Compaq’s Pfeiffer Wants “Internet Leadership”

On the day that Microsoft detailed its e-commerce
strategy, Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer took up the Internet cudgel for his
company while visiting Australia.

Speaking in Sydney, Pfeiffer showed great relish in predicting US$50
billion in revenues for Compaq in the year 2000, saying that this would be
on the back of the vendor attaining “Internet leadership.”

This would be achieved by Compaq “taking ownership of customer relations,”
Pfeiffer said, by building a corporate supply-chain extranet with its
customers and using the site as a purchasing tool.

This came on the same day as Microsoft announced it would be using its site as part of a larger electronic commerce strategy.

When asked by whether the projected IPO of its Alta
Vista subsidiary indicated that Compaq did not understand Alta Vista’s
market, Pfeiffer chose to place Compaq not in the realm of Microsoft or
Dell, but among the ranks of the Fortune 100.

“I would label it not that we don’t understand the Internet–we understand
it better than most companies. We have moved into the Internet territory
before any major company that you can think of,” he said.

Pfeiffer also commented on the tension between Compaq’s existing channel
relationships and its desire to sell PCs direct to the public via

“Consumers will be looking on the Compaq site for what we can deliver, so
obviously we have to deliver,” he said.

The Australian operations of Compaq reported revenues of US$930 million
(AUS$1.5 billion) in 1998 as part of the global revenue figure of US31.2
billion (AUS$ 50.3 billion).

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