Compaq has announced a line of PCs targeted specifically at the small to medium business market alongside a direct marketing strategy in the US (see related story). But the UK says it will stay firmly channel oriented.
The Prosignia family of desktops, portables and servers will be competitively priced and come in a variety of configure-to-order models to satisfy the needs of small to medium businesses. The systems will be sold direct and through Compaq?s reseller network in the US.
Compaq?s aim, say analysts, is to try to rip back market share from its biggest rival, Dell, whose direct model has been sending it from strength to strength. Compaq is currently the number one PC vendor and Dell number three.
?These exciting new efforts are milestones for Compaq as we drive deeper into the heart of the direct marketplace,? commented Eckhard Pfeiffer, president and chief executive officer of Compaq, at the Prosignia?s launch in New York.
?Compaq has married reseller distribution with the direct method of delivering products to give customers more choices than they?ve ever had before in terms of products, services, solutions, buying methods and leasing options."
Compaq is scheduled to launch the Prosignia line in the UK in the first half of 1999 and will stick with channel distribution, David Petts, director of PC business, told 'Newswire'.
?The channel dynamics are different in the US. Our requirements are not the same and here all routes to market will be through the channel,? he said.
Petts, however, did not write off direct selling for the future. ?We will continue to look at it as an option and, of course, if it is appropriate we will go direct," he said.
Petts said that the Prosignia range will change frequently and will be extremely price sensitive, however. ?The small to medium business market buys as and when it requires systems, there is far less brand loyalty and standards adoption so we will react accordingly,? he said.
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