The channel has reacted with ambiguity over Compaq?s acquisition of Digital, announced on Monday.
One representative for Compaq said: ?Nothing is going to happen to the channel. Compaq is committed to the indirect channel and will remain so.?
But Mike Cohen, group sales and marketing director for VAR Computer Solutions and Finance Group said: ?The channel in the Compaq world is far more used to working under its own steam. How Compaq decide to integrate the two is something we can?t be sure of yet. The last thing they will disassemble are the things which make it a viable proposition to be bought in the first place.?
He added, ?The initial reaction from our customers has been very positive. We?ve phoned 65 - 70 per cent of our accounts and we?ve told them: it?s business as usual, we?ve got the same product lines. And they haven?t been intimidated or nervous. One manufacturer said, ?this now underwrites Digital?s viability of its technology for the future?.?
The deal which cost Compaq $9.6 billion, completes the jigsaw puzzle adding midrange expertise, following its purchase of networking companies Thomas Conrad and Networth, and PC manufacturer Tandem last year.
Both companies are now entering a 90-day ?quiet period? during which time legal and other details will be resolved. After this time, they have vowed to make firm announcements about channel and other plans.
Eckhard Pfeiffer, Compaq's CEO, said on the day of the deal that it will now have the largest channel network in the world, delivering over 80 per cent of products and solutions.
IDC IT analyst Terry Earnest-Jones said: ?This will create one of the largest channel networks for the IT industry, if not the largest. We just don?t know yet what the strategy is likely to be, but this acquisition is sure to expand Compaq?s channel.?
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