Compaq moved last week to alleviate possible doubts about its channel commitment with the announcement of its solutions partner program to be spearheaded by key alliances with Com Tech, Data#3 and GE Capital IT Solutions.
The aim of the initiative is to provide customers with complete enterprise solutions while still allowing the customer to engage with a single service entity.
"Compaq will provide a component of the solution and rely on its partners to provide the rest," said Peter Neeson, program manager, solutions partner program. According to Tony Bill, manager of Compaq's enterprise computing group, the solutions partner program will be the "key delivery tool" for 20 non-stop e-business solutions Compaq is planning to roll out over the next couple of months.
Initially the arrangement will focus on enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions with an SAP predilection, call centres and e-commerce solutions. The program will eventually be expanded to encompass the full ERP scope, e-business offerings and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.
Partners for the program are existing technology members who have invested heavily in their relationship with Compaq, Neeson explained. "They have a commitment to sales and technical skills and are mostly software-vendor qualified. They are solutions focused and have ASE Professional capabilities and ASE certified technical staff," Neeson added.
According to its partners, Compaq's selection criteria depended on solution providers offering skills, solutions and market penetration that Compaq had little expertise or presence in. "We have made a huge investment in people and solutions. We are certainly more than a box mover," stressed David Shein, managing director of Com Tech.
"Compaq wants to connect with our SAP market," suggested John Grant, managing director of Data#3, of its inclusion in the program.
And Ron Leeder, managing director of GE Capital IT Solutions, stressed that Compaq was looking for value-added resellers that could develop more than infrastructure and be involved in the complete solution and market strategy of the program.
Compaq's tactic also includes alliances with vendors able to develop the technology behind these offerings, such as SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Genesys, Geotel, OzEmail and Web Central.
In return for partner contributions, Compaq aims to endow solution partners with preferential status entitling them access to the vendor's global alliance programs, marketing initiatives, brokered relationships with alliance partners and the ability to provide total solutions.
"This program has introduced some granularity into Compaq's channel strategy whereas before it was very egalitarian," Grant said. "Compaq now recognises the investment that some companies make in this relationship and it is an endorsement of Compaq's channel strategy in an environment of direct versus indirect," Grant added.