Compaq has devised guidelines that its US-based Internet distributors must follow in order to sell the vendor's Presario consumer PCs online. The vendor is also expected to re-establish that US sales channel, which was halted in February.
However, Ben Reeve, Compaq Australia's manager, segment and channel marketing, denied that Compaq's US online strategy will have any Australian impact.
"There are no plans for Compaq to adopt this policy in Australia," Reeve said.
"This isn't right for the Australian market, there is not the scale of opportunity here that there is in the States," Reeve claimed.
Wally Rosada, managing director of Sydney reseller Exanet, agrees that US proposals do not necessarily find their way to Australian shores. "It has been proven over and over again that a lot of models in the US just don't work here," he claims.
A flurry of requests from Internet-based retailers that wanted to sell Presarios prompted Compaq to stop allowing the sale of the consumer PCs online.
Mounting tensions have arisen in sales channels because increasingly abundant Web sites offer products at lower prices than traditional retail stores, which have a higher overhead. Under Compaq's new guidelines, online-only retailers and brick-and-mortar stores that also have Web sites are able to sell Presarios online if they choose to.
The guidelines for online resellers include a Web site where only new Presarios are sold without a mix of older machines offered; a business plan regarding online sales; regular telephone customer support hours; and e-mail customer support.
Rosada is relatively optimistic if the online policy is adopted in Australia dependant on the fact that Compaq remains committed to its channel. "Anything that leaves some of the margin in the channel and doesn't get rid of any of the channel people is a good thing." However Rosada is still cautious and suggests that these guidelines could be a ploy for "Compaq to further rationalise its reseller channel. If the bar is set high enough some resellers won't make it."