And then there were six. Compaq last week revealed the half dozen distributors it has chosen to see it into the next century.
Compaq has settled on three volume distributors - Dicker Data, ITG/Ingram Micro and Tech Pacific. Express Data is its "value" distributor, Simms will specialise in storage and Daisytek will distribute consumables.
However, Compaq's general manager, business and consumer division, Greg Healy, said the "channel is never static and our plans are never static". To this end there will be some crossover between the distributor roles, with Tech Pacific and ITG covering the value-adding section and Express Data eyeing off the volume distribution arena. "We will give access to products as an organisation meets certain requirements and will work with companies who have expressed a desire to expand their focus," Healy said.
Healy also believes the consolidation of the channel is an ongoing process that might "in the short term cause disruptions, but in the long term will generate a better result for us, the partners we have selected and our resellers. We couldn't have sustained what we had.
"We assessed every distributor against six channel criteria - financial viability, ability to grow, focus on customer satisfaction, a viable customer proposition, defined target markets and the desire to work with the new Compaq."