HP/Compaq: ‘It’s the law of the jungle'

Mark Hales, IS manager at Wellington-based shipping company Seatrans, wishes the Hewlett-Packard-Compaq merger was happening the other way round.

Mark Hales, IS manager at Wellington-based shipping company Seatrans, wishes the Hewlett-Packard-Compaq merger was happening the other way round.
Hales, a customer of both companies, will be waiting until next year before he knows which of the products he uses today still have a future, as the two companies’ overlapping product lines are culled. Hales is keen to hear how the rationalisation will be done.

“It’s a pity HP is taking over Compaq, really, but that’s the law of the jungle.”

Seatrans uses Compaq Alpha servers, Compaq PCs and Hewlett-Packard printers and scanners and Hales would like it to stay that way.

He’s happy with his Alpha servers and prefers Compaq desktops to those of HP, seeing the HP offering as more consumer than business oriented.

Seatrans was originally a Digital customer, so it has been through the takeover of Digital by Compaq — an experience which turned out to be surprisingly painless, says Hales.

“When Compaq took over Digital they did the right thing. They kept the Digital server line and Compaq PCs, which was good for us as we had been having trouble with Digital PCs. It was the best thing for us in the long run. Hopefully Hewlett-Packard will stick to printers and scanners; we really like that end of their product line.”

Damian Swaffield, the IT director at Sky City Group, which has 60 Compaq servers and 800 desktops, is less uncertain about the buy-out.

“I think it will produce an organisation that is bigger, more robust and a more long-term player in the marketplace so that’s got to be good for people who use Compaq. I presume it will follow the same model as when Compaq took over Digital and the product range will remain the same.”

Both Compaq and Hewlett-Packard have replied to an RFP by Auckland University of Technology for file and print servers and a storage solution, making the news of great interest to IT manager Calum Macleod. The university expects to make a decision in the next few weeks.

Genesis Research & Development Unix system administrator Mark Brandwood says he hopes for a seamless merger.

“I don’t see any reason why it should make any difference as a customer.”

Genesis, which uses Alpha servers, was originally a Digital customer.

The HP-Compaq marriage propels the new entity to the top of the New Zealand IT pecking order. Individually, Compaq did slightly more local business last year at $292 million than HP at $255 million.

IBM $307m

(Source: IDC. Figures are most recent revenue results for the top five foreign vendors.)

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