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Compaq unveils channel configuration scheme

Distributors will handle final build before delivery to reseller

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Compaq is reshuffling its channel in a scheme where resellers will be able to order online and have kit configured and shipped from selected distributors. Due to be unveiled in the US next month, the configure-to-order (CTO) pilot scheme will be part of the vendor’s wider PartnerDirect programme, according to US reports. It is expected to only include distributors that have started joint configuration operations at Compaq’s Houston base. Resellers will be able to order and design direct from Compaq over the Web. But the fulfilment and configuration will be handled by selected distributors. At present there are only two US distributors with the necessary qualifications - Tech Data and CompuCom Systems. Ingram Micro is expected to get the go-ahead. Mark Walker, Ideal Hardware business unit manager, said: "The practise of distributors doing the final configuring on orders has been talked about a lot over the years. That it has not been implemented in the UK is down to geography. In this country, Compaq can assemble kit in its factory in Scotland and have it shipped the next day. This negates the necessity for this type of scheme in Europe." Compaq UK was unavailable for comment as The Register went to press. ®

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