How Compaq views the ‘real’ world

Eckhard Pfeiffer opens kimono for internal consumption only

An internal document passed to The Register by an insider has revealed how CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer wants the world to see Compaq when he opens his kimono. The presentation, called Corporate Strategies, contains the warning: "It should be used as an internal document only. The content should serve as a strategy umbrella for your more specific division strategy and initiatives." The 17-page presentation tells Compaq execs they should present the Digital-Tandem takeovers as a "new world of computing forged by Compaq". This, says Compaq, is the New World of Computing. In the light of its recent debacle with its distributors and dealers, it is interesting that Compaq suggests it is a leader in the channel. Digital, on the other hand, brings leadership in customer service and support, enterprise systems integration, a global enterprise sales force, and leading edge technology and platforms including the Alpha, OpenVMS and Unix. "Together we make the best Computing Company in the World," it trills. This will be little consolation to the tens of thousands DEC staff Compaq laid off last year. One of Compaq's other aims in this document is to make the integration of Digital a "best-in-class" case study... "Compaq's unique approach to computing -- industry standards, deep partnerships, useful innovation, and customer responsiveness -- has established us in the #1 position in nearly everything we do," the document claims. The strategy is driven by seven key areas, Compaq claims. Significantly, its lead in 64-bit computing is based on Alpha and Digital Unix, with Merced and Intel IA-64 getting ne'er a mention. Its number five key corporate objectives are Number one in customer satisfaction, number one in return on invested capital, number one in market share, one of the top 10 best places to work and one of the top ten most admired companies as measured by Fortune Magazine. The suits who created the document obviously do not realise that some of these five key corporate objectives are incompatible. If return on investment (ROI), a constant theme by Pfeiffer, conflicts with being one of the top ten most admired companies, Compaq may not be one of the top ten best places to work. The redundancies last year demonstrate that. The document often mentions the need for Compaq to develop good supply chain management. "The lead partner receives the greatest share of mind for all key partners," says the document. ®

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