Compaq takes leaf out of mainframe book

Compaq New Zealand was last week working out details of a "customised" version of a new "Computing on Demand" offering, which bundles software and services with its hardware.

Compaq New Zealand was last week working out details of a “customised” version of a new “Computing on Demand” offering, which bundles software and services with its hardware.

The new sales strategy was announced in the US before the local organisation had finalised its plans. They’ll be disclosed this week, and are believed to involve at least one services partner.

“Computing on Demand”, as explained by Compaq in the US, will tie installation and technical support services to sales of PCs, servers, storage and handheld devices.

That means Compaq customers will be able to buy all the information technology they need, including overhead capacity for servers and storage, at a preset price and performance level. The initiative is intended to allow customers to outsource IT requirements to Compaq.

The Computing on Demand suite applies a utility model approach to IT, says the company’s head of worldwide sales and services, Peter Blackmore.

“The concept behind this is pretty hot in the market right now,” Blackmore says. “Many corporate customers [feel] that hardware is more and more considered a utility. Not a commodity, but a utility, because the products are valuable [in that] they run their infrastructure on it, but they really want to pay for hardware and infrastructure the way they pay for a utility ... We think this is a fundamental shift in the industry.”

An analyst at DH Brown and Associates in New York, Tony Iams, says the move from Compaq comes late compared to similar service moves by Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

“Capacity on demand is something that’s been done in the mainframe world for a long time,” says Iams.

Computing on Demand includes a number of categories: Capacity on Demand, Server on Demand and Storage on Demand. Customers can reserve PC, server and storage capacity, and Compaq releases the computing power to them as it is needed.

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