Feeds

Analysis: Compaq, IBM squirm between devil and deep blue sea

Dell is the devil and dealers are directly in the deep

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Four years ago, next January, The Register found itself in San Diego along with thousands of other business partners (BPs) to hear the word of CEO Lou Gerstner about how committed it was to its channel. Two years later, we found ourselves in the company of Compaq luminary Eckhard Pfeiffer at Innovate in Houston, to hear the great man pledge his company's commitment to the channel. And now we find both IBM and Compaq still maintaining that they are committed to the channel, while effectively dumping their grand plans. It was not much of a surprise for IBM to do a u-turn. It is characteristic of the protean nature of the beast. A proteus is now considered to be a blind, cave dwelling amphibian but its original meaning is releated to Proteus, a Greek sea god, who did not want to foretell the future and therefore took on many different forms. Both definitions apply to IBM. It has wriggled its way, seemingly blindly, through many a similar situation within living memory. But surely Gerstner's latest wriggle is one too many. The cost of promoting IBM's two tier channel scam is incalculable -- a little like its profound failure with OS/2. So when Doug LeGrande, IBM EMEA's general manager, told The Register two weeks ago that his European channel weren't particularly concerned about the company's move to a direct model, that's probably because they already knew… Compaq is a little different. It has always had a better relationship with the PC channel than IBM, and seems to have gone out of its way to attempt to keep the relationship going. But the devil, in the shape of Dellistopheles, Great Satan of Hardware, concentrates PC manufacturers' minds. It has not suffered from the inventory problems of both Dell and IBM. On the contrary, it has stormed through 1998 and will probably do the same next year. Compaq seems to have been forced into its direct action by Dell's success on price and time to delivery. IBM's excuse, at best, is sheer incompetence. IBM shareholders should ask the company they invest in exactly what it thinks it is doing. After all, it invented the PC which spawned all of its competition. But now that both Compaq and IBM have bitten the direct bullet, there is another question that their shareholders should put to them. Why are both Compaq and IBM being so mealy mouthed about going direct and why don't they both just come out and say their enemy is Dellistopheles? ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.