Fujitsu Computer Systems is tapping Synnex to distribute its notebooks, desktops and tablets as the vendor attempts to widen its presence in the small and midsize business market.

Fujitsu, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., already has a distribution relationship with Synnex in Canada, and this new agreement will expand that partnership to the United States, where the company wants deeper penetration in the SMB space as well as in vertical markets such as health care.
Some of the other vertical markets Fujitsu is looking to channel more of its products to include users in government and education, said Bill King, executive vice president for sales.

“This was a natural extension of a relationship we’ve had with Synnex for a number of years,” King said. “The second point is that when we went out and looked at distributors, we were very comfortable with Synnex and they had a strong vertical focus and a value-added focus in areas like health care and government. Those were the markets we wanted to drive.”

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The company’s goal, King said, is to grow its North American revenue to $10 billion by 2010 from $3.5 billion in 2005.

Fujitsu Computer Systems is already well known for its enterprise servers and storage systems. This new agreement will focus more on the company’s mobile hardware, such as its notebooks and tablets, King said.

For years, Fujitsu relied on direct and single-tier channel sales in the United States. That changed as the company looked to expand more into SMB and vertical markets and needed a distributor with strong ties to the VARs that service those markets, King said.

“The time was right for them to expand this relationship,” said David Strickland, vice president for product marketing at Synnex, in Fremont, Calif. “They have a great product and a great name. We wanted to offer them a different approach and way to go out to our resellers as a way to get to the end users.”

Strickland said he saw potential for growth in the medical, transportation and education fields, especially with Fujitsu’s notebooks and tablet computers.

King said Fujitsu has been spending an “ever-evolving dollar amount” to prepare for this new partnership. The company is planning an advertising campaign, several road shows and an extensive training program for VARs with help from Synnex.

Richard Shim, an analyst at IDC, said Fujitsu’s move into the SMB and vertical markets make sense since the commercial market has slowed during the past year but the consumer market has remained lucrative.

SMB, Shim said, is a smart way for companies to bridge that gap.

“It gives you volume and it remains a hot growing sector and that’s why a lot of folks are revamping and going after it aggressively,” Shim said.

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