Matthews reveals Fujitsu channel plans

Business partnership tree puzzles

Fujitsu sales director Kevin Matthews has revealed his plans to target partners in a bid to grow the vendor’s channel sales.

“I’ve got some really clear ideas about where we can make a difference,” he tells Channel Pro.

This includes luring some partners away from Fujitsu’s dominant rivals – particularly those the exec says could “fall between the cracks” following Dell’s forthcoming acquisition of EMC.

Matthews – who joined Fujitsu after leaving HP earlier this year – says vendor consolidation “will drive those vendors to work with certain channel partners to drive scale. That leaves for us a set of partners that fall between the cracks.”

Matthews (pictured) describes these types of partner as “Championship” rather than “Premiership” resellers when it comes to size and revenue.

“The big vendors are really wedded to the big guys that can drive scale, for obvious reasons and I believe we have real good opportunity to focus on those partners in the Championship playoff area,” he explains.

“The bigger resellers are turned on by rebates and programmes and things like that – which we do – but the other resellers want to do something that helps them generate more sales.”

Another part of the plan is to bring over partners from the exec’s 16-year tenure at HP.

Longstanding HP storage partner, Future Generation Solutions, recently joined Fujitsu’s channel programme, with managing director Peter Stroud admitting the move was based less on his knowledge of the vendor’s portfolio, and more on his trust in channel veteran Matthews.

“It’s because Kevin has gone to Fujitsu and he seems enthused about it. And if he’s enthused, obviously there’s something good going on. I do trust him, and if he gets his way in how big the channel should go, I think there’ll be more success,” he tells Channel Pro.

“It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with, but I have faith in Kevin.”

“The changes they’ve made to the organisation make it clear they’re serious about taking market share in the UK,” says Andrew Griffiths, director at Q Associates. “They see it as an opportunity give that the UK is behind some other geographies that it’s strong in. And I think they’re made a very clear statement with the appointment of Kevin.

“He’s not trying to court the big guys to come over and switch from HP or Dell – it’s not going to happen. He’s looking for partners that want to differentiate, that want to go out and sell a concept, and that’s the type of organisation we are.

“The strategy certainly seems to be investing in finding quality partners that can operate at the enterprise level, rather than going for the volume players.”

In addition, that Matthews heads up a single organisation that includes both channel and end user sales is also seen as “a real step forward” by Griffiths.

Says Matthews: “I want to see a greater emphasis on talking to more customers together with our channel. We’re not having enough joint customer conversations,” he says, adding that he intends to bring in more specialists around key verticals like education and health.

Matthew also admits Fujistu hasn’t done a good enough job in the past communicating with five UK distributors.

“All five do a really good job, but I – we – have to do a better job at giving them direction on where they focus,” he says. “Because five without any direction will not deliver any growth for us.”

He adds: “I recognise there are people in the UK that don’t know us, so we’ve got to work hard to build brand awareness in the market.”

Fujitsu outlines go-to-market changes

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.