The newly merged Fujitsu/Siemens computer company today outlined its ambition to become the number one IT company in Europe over the next 12 months, but questions remain over its ability to fully integrate the recently merged units.
The company, which officially commenced operations at the beginning of October, said combined figures showed it shipped 2.6 billion units in 1998 and wants to grow this to 6.3 billion units in 2001.
Herbert Schweikl, director of product communications, commented: "According to Dataquest's third quarter figures, we are number two in the European PC market with market share up to 14 per cent. We are winning market share from other leading vendors."
In addition to gunning for the number one market position in Europe, Fujitsu/Siemens said it was also aiming for one of the top three positions in the notebook market. The company is currently number six in the European mobile market in terms of market share, with 7.7 per cent.
Fujitsu/Siemens executives said the company needed to sell between 800,000 and 900,000 units per year to achieve its goal, which is an annual growth rate of 66 per cent. Over the last year, the company said it had grown at around a 66 per cent annual growth rate in its notebook business and shipped around 300,000 units.
IDC analyst Andy Brown commented: "Fujitsu/Siemens is a serious contender. It says it wants to be number one and it could do it."
However, Thomas Reuner, analyst with IT research company Dataquest, was more sceptical.
"We haven't broken down the figures for the third quarter yet so I'm not sure what the accumulative numbers are like. It's hard to see whether the company can achieve its goals as it has only been in operation since the beginning of October," he said.
"On big advantage it has is that it configures to order. Compaq and IBM are struggling in this area in Europe. But although the company won't have the same integration problems as we saw with Compaq and Digital, it will be faced with competing management in different countries following the merger and this will result in a certain amount of friction," he added.
He said the combined company has not yet realigned its sales force following the amalgamation, and this was a weakness.
"Siemens reorganised last year and it still hasn't realigned its sales force to reap the benefits from this yet. Taking this as a benchmark, this is a sign of weakness. In terms of marketing and execution it has a long way to go. It all comes down to execution," he concluded.
At the same time, the company officially launched its new notebook range.
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