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Fujitsu NZ tips lift in local mergers and acquisitions

Fujitsu NZ tips lift in local mergers and acquisitions

Shift to services continues as local market proves resilient

Mika Joronen (Fujitsu NZ)

Mika Joronen (Fujitsu NZ)

Credit: Fujitsu

Fujitsu NZ country manager Mika Joronen claims project focused ICT services providers are starting to suffer as activity has slowed.

As a result, the New Zealand market was starting to see an uptick in merger and acquisition activity and there could be more coming, Joronen said.

Organisations were not signing projects off at the speed seen in the past, in part because so much work was brought forward or reprioritised in favour of deploying new workplace tools during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

For Fujitsu, activity remained solid as the local business focused on services, shielded somewhat as well by having a high proportion of government customers.

"If I was asked last year, I would have said we needed to widen our exposure," Joronen said. "We are very lucky because such a significant portion of our customers are in government."

That said, there was also significant pieces of work under way for new private sector clients.

Joronen said last year it was obvious there was a shift away from buying infrastructure and hardware and moving into the consumption model.

While that might lower top line revenue, he said, it was better for profitability.

"A lot of our future is in that area but we are not walking away from infrastructure or hardware," he said.

As soon as COVID-19 hit, Fujitsu experienced a "massive" uplift in the amount of work that had to be done very quickly.

Government agencies suddenly had to enable remote working so it was "madness" for two or three months with engineers running around twenty-four by seven.

Once that was done, everybody stopped for a while and took "a bit of a breath", Joronen said.

Now activity was lifting again.

Bigger clients, especially in government, had to keep their programmes running while many large private sector businesses were getting back to being as busy as ever.

There was still a lot of work around the digital workplace, Joronen said, with some organisations "doing it again" on an enterprise scale.

Demand was therefore high for technologies from the likes of Microsoft, Citrix and VMware.

The shift to the cloud was continuing and there was also a lot of activity in "basic" internet of things (IoT) deployment for applications such as water level monitoring and rubbish collection. 

One significant change over the last few years, is that Fujitsu NZ had moved away from "body shopping" people into enterprises.

"We did have quite a big operation but but made a deliberate business decision to get out of that," Joronen said.

"It's not really where we want to play. For us it's more about adding value."

IT managed services was still a big part of the local business, using Datacom's infrastructure to manage clients' IT infrastructure.

Another little appreciated line of business was retail point of sale, for global and local clients.

Fujitsu is a large provider of technology for checkout lanes for supermarkets, big retailers and drive throughs, with software preloaded.

Locally the company was seeing good growth at the larger end of retail.

As for Microsoft's announced local datacentre region, Joronen see a huge impact coming.

"I don't think any of the incumbents have ever had to face a competitor like that in New Zealand," he said.


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