User group takes post-merger name

As Hewlett-Packard and Compaq proceed with their merger, so is a user group that formerly represented Compaq customers.

As Hewlett-Packard and Compaq proceed with their merger, so is a user group that formerly represented Compaq customers.

DECUS, originally standing for Digital Equipment User Group but transformed into Compaq-DECUS after the 1998 merger of Compaq and Digital, has been rechristened once more. At a meeting last week it was renamed HP-DECUS (Distributed Enterprise Computing Users Society).

Group head Alan Dick says the new HP is showing support for the user group, helping provide it with speakers from an Australian DECUS symposium for New Zealand events in late July. HP staffers Tony Vine and John McCullough are also liaising with the group, and DECUS is to link with an HP user group that apparently folded last year.

“We see this [merger] as an opportunity to move forward and get critical mass again,” Dick says. DECUS had been languishing since the Compaq-Digital merger.

McCullough says he has been given the task of discovering the remnants of the old HP user group, a job he hoped to complete in a few days. The plan would then be to get an “all encompassing group” for the new HP, but that would depend on what the users wanted.

“We are tasked to give whatever help for these user groups, be they established or re-established,” he says.

HP-DECUS starts its new life with a database of 280 members and a further 700 names to follow up. The group’s website contains information about the merger, including messages from the DECUS leadership.

Dick says the new HP is showing commitment to its product roadmap and is being open about the merger process.

He also says rival vendors are exploiting the integration of Compaq and Hewlett-Packard by creating “fear, uncertainty and doubt” over product ranges.

But he says the new HP is combating that by “delivering clear and consistent messages”.

He has attended a meeting in France with senior HP management, from whom the message is that the company will meet the roadmap “come hell or high water”.

“There’s commitment from the top down that the roadmap be met. That seems like good news,” he says.

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