Fujitsu takes dealers back to school

Fujitsu takes dealers back to school

Fujitsu wants to ramp up its local education business and is planning a series of new sales strategies and partnerships to help channel partners take on the competition.

The vendor's country manager, Adrian Mead, said the initiatives would centre on helping partners proactively target the entire education market. The vendor works with Victorian-based reseller, Fed IT, as well as national communications integrator, Commander.

Fujitsu entered the local education market three years ago. The company claims to hold about 50 per cent of all notebook accounts in the Victorian private schools sector, including contracts for about 2500 laptops with Methodist Ladies College and Wesley College in Victoria. Mead said it was time Fujitsu made a play across other institutions, such as public schools and universities. He highlighted the NSW and Queensland markets as key targets in the bid to grow its share of the pie.

"We need to do things differently in Australia because it is a mature IT market," he said. "For example, laptop programs for private schools in Victoria are initiated by those schools. And I would say they are the first in the world to do so.

"We also have experience overseas with universities but have not been focusing on this in Australia," he said. "We need to collaborate with partners and come up with real ideas that can be implemented straight away."

Mead said Fujitsu had experienced difficulties in gaining a significant portion of public school contracts.

"With government [schools], price is generally the major factor," Mead said. "Private institutions can afford to pay for a premium product, whereas government aims for the cheapest. It hasn't been an area we typically play in."

While refusing to disclose specifics, Mead said Fujitsu would develop partnerships with specialist vendors to bring in products and tools from overseas that hadn't been utilised in Australia.

He also disputed the idea that vendors had to forego the channel in order to win a public tender on price.

"We can't wait for deals to come our way," he said. "We have to work with other partners and vendors to offer hardware and software that we can tie into the product sell. It's not about selling a box anymore. What we're doing is trying to marry these things together as a solution."

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