Post-Vote, HP and Compaq Rejigger Brands

With one of Silicon Valley’s ugliest proxy wars now in the past, the leadership of the combined Hewlett-Packard and Compaq are turning their attention to the delicate task of managing and integrating the companies’ brands.

Through the plan, Palo Alta, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard will continue as not only the overarching corporate brand, but also the name for most of the company’s higher-end B2B products and services.

For example, Compaq’s fault-tolerant NonStop server family will be rebranded the HP NonStop Server. HP similarly plans to reclassify Compaq’s ProLiant IA-32 server lineup under its own brand, while phasing out its own HP Netserver and HP Server lines. Among servers based on Intel’s Itanium family, the merged company said it would continue using HP Server and the rebranded ProLiant name.

For RISC-based servers, HP said it would focus on its own PA-RISC brand as its chief lineup for new business, while continuing to support existing clients of Compaq’s AlphaServer system, which would be rebranded under the HP moniker. Ultimately, the PA-RISC lineup is expected to be migrated to Itanium, though future product designations are uncertain.

In the storage arena, product lines from both companies will be merged. Compaq’s StorageWorks will remain the product name for enterprise storage products and storage solutions, while HP OpenView will remain the name for the merged company’s software storage. The firm also will adopt Compaq’s ENSA (enterprise network storage architecture) for its storage architecture.

In data center and high-performance computing, HP-UX “will take some of the characteristics out of Tru64, which was Compaq’s offering in the market, around clustering and file systems,” said former Compaq CEO Michael Capellas, who becomes chief operating officer of the merged firm.

In imaging and printing, the Hewlett-Packard brand will dominate, owing to its longer tradition in the field. Both companies’ digital projectors will be merged into a single product line under the HP name, while Compaq printers will be phased out.

In software, too, the company will combine existing products under the HP name. HP said it would retain the its OpenView brand of management software, while integrating Compaq’s TeMIP into the lineup.

Meanwhile, the firm will continue to invest in Utility Data Center (UDC) software by offering Compaq Insight Manager and Adaptive Infrastructure offerings with HP Toptools.

In the telco software market, the company said it would consolidate both HP’s and Compaq’s offerings into the Opencall product family.

While HP will become the dominant brand name for much of the combined company’s higher-end enterprise and software offerings, consumer laptops and desktops will be marketed under both brands — HP’s Pavilion, e-PC and Omnibook, and Compaq’s Presario, Armada and EVO. In the commercial PC and notebook space, Compaq will become the chief brand.

“In personal systems, you’ll see a merger of the two product lines,” Capellas said. “In business desktops, where both companies have an offering, we’ll drive through and brand the Compaq brand line. On business notebooks, the same strategy.”

“In the consumer space, both companies have vacillated between one and two over probably the last couple of years,” he said. “We clearly have a reputation, a great brand and a great set of offerings, and so you’ll see us offer both products in the marketplace… What this allows us to do is differentiate with a class of products for customers who want a great gaming machine, a class of products for customers who want a great office machine.

Additionally, HP’s Jornada PDA will be dropped in favor of Compaq’s more popular iPAQ line.

While the Compaq corporate brand continues to appear in the marketplace in connection with the merged company’s personal PC lines, it’s clearly the Hewlett-Packard brand that will dominate the company’s corporate and high-end computing branding going forward.

The point was driven home by HP Chief Executive Carly Fiorina, who said Tuesday that the Compaq Center, which houses the National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks, would be renamed the HP Pavilion.

Compaq also lends its name to the Compaq Center in its hometown of Houston, though it’s uncertain whether that arena — which the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets call home — has a similar name change in store.

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