"We didn't cover ourselves in glory in the last quarter of last year. We let our customers and resellers down by not being able to predict when they would be getting products. Compaq needs to be aware of how we can add value and be responsible to the customers' requirements. At the moment we are not geared to do this.
"We have always told our resellers that they shouldn't rely on Compaq margin to fund their growth, they must be prepared to add value."
Ian Penman, managing director, Compaq AustraliaIndustry comments on Pfeiffer's dumping"The local crowd here for Compaq run the show and they call the shots. So I'd say it will only have a minimal impact if any."
Braham Shnider, managing director, ITG
"There's probably a lot more to it that we don't know about, considering his length of service. By the sounds of it, it could take seven or eight months to find a replacement. I think they'll go outside the industry and do something similar to what IBM did with Gerstner.
"So I think there will be something of a deferral to their strategy. What we would be interested in is what their ongoing Internet and direct or otherwise strategy is. It's been confused because the US is saying one thing, and Australia is saying in a different market there'll be a different approach. This is generally not how it happens in reality."
David Cullen, managing director, Tech Pacific"It's interesting that both Compaq and Hewlett-Packard are presently looking for a new CEO to reorganise themselves to move into the next decade.
"I personally think that [Compaq chairman] Ben Rosen has the vision and leadership to guide Compaq to an even stronger future. He has the perfect blend of technology smarts and business acumen." David Hayman,managing director, Integrand Solutions"We're so isolated from what's happening in the US. You just don't know what's going to happen. I don't think we really have any control over our businesses. We're really in the hands of the vendor, and whatever happens over there is going to happen here, it's just going to happen later."
Fiona Dicker, general manager, Dicker Data"Under the reign of Pfeiffer, the Australian subsidiary seemed to have the call on the go-to-market model. Sure [head office] made decisions like integrating Digital, but the Australian subsidiary seemed to have the call in Australia. We are very comfortable that, should that autonomy remain with the local subsidiary, the channel is still paramount on Compaq's agenda."
Greg Beale, general manager, sales and marketing, BCA"In the long term, Compaq will survive because they have good product. But I am a little nervous as a reseller that they will go direct. If Compaq pushes a more direct model we will look for other agencies. I think we will see the rise of white-box goods because it is increasingly difficult to deal with manufacturers.
"Big businesses will get bigger no matter what happens as long as they evolve. Small businesses will be hit a lot harder if Compaq goes direct."
Hugh Smith, managing director, Computer Corp"There will be a change in culture that will affect resellers. Instead of the arrogant top-down approach that Pfeiffer fostered hopefully there will be a more meek and mild management.
"It will be a sobering time for country and regional resellers. Pfeiffer wasn't forced to resign because the board didn't like the direction he was going in. They don't give a toss what you are doing as long as you are making money. Compaq's quarterly results were the catalyst. However, it will take them a long time to figure out a new strategy; at the moment, they will just consolidate the present mixed model."
Ivan Gomez, general manager, MicroArts
"I don't believe that it will have any impact locally. The Australian market is so different from the US in terms of timing and channel development. I believe that senior management these days works on a consensus. Pfeiffer's absence won't change the decisions they have made about channel strategies.
Compaq recognises that there can be two models of distribution. We don't see any real issue here if volume is maintained."
Ross Cochrane, general manager, Express Data