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Fujitsu Tech Solutions boss: I am an industry 'insurgent'

Badboy Michael Keegan plans to upset rivals, pilfer biggest partners

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Fujitsu UK and Ireland bigwig Michael Keegan is trying to highlight and exploit any uncertainty surrounding Dell and HP to win over distribution partners sitting at those vendors' top tables.

Keegan, executive director of the Technology Product Group is clearly in self-licking mode, armed with growth stats that reveal the extent of the vendor's progress since he took the job a couple of years ago.

"Two years ago we were hardly present in the channel, [but] we are back, getting to be quite big and we've invested to get where we want to be in the enterprise [tech market]," he told The Channel.

UK turnover through the distribution channel has grown 120 per cent, which sources close to the firm estimate to be around the £100m mark, and in the last nine months of 2012 server unit sales climbed 130 per cent.

The firm has also boosted Select accredited channel partners from 15 in 2011 to 100 at the end of last year, but has had less marked success in boosting top tier (Select Elite) numbers - in storage it moved from eight to 14 and in servers from zero to 16.

Keegan described himself as a tech market "insurgent" who is "taking on the big boys", and is "not part of the established corporate status quo" - which is an interesting thought given his FTS background.

"HP is uncertain about [some] products long term and Dell will take a debt on the balance sheet [if it is taken private]. We are a long term committed to our technology and are not subject to zombie debt.

"This is the year the bigger resellers think about Fujitsu as a long-term committed, stable partner. I'm thinking about the Computacenters and the Kelways [of this world]," said Keegan.

He claimed Fujitsu makes "great technology" and was channel-friendly, but the presence of Fujitsu Services, a competitor of the larger resellers and system integrators, has potentially hindered relationship-building in the past, channel sources told us.

This wasn't flagged up as an issue by Computacenter chief exec Mike Norris, but he did question what FTS could offer that its other vendor partners could not.

"Vendors are for life, not just Christmas, we want those that can convince us they will be a high quality, consistent partners for years and years," he said.

Peter Spreadbury, director of enterprise partners at SCC, another of Blighty's largest channel players, was not sure what "compelling proposition" or tech differential Fujitsu has.

"Our engagement has been light touch for a long time, I don't think we understand their strategy and objectives but are always open to innovative vendor propositions," he said. ®

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