Compaq is to ask Andersen Consulting to audit its system service providers (SSPs) to test their support standards.
In May, Compaq announced it was raising the accreditation standards required for its SSPs, which target larger customers, to include formal accreditation for software partners such as Novell and Microsoft, larger numbers of software engineers, greater focus on networking skills and an increased range of enterprise level support functions.
"We have delisted service providers in the past and we will delist SSPs if they do not meet the new standards we have set," said Paul Gardner, Compaq's UK director of customer service.
Andersen Consulting is to audit all the SSPs starting on 1 October to provide an independent and objective measure of quality, said Gardner.
He claimed Compaq has the best logistics system in the industry and the highest levels of support, but believes some vendor-approved systems of channel measurement have fallen into disrepute in the past. Therefore he wants to be able to show external measurements of resellers' quality levels.
Compaq has also introduced a new warranty policy for those resellers that do not have their own extended service offering. Known as Carepaq, it gives products a three-year warranty enhancement through a Compaq service provider and is targeted for sale to small business customers.
Gardner said Compaq will release a product called Virtual Technician to its channel in the first quarter of 1998. This is based on Compaq's own faults database and resellers can use it to help detect product problems by entering symptoms and letting the artificial intelligence engine help with diagnosis.
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