Westcon Adds Fujitsu Storage, Server Products

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Westcon Group has inked a deal to offer Fujitsu Americas' Primergy line of servers and Eternus Storage products in the U.S.

It represnts a major storage and server agreement from Westcon Group, a company looking to expand beyond its legacy as a networking and voice products distributor and become a full data center supplier to VARs, said Patty Gray, vice president of global technology strategies at Westcon.

"This is very strategic for us. This continues to expand our data center practice. It brings to our partner community a best-in-class manufacturer. We think the synergies between the two companies line up very, very well," Gray said.

Westcon research shows that more than half of its top 100 customers sell servers and storage in addition to networking solutions, Gray said. While the distributor also carries Cisco Systems' UCS line of servers, it pretty much had been leaving servers and storage revenue on the table, Gray said.

"We had been unable to participate in that marketplace. This provides more value to partners. It's our strategy to provide a full portfolio of top manufacturers. We think Fujitsu will complement Cisco, Avaya, Brocade," Gray said

One of the key attractions of Fujitsu to Westcon was that Fujitsu doesn't require a time- and resource-intensive training and certification program for its servers and storage products. VARs can almost start selling from day one, Gray said.

"In comparison to other server and storage lines that I've been around, Fujitsu is pretty low entry as far as requirements or time out of the business. We're certifying engineers to act on behalf of resellers to train and enable them. There's nothing really what you would consider a certification for entry," Gray said.

Greg Wilson, CEO of infoStructure, a Littleton, Colo.-based VAR, said he was looking at Fujitsu before Westcon added the vendor because of its quick authorization process.

"We also carry [Hitachi Data Systems] servers. Most VARs go all in with one but it's good for us to have a second source without having to get into an incredibly heavy-handed partner program like [Hewlett-Packard] or IBM," Wilson said. "Fujitsu is not so much certification oriented. They're interested in growing the market."

Westcon joins Synnex and Tech Data as Fujitsu's server and storage distributors in the U.S. The vendor chose Westcon as its first "value-add distributor" because it offered the right resources to get up and running, said Bill King, executive vice president of platform products for Fujitsu Americas.

"They were looking for a partner with a full line of server and storage. We were looking for mind share. Initially the conversation was about our servers as part of their network appliances, but we saw more synergies," King said.

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