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Compaq site aims to simplify service offerings

The Compaq Services Network is a virtual community the PC giant has built to connect its reseller partners to customers online.

Compaq unveiled a Web portal the company will use to simplify the sale of lucrative computer services to its customers.

The Compaq Services Network aims to connect the PC giant's wholesale partners to customers online, said Marci Meaux, the company's director of so-called channel services. The new network, available today, will enable resellers to pool resources in selling a variety of desktop and network support services.

The program is part of Compaq's ongoing focus on building services revenues to help offset a decline in PC sales. Last week, Houston-based Compaq posted a second-quarter loss and announced a massive restructuring plan that included job cuts of up to 8,000.

For this new program, Compaq is investing $250 million. The company expects services revenue to double by 2002, reaching $1.5 billion, Meaux said.

The program gives customers access to local services supported by Compaq. In turn, partners should be able to help Compaq better meet its computer services revenue goals by using the portal.

"It's a big objective to increase our own revenue, and we need our partners to help us to do that, and it [the network] enables Compaq to both support and manage our partners," Meaux said.

Compaq will focus on enlisting business from large, global accounts. Meanwhile, its channel partners will target smaller and mid-size businesses.

Compaq said partners and resellers will be offered four new service designations as Authorized Service Reseller, for services sold as an option or pre-packaged; Premier Service Reseller, which are value-added services, such as training and other professional services; Authorized Service Provider, delivering warranty services and "shrink-wrapped" services; and Systems Service Provider, offering more customized services.

In addition, a Professional Service Provider designation--focused on network support services--will be added by the end of this year, or early next year, Meaux said.