Compaq has set aside more than $1bn to finance, invest in and create joint marketing deals with service providers.
The computer maker believes the Service Provider Advantage Programme will enable it to attract customers in the service provider market. Michael Capellas, Compaq's chairman and chief executive, said service providers will attribute 20 per cent of sales to the firm's enterprise unit by the end of 2001.
Compaq will provide $600m in loans to companies through Compaq Financial Services, and has set aside $400m for equity investments and $150m for various marketing schemes.
Keith McAuliffe, vice president and general manager of Compaq's service provider business unit, said: "In contrast with some companies trying to be service providers themselves, we're focused on the enabling model."
Joyce Tompsett-Becknell, director of computer platforms at researcher the Aberdeen Group, said Compaq has a clear strategy and implementation plan that will attract to service providers.
The initiative includes financing for hardware, software and services. The funds for loans will be available to companies worldwide as well as larger businesses and startups that want to expand.
The Service Provider Advantage Programme, which initially will be offered in North America, will offer training, consulting and marketing assistance. The scheme will be available either separately or in combination with other portions of the initiative.
Compaq declined to name the companies it is likely to invest directly, but further announcements are expected this year.
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