Klemsy - Fotolia

Fujitsu sharpening channel focus

Against a backdrop of rumblings of a sell-off to Lenovo of the laptop business Fujistu's recently installed UK channel chief talks about his ambitions for growth

It is an interesting time to be running the UK channel at Fujistu with the firm grabbing plenty of attention because of a potential sale of its PC business to Lenovo.

The move to sell off that side of the business, which is one of the options the firm is considering, would add weight to the expectations that the PC world is destined to be dominated by a small group of players.

In the meantime the job for James Johnston,  head of UK&I product business at Fujitsu, is to seek out revenue opportunities with its channel partners.

Johnston has been at the firm for five years and stepped into the role two months ago vacated by Kevin Matthews, who had been at the firm for a year.

In his time Matthews had launched a review of the channel, concluding at the end of that process that there was over distribution and it no longer needed to work with Entatech.

Johnston said it would be “remiss of me” not to cast his eye over the channel but indicated that there was no intention to make any significant changes.

“Part of what we are trying to do is to be crystal clear with our partners and internal colleagues about the role those partners play within the ecosystem,” he added that he was checking the the distributors were aligned with the ambitions that the vendor had and that work was carrying on.

“I am not going to make any wholesale changes because I don’t think we need to,” he said.

Where he does think there could be improvements is in making the current channel processes simpler and easier.

“We could be better at how we manage that process like deal registration, how we optimise that and our [ricing structure and how we continue to work with our distribution partners to optimise that level of communication our second tier partners,” he said.

“I think we can be better at this compared to what we are doing today,” he added.

The Lenovo talks

Fujitsu has confirmed that it is considering selling its laptop business to Lenovo “among other options”. The reaction from the market was positive, with the share price climbing on the back of the news.

Speaking at the Canalys Channels Forum earlier this week Gianfranco Lanci, corporate president at COO at Lenovo, hinted at what he expected to come in the PC market.

"The PC industry needs consolidation. Small players cannot survive, the top three will grow share," he said.

The other plan is to augment the channel base to supplement and support managed services ambitions.

Johnston also wants to make sure it can focus on the top two tiers of its partner programme to make sure there can be more success.

“What I will be doing with my channel team is a level of vertical segmentation around respective industries and then a level of horizontal segmentation around certain solutions. That will have a big impact on growing the marketplace for our partners and also managing channel conflict and avoiding multiple partners working on duplicate business,” he said.

Johnston said that once he had aligned the channel with its ambitions then the expectation was ore revenue would be flowing through resellers.

Read more on Business Laptops