Following its long-held position of only fulfilling through the channel, Fujitsu Siemens Computers has enjoyed a fruitful partnership of four years in South Africa with IT4Africa. Not only has the partnership resulted in increased sales for Fujitsu Siemens Computers and a larger stake in the South African IT distribution game for IT4Africa, but also, more importantly, it has delivered a better service to the companies' customers.
Rui de Oliveira, enterprise solutions product manager for Fujitsu Siemens Computers in South Africa says IT4Africa has proven itself a great distribution partner over the past few years. Its commitment and drive has been unmatched as it carved out a sizable piece of the local market for itself. Furthermore, De Oliveira says the company has the skills and focus required to continue to make a difference in this highly competitive industry.
"The days of box-dropping are long gone," says De Oliveira, referring to times past when the role of a distributor was merely to move IT equipment from the warehouse to the customer's premises. "To succeed today, vendors need highly skilled channel partners that are able to understand the market we operate in as well as our customers' requirements and act accordingly to ensure they add value to every transaction they are involved in.
"With IT4Africa we have the right partner. Moreover, more than serving clients in South Africa only, IT4Africa has a presence throughout Africa and is able to apply the same focus and energy to customers elsewhere on the continent."
The fact that IT4Africa has already established a Pan-African distribution network means the company is able to introduce global brands to the continent without relying on third parties that may not have the same passion and drive. This means the distributor is able to act locally in all situations, meeting the real needs of customers in various countries while retaining a global outlook - a critical factor to succeed in the distribution business in the 21st century.
"When it comes to critical business systems, IT4Africa is confident that Fujitsu Siemens Computers has the proven, reliable solutions required in today's dynamic IT environment," says Toni Ward, division manager for Fujitsu Siemens Computers at IT4Africa. "And in a continent undergoing the rapid changes we see in African businesses and governments, IT4Africa's local expertise combined with Fujitsu Siemens Computers' products is a great combination for growth."
Profile: Toni Ward, Fujitsu Siemens Computers’ division manager, IT4Africa
My IT career started in 1984 at Hewlett-Packard where I remained through disinvestments and comebacks until 2003 when I joined IT4Africa. Moving from the role of vendor to distribution was definitely a challenge, but very satisfying. At IT4Africa, my focus is on growing the entire Fujitsu Siemens Computers’ product range.
I am very fortunate to have a superb team to work with both at IT4Africa as well as at Fujitsu Siemens Computers. At this stage of my career, the business principles and work ethic comes naturally, to me the most important factors of success are the people we deal with. This encompasses the people I manage, the people we sell to and the people we purchase from. It does not matter what fancy strategy you have, if the people factor is not taken care of, you will not succeed.
Gus Pinto, Fujitsu Siemens Computers’ product manager, IT4Africa
I joined IT4Africa after spending several years in IT Rentals and IT Support. Those environments strongly shaped my vision of information technology’s place in the developing world, impressing on me the importance of quality, reliability and durability. I feel these three factors are most critical to customers who need to be certain that the solution they have chosen will not only provide them with the best balance of cost and value, but will also remain viable over the longer periods of deployment common to developing markets.
To meet the growing demand for quality solutions, IT4Africa is spearheading the supply of Fujitsu Siemens Computers’ premium brands, LIFEBOOK, ESPRIMO and PRIMERGY into South Africa and Africa.