HP/COMPAQ: Distributor dog fight likely: Inform

HP/COMPAQ: Distributor dog fight likely: Inform

The new entity set to arise from the HP and Compaq merger is unlikely to change its channel strategy in Australia, but it could spell a slugfest among distributors, say analysts from channel research company Inform.

"It will be interesting to see if the ‘new HP' appoints all three of the major distributors - Tech Pacific, Express Data and Ingram Micro," said Inform research director Chris Herbert, adding the merger is likely to spark even more aggressive sales and marketing initiatives as distributors battle to win over resellers.

Inform expects the combined HP and Compaq, which it has dubbed the "new HP", will continue its commitment to the channel.

"They have seen what a disaster the Compaq quasi-direct strategy was, and will not be in a rush to emulate that plan again. This acquisition does not lend itself to a potential direct sales model."

The HP/Compaq merger will come into its own in the server market, according to Inform. The company could also prove strong on the retail front, Herbert said, as long as consumer branding is not confused.

"HP is exceptionally strong in the retail space in Australia, which is matched by Compaq's strength in the corporate space. So there is excellent synergy here if the key brands are kept separate."

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