Compaq Computer Corp outlined some of its plans for the future at a meeting on Wall Street Friday morning, the day after its acquisition of Digital Equipment Corp was finalized by a vote among DEC shareholders. Chief executive Eckhard Pfeiffer stressed his company’s commitment to extend industry standards into enterprise computing and to offer customers […]
Compaq Computer Corp outlined some of its plans for the future at a meeting on Wall Street Friday morning, the day after its acquisition of Digital Equipment Corp was finalized by a vote among DEC shareholders. Chief executive Eckhard Pfeiffer stressed his company’s commitment to extend industry standards into enterprise computing and to offer customers a single point of contact for their computing needs. The main thrust of the morning’s speeches concerned the intention to drive Alpha and Digital Unix as industry standards. Pfeiffer said the DEC acquisition should allow Compaq to extend its inherited lead in 64-bit computing with Digital Unix and Alpha-based systems. Compaq will be attempting to expand Digital Unix as the industry standard for the IA-64 architecture and will also work on the development of tools to ensure its interoperability with NT in its effort to create the most NT-friendly Unix in the industry. Compaq also intends to fully support the Alpha platform and the company said it has seen a lot of interest from customers along those lines. Compaq-branded Alpha workstations and servers should be coming in the near future, according to Pfeiffer. With more than 11,000 64-bit applications running on Alpha-based systems worldwide, Compaq is hoping to leverage Alpha as a strategic platform for power-hungry applications such as data warehousing, technical computing and internet commerce. Compaq also insists it will continue to extend its leadership position in NT by accelerating the adoption of NT in the enterprise. It will work on clustering and transaction processing for NT, invest in the aforementioned middleware for Unix and NT, and package services with its systems. Compaq said it is also committed to maintaining its market share in business-critical solutions by continuing to invest in OpenVMS and Tandem NonStop Himalaya and using those technologies to fuel the development of enterprise NT. The services business brought by the acquisition is sizable, with a staff of 25,000 including 2,000 Microsoft-certified engineers, 3,000 UNIX engineers and 700 NetWare-certified engineers. John Rando, senior vice president and general manager of services, boasts that Compaq is now among the top five systems integrators worldwide, with 550 locations in 114 countries. Rando said his goal is to make Compaq into a $15bn service provider by 2002. In the area of packaged applications, the company aims to leverage its DEC and Tandem units to deliver the fastest time to solution in the marketplace. Compaq wants to be a leader in services for the packaged applications industry and it already claims the largest NT market share in SAP, Baan, Oracle and Microsoft Exchange. To further its aims in that area, Compaq will be launching a web site for an initiative called Active Answers, which is being described as an online library of tools and information to help accelerate the implementation of packaged applications. As for another topic of much discussion, the DEC hardware business, Compaq said it will continue to sell and support current DEC PC products until the natural end of their life cycle and then will create a joint roadmap for one product line under the Compaq brand. Manufacturing will be cut down accordingly, making it one of the prime areas for staff redundancies. Compaq also unveiled its new worldwide advertising strategy Friday, previewing several ads that feature its new Q logo and the motto Better Answers. Michael Heil, vice president and general manager of worldwide sales and marketing said the company will continue to improve its supply chain through enhancements to its Optimized Distribution Model, which will include build to order programs and web-based sales. The company still plans to leverage its channel partners in the selling process, however. Heil said that Compaq will sell any way our customers want to buy. Compaq also promised that it would unveil its strategy for the newly-acquired Alta Vista search engine in the near future.