Compaq?s chief executive Eckhard Pfeiffer flew into London this morning and outlined the reasons behind his company?s acquisition of Digital Equipment yesterday.
Pfeiffer said: ?We?ve been saying for quite a while now that our key focus is on the enterprise. We saw the opportunity but we did not have all the resources.?
He added that, while Compaq itself ran its enterprise on PC servers and NT, he had realised that when it was bidding for business it could not offer everything companies wanted.
He said: ?There was a space in between Compaq and Tandem and that was the origin of the idea to acquire another company. Service and support is a huge opportunity but for truly global services and support, Compaq had to rely on many, many partners.?
The second key factor was that Digital, he said, had a large customer base that Compaq could leverage and make use of.
The third reason was that Digital had a very rich heritage of products and technology. ?We see the ability to participate in large scale enterprises. One example was that Digital won a $1.6 billion contract with the US Post Office. Compaq was not ready to step up to that table and we clearly wanted that capability.?
Yet another factor was the salesforce, he went on. ?Compaq had 2,000 sales executives. We added 1,500 more with Tandem and now we?re adding 14,000.?
He said: ?Clearly we said we wanted to do it all. It?s taken us immediately in terms of sales to number two worldwide. We thought it would take us $50 billion to get there, but we have just passed Hewlett Packard. If you take out HP?s test and measurement equipment, we?re $2.5 billion ahead of them.?
Supporters of the deal hope Compaq will be able to leverage Digital?s undisputedly high quality technology, which has often been under-marketed. Pfeiffer cited the Alpha chip, Open VMS and Digital Unix as examples.
?Digital has always been known for its rich technology that was never fully utilised,? he said. ?We hope we can take it much, much further. The credibility of Digital will rise dramatically. ?
He revealed that the deal was brokered last Friday, after Wall Street closed. ?In this kind of situation when the stock market closes, you can bring in the troops and be ready with an announcement before the stock exchange opens on Monday.?
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