Hewlett-Packard will undergo a dress rehearsal in New Zealand for its proposed merger with Compaq as it absorbs the local arm of services company CSC.
HP's New Zealand services business head, Mark Bowman, confirmed last week that the CSC acquisition is taking place, following six weeks of examining the CSC books.
Bowman said he is "hopeful" the majority of CSC's 90 or so staff will join HP.
"We're not looking to downsize; we're not acquiring CSC for purposes of cost-cutting," he said.
CSC New Zealand head, Kimbal Riley said CSC staff are positive about the merger, but he can't say how many will take up jobs with HP.
According to Bowman, the acquisition is "a tactic of the HP New Zealand business. It doesn't mean we're heading away from our product business. This is definitely going to be complementary to it."
The deal, whose value Bowman wouldn't disclose, hands HP CSC's Auckland "class A" data centre, which has a mix of IBM, Sun, Compaq and HP hardware. But Bowman said far from the data centre being the main prize of the acquisition, CSC's staff are what count. "Services is a people-based business," he says.
The CSC contingent will join about 50 existing HP services staff.
CSC customers who expressed misgivings about the deal when it was first revealed now appear reassured about it.
Riley said CSC has "50 to 100" New Zealand customers.