shipment terms, Fujitsu accounted for 5.5% of the market and IBM 8.2%.

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