Panasonic moves on enterprise market

Consumer electronics giant Panasonic has signalled its intention to move into the enterprise solutions market with the formation of Panasonic Business Systems Australia (PBSA).

Brendan Trewartha, director of the business unit, said the move is a result of 18 months of planning.

“After a review of our company’s strategy we decided to change our approach to the Australian market,” Trewartha said. “Project units have been formed to provide complete solutions and the company now consists of consumer and business units. This represents more than a restructure as we aim to become a top three supplier to the SME market for our products.”

Panasonic’s strategic marketing manager, Greg Sampson, said the formation of a solutions business was the result of the company having difficulty finding its place in the commercial market. “Therefore customers were unable to find a synergy between our products,” Sampson said.

“SMEs are demanding a solutions approach to technology in order to become more competitive. PBSA now provides a unified approach, easier access to technologies, and integrated solutions.” However, Sampson conceded that it is not easy to become a solutions provider which “creates value beyond the sum of its parts”.

Sampson said products and services would include product bundling – which is a subset of a solution, business finance – allowing businesses to obtain financing through PBSA; and the establishment of a call centre for premium service. “PBSA is also developing relationships with partners whose business supports ours, the first of which is Telstra.”

Products in the business range include a sub-notebook, a "business ruggedised" notebook, two convertible notebook/pen tablet PC models, monitors, portable projectors, network-ready print and imaging solutions and a print-ready whiteboard.

“The channel will be crucial to our success,” he said. “We have established a business development group which is aiming for 400 per cent growth in that market. There is a $3.5 billion enterprise market for the types of products and solutions Panasonic offers.

“We don’t believe in instantly targeting the corporate market, but will eventually take on the enterprise.”

The vertical markets of health, corporate and education will be targeted first, Sampson said.

“This announcement is the first stage of our step into solutions and we expect to leverage our good consumer brand,” he said.

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