Compaq to spend $US1 billion on ASPs

Compaq will become more aggressive on financing and on forming strategic alliances with partners, says Mark Linesch, vice president of Compaq's dot-com and service provider solutions group.

          Compaq will become more aggressive on financing and on forming strategic alliances with partners, says Mark Linesch, vice president of Compaq's dot-com and service provider solutions group.

          Compaq will spend $US1 billion on enabling ASPs (application service providers) with its services, Linesch said while giving a speech at the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) Forum in Santa Cruz this week.

          He went on to say that Compaq is looking for more partners -- resellers, ASPs and distributors. "We need to get more aggressive with our alliances," he says.

          One ASP that is currently looking for customers is Nortel Networks. One of the biggest challenges for Nortel's ASP division is to gain the customers' trust.

          Giving an ASP control of a company's systems is a scary business, says Craig Maszer, director of the ASP strategy group at Nortel.

          "The CEOs are scared of viruses and of losing control," says Maszer, who also gave a speech at the SCO Forum.

          The role of an ASP is to move the companies' systems, such as backup systems, on to the Internet.

          "But we need to give the control back to the CEOs," Maszer says. However, he didn't say how that was going to happen.

          "The Internet is going to disappear," he went on. "It is going to become brokered services instead."

          Maszer says people involved in traditional telephone conversations don't worry about which router or switch their conversations go through.

          "The same trust has to come to the Internet."

          Maszer, as well as Compaq's Linesch, stressed the importance of working together with partners to take full advantage of e-business opportunities. Despite the many opportunities in e-commerce, "we must find distinctive competence and specialise," says Maszer.

          "Then we execute. It is when it comes to execution that we need partnerships."

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