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Businesses of all shapes and sizes need to work together

The new head of UK and Ireland for technology firm Fujitsu has criticised the government’s demand for more SME involvement – claiming companies of all sizes need to “work together.”

The recently-appointed exec, Michael Keegan, claims that Whitehall’s attempt to open up the public sector market to a wider size range of firms should focus less on SME-bigger player rivalry and more on encouraging tech firms to collaborate instead.

Fujitsu is part of the infamous “oligopoly” – the select group of large government IT suppliers that figures such as Liam Maxwell, UK government CTO, have been trying to make the market a little fairer.

Its new head however, told a UK channel publication this week that he wasn’t happy with the way this has been framed, stating supplier relationships for the public sector should not be seen as an “either-or” discussion.

“We think the right approach here is one of collaboration, not confrontation,” he told the title.

“Fujitsu has 800 SMEs in its supply chain; 21 per cent of the money customers spend with [us] goes out of Fujitsu and into SMEs that work with us,” Keegan claimed.

The new Fujitsu head also claimed it isn’t always possible for smaller firms to bid for government contracts directly, as the bidding process can often prove too long and onerous for them.

“The right model for this space is collaboration and that’s a model Fujitsu has signed up for,” he said.

Keegan takes over giant company

In his new role as head of the UK and Ireland division of the company, Keegan takes charge of 14,000 employees, spanning work in software and hardware products, data centre, helpdesk and networking and telecoms.

Keegan sees his main priority as building on the successes of his predecessor Duncan Tait and building the product, private sector and defence areas of the business.

Tait is still with Fujitsu, but how holds the position of head of EMEA.