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By | Paul Kunert 7th October 2016 15:44

Fujitsu Tech Products boss channels his inner Sid Vicious

'We need to be less polite to f*%$k over the competitiion'

If the rhetoric from the latest chief straddling Fujitsu’s UK Technology Product Group (TPG) sounds familiar, it’s because it is.

James Johnston quietly took over from Tom Roche two months ago but his change of role was not the only move at TPG; more recently, sales director Kevin Matthew jumped ship, perhaps before he was pushed.

Johnston's main task is figuring out how to convince trade customers – those working at resellers and MSPs – that they should view Fujitsu as a credible “challenger brand” to HPE and Dell.

“We can do things better,” Johnston told us, using that hackneyed phrase of needing to be “easier to do business with”, which seems to cover a multitude of sins.

The list of near term priorities is to improve the current clunky deal registration programme; to concentrate on the channel incumbents it works with, firms such as Softcat, BSI and Centerprise; and to promote the engineering nous he said the company has.

“Fujitsu has got a strong level of technical leadership in certain markets but we’ve been too polite and not bold enough in selling this to partners (channel customers). Globally, we are a strong player but are not punching above our weight in the UK.”

Multiple partners previously told us that Fujitsu needed to be more aggressive on price to help them get a foot into the transactional market and they needed special bids turned around more quickly.

Johnston didn’t list either of these as his issues to solve.

He said one of the continued thorns in Fujitsu TPG was the “legacy” of the sister organisation, Fujitsu Services, which sold kit, software and services directly to end-customers, competing with the major resellers.

This is something Matthews tried to tackle during his short tenure on board by changing the compensation plans for the direct sales teams, but it sounds as if this hasn’t been entirely successful.

“To have a scalable channel business, there is a level of heavy lifting that we need to do to augment the business,” Johnston said. “We are looking to standardise on a more replicable model.

El Reg is not sure what this meant but it sounded like corporate bullshit.

Johnston told us he is reviewing things and talking to multiple channel types about building a better way forward.

He confirmed he will not look to recruit a sales director and that he is chatting to distributors, Arrow ECS and Ingram Micro, about their future together. This followed a distribution review in June that saw Enta chopped and the other two told to shape up or ship out.

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