By Stuart Wilson
Selling through its Middle East channel of corporate partners, Fujitsu Siemens Computers expects strong growth from its extended blade server family as demand from large enterprise customers grows.
With 17 corporate resell partners in the Middle East, Fujitsu Siemens Computers anticipates strong demand for its extended blade server product range during 2004. The company recently extended its blade server family with the introduction of the high performance Intel-based PRIMERGY BX600 model designed to meet the needs of the enterprise data center as well as internet and application service providers.
“Corporate partners such as Fujitsu Services, Siemens IT and Emircom are positioning themselves to sell blade servers into large accounts,” says Colin Britto, sales manager large enterprises Gulf region at Fujitsu Siemens Computers. “We have a number of projects either underway or about to close. Our corporate partners are capable of providing enterprise infrastructure solutions and service capabilities and all have specially trained staff.”
Large clients in the banking sector, oil and gas and government are driving demand for blade servers through internal deployment projects. “At this stage, it tends to be for internal projects at large clients as opposed to third party ASPs and data centre operators looking to provide a solution for them,” adds Britto. “The main vendor competition is from HP and IBM in the Middle East. Selling blade servers is just as much about the technical specification as the price but our solutions offer strong total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits for customers.”
Fujitsu Siemens Computers PRIMERGY BX600 servers are particularly suited for use as mid-tier application servers. “We will go in and give potential customers a unit for testing,” explains Britto. “The corporate partner is involved in the installation of basic operating systems and allowing the customer to test its own applications. The sales cycle can be as short as six weeks in the banking sector whereas a government tender may take between three and four months.”
At a global level, Fujitsu Siemens Computers has set out specific target growth areas for the year ahead. These include further development of its SAP-related hardware infrastructure business and the development of its internal professional services capability.
“We will work on developing the relationship with SAP Arabia,” explains Britto. “We are also launching Fujitsu Siemens Computers easyXchange e-mail server consolidation solution in the region with partners Microsoft, EMC and LEGATO. We have not yet started to build up the professional services capability of Fujitsu Siemens Computers in the Middle East but plan to do so. This unit will complement what the partners are doing and help boost growth. It will work alongside them and not compete with them.”
Fujitsu Siemens Computers BX600 blade servers offer a platform for classic mid-tier applications like Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes as well as supporting applications from SAP, Siebel, Baan and similar vendors. With Fujitsu Siemens Computers focusing on its high-end hardware capabilities, corporate resellers will play a vital role in reaching out to customers and providing the necessary integration and support services in the Middle East.