Compaq is continuing its drive to snare direct corporate sales, last week landing a deal to install its business technology products and services in Qantas Club Business Centres around Australia.
The vendor reports it will handle support and integration directly, claiming the deal is part of a sponsorship agreement with the airline and will create follow-on sales for its channel.
From February 2001, Compaq's wireless LAN technology will be available to Qantas business customers to connect to the Internet or corporate networks. The company will also offer its new line of Armada notebooks on a loan basis to Club travellers.
Compaq's manager of products and solutions marketing, Tony Ignatavicius, said the deal would work to show off the company's mobile business technology and create opportunities for the channel.
"The arrangement with Compaq is a partnership between the companies whereby we sponsor the Qantas business lounges," he said. "It is an investment in promoting and showcasing Compaq technology at our target audience, and what better environment to showcase wireless solutions?"
The company will install its iPAQ desktop Internet device range in the lounge as well as its Armada series and hopes to add handhelds to its integrating wireless technology in the near future.
"It is a sponsorship deal so we will install the technology, but our partners will benefit from it because it is like advertising. Hopefully the investment will mean future business for our reseller partners," Ignatavicius explained.
Compaq also hopes to team up with application partners, he said. The company has already loaded sales application Online Manager on its iPAQ workstations in a promotion that will run in the business centres for the next month.
"If we can team up with those companies it gives us a forum to showcase complete solutions," he said.
Meanwhile, Compaq has added new muscle to its enterprise lineup by teaming with Oracle at Comdex to announce the December availability of a new application server appliance based on the Oracle 9I application server and Compaq's Proliant DL360 server.
The hardware and software combination that make up the new appliance will be pre-configured, pre-installed and pre-tested by the Compaq channel for the first month of availability, before other channel partners such as HP and Dell begin shipping early next year.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison promised the device would be three times faster than competing application server products. Oracle's senior vice president of platform technologies, Mike Rocha, told Asia-Pacific journalists that application server software accounts for less than 1 per cent of Oracle's present revenues, but the company expects it to grow to over 50 per cent in the next three to four years. It expects the application server market to be worth $11 billion by 2004.
The appliance's operating system is based on a mix of Linux and Solaris code, and the appliance begins at $US15,000 for the smallest combination of hardware and software.
Rocha said Compaq gained the one-month advantage over the rest of Oracle's channel partners because it shared a similar vision as Oracle, and had a large distribution channel for both Intel and Alpha-based services.