Fujitsu Siemens is to offer Sparc-based servers to the channel in a move that will go head to head with Sun Microsystems.
Fujitsu Siemens inherited the Sparc business unit from the merger between Fujitsu and Siemens in October last year. But until now, the company has done little with what was previously a direct division. The Unix servers, named Primepower, run on the same Sparc architecture as Sun's and are compatible.
Ian Snadden, director of channel sales, said: "Historically, enterprise has come from a direct model. We realise that the channel has greater resources than any single vendor. It has the ability to disperse products quickly with a more individual approach. All our business will go through them."
Fujitsu Siemens has already agreed a deal with Computacenter to resell its range and is also in talks with Basilica and Ideal Hardware. Chris Sarfas, marketing director at Sun, said: "It will give resellers alternatives and we are not in favour of monopolies here."
But Steve Brazier, an analyst at Canalys.com, was very doubtful whether Fujitsu Siemens could seriously challenge Sun's stranglehold on the UK market. "It is a tough job," he said. "ICL, Sony and Siemens [as direct vendors] have all tried before and failed. People don't like buying Solaris from anyone other than Sun."
Meanwhile, Fujitsu Siemens is also set to restructure its small to medium sized enterprise partner sales model. The company will become more directly involved in marketing and passing on business directly to the reseller.
Mel Taylor, UK marketing director at Fujitsu Siemens, said the company aimed to recruit up to 1000 resellers. "Organisations like Basilica are looking to offer alternative products. We will give them that alternative," he said.
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