Compaq has seriously entered the Internet fray with the launch last week of its NonStop eBusiness strategy in the Asian region, which includes the total realignment of its company structure.
The new-look Compaq will comprise three distinct sections - enterprise, PC and consumer - instead of the traditional geographic-based hierarchy of 120 countries.
The vendor will also rely on partnerships signed around the region to skill it up in an era lacking abundant human resources, yet generating huge demands. Indian service provider Tata Technologies is the first to ink a deal with Compaq and will participate in contracts across the region, mostly in the networking, e-business, and enterprise resource planning spaces.
Through this chain Compaq is hoping to take a slice out of what Stephen Kirchoff, vice president, strategic marketing, enterprise solutions and services group, says is a dynamic market. "Ninety eight per cent of systems to be used for e-business between 2000 and 2003 have not been built yet," he said.
Enrico Pesatori, senior vice president and group general manager, enterprise solutions and services group, is expecting e-commerce will account for $US1.3 trillion worth of business by the year 2003, and Compaq needs to prepare for that.
"E-commerce has absolutely collapsed the cycle of business. People used to do 10,000 transactions a month. Now they do millions a minute. Business now flows in real time," he said.
Running the risk of languishing as a PC company while rival IBM brands itself as the next-generation e-business driver, Compaq has given itself till January 1 to complete the reorganisation.
"A PC company can no longer just be a PC company," said Pesatori, who has instead dedicated the enterprise group, which already accounts for 53 per cent of Compaq's business, to brand Compaq as an e-business player.
Through the group Compaq will offer e-business-hungry companies and consumers what Pesatori described as solution building blocks, networked systems architecture and NonStop professionals to address the inherent problems of e-business - reliability, availability, scalability, security and interoperability.
"The week eBay went down, the phones were off the hook," said Kirchoff, who prior to this had had difficulty selling the concept of NonStop eBusiness even to his own company.
Compaq will face the same challenges in the wider world with sceptics unwilling to trust that Windows NT can be controlled in an unstoppable environment.
"NT has not been viewed as a reliable, enterprise-ready environment," admitted Kirchoff. "But if you have a failover system, which companies like Sun haven't worked out yet, then it's fine," he insisted.
Compaq will initially try and convince only a select few of its e-business prowess, with Pesatori explaining that the e-business market is too large to take on all at once. The telecommunications, finance and manufacturing markets, as well as the very lucrative and rapidly growing service provider market, will be the first to judge Compaq's offerings.
Rebecca Munro travelled to Singapore as a guest of CompaqCompaq's NonStop eBusiness offeringsBuilding blocksBusiness-critical and industry-standard servers, such as AlphaServers supporting Tru64, Linux and Open VMS and NonStop Himalaya and NonStop Integrity systemsAt the lower end of the market Compaq will offer the Proliant and TaskSmart, supporting Microsoft Windows NT, NewWare, Linux and SCO/UnixwareSolution packsStorage networks, including StorageWorks and Enterprise Network Storage Architecture (ENSA)Server applications Networked system architecturesNext-generation networks, including convergent multiple networksBusiness integration architectureENSADistributed Internet server arrays (DISA)Service professionalsNonStop eBusiness consulting servicesNonStop eBusiness solution integration servicesNonStop eBusiness infrastructure servicesNonStop eBusiness architecture services labsNonStop eBusiness support and management services