RealTime IT News

Compaq Offers Computing By the Seat

Compaq Computer Corp. Tuesday showed how it approaches business from different angles when it introduced five computing-on-demand services packages for enterprise customers.

Geared for the enterprise because it is priced on a per-seat, per-month basis, the strategy features Compaq's new Evo line of desktops and notebooks, which were announced in May.

Compaq said it would make the offer good to any business for a three-year period, providing both the hardware and services with warranties, help desk assistance, technology updates, asset reporting and program management.

Peter Blackmore, executive vice president of Sales and Services at Compaq said the idea was to give customers more flexibility and control over their IT infrastructure, which could prove attractive at a time when PC spending is stagnant and the large manufacturers like Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway need to search for any slight advantage among the competition.

The service packages are divided among PCs and laptops. Access on Demand packages start with a $99 per seat/per month entry-level solution featuring a Compaq Evo Desktop D300v Microtower, on-site warranty, help desk support and program management. The enterprise-level desktop Access on Demand packages are priced at $129 per seat/per month and feature the new Compaq Evo Desktop D500, and Compaq Evo Desktop D500 SFF (small form factor).

For the mobile enterprise, Compaq offers two packaged solutions for $169 per seat/per month, featuring either the Compaq Evo Notebook N400c or the Compaq Evo Notebook N600c. These offers also include services such as basic installation and warranty, help desk, technology refresh, asset reporting and program management.

The on-demand packages follow last week's iPAQ Neworking announcement, in which Compaq sought to appeal to consumers who are looking for an easy way to hook up PCs, peripherals and other devices from the small or home office.

Since HP made a bid to acquire Compaq on Labor Day (Sept. 4), the company has experienced almost barometric treatment from analysts, who have run the gamut of saying the deal was bad to good for both parties. In fact, overall reception to the deal was quite poor; investors have knocked the value of the deal down to less than $17 billion from $25 billion.

However, Salomon Smith Barney analyst Richard Gardner said the deal was quite undervalued and issued a "buy" rating on Compaq in a research note Monday.