With its place in the Compaq distribution pecking order cemented, Express Data (ED) will next month embark on a differentiation tack that will see the national distributor offer Compaq server-based services solutions to its resellers.
While service package offerings are nothing new for ED, the distributor has been bundling network service packs and multivendor support for some time, and the Compaq services strategy will expose ED and its resellers to a potentially lucrative business.
According to Ross Cochrane, Express Data's managing director, the timing of the services push is appropriate given that Compaq is striving to consolidate its channel infrastructure.
And he expects the streamlined troop of Compaq distributors will play a critical role in that process.
"The market is showing us that a lot of resellers don't want to become integrators," Cochrane claimed.
"Many of them would struggle to justify investing in the right mix of skills and resources to provide customers with integrated hardware, software and application solutions."
He said resellers could profit from follow-up support opportunities by combining ED's configured server-based services with their own value-add options.
"Previously, many resellers have allowed the customer to do the integration work themselves. However, with the current push by resellers to provide services, many are running out of bandwidth and resources."
Cochrane was also quick to deny claims that ED's services push would see the distributor go head-to-head with Compaq Services, Compaq's own services and outsourcing arm.
"Compaq Services needs to market itself to the channel which is where we can help with our services offerings," Cochrane said.
"Compaq has assured us that it will not follow through on any of our service-related business," a business Cochrane predicts will provide up to 10 per cent of ED's entire Compaq product line revenue in the next year.
And while server-based service solutions will occupy ED's mind in the short term, Cochrane hinted that an expansion into PC services is not that far away.