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Compaq aims Prosignia direct at SMEs

Old name given a new lease of life as the direct selling range

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Compaq starts shipping its Prosignia range aimed at small businesses today. Prosignia servers, desktops and notebooks will be sold through Compaq's indirect channel until the end of the third quarter, when users will also be able to buy direct. The server range includes the NeoServer, which can be used practically straight out of the box, according to Compaq. It is designed to be easy to use for small businesses with up to 25 users, and costs from £999 plus VAT. The Compaq Prosignia 720 and 740 start at £1365 plus VAT, and are more traditional servers with different chip and storage options that can be tailored to individual businesses. The Prosignia 300 desktop range starts at £625 plus VAT with Intel Celeron 433MHz, 64MB RAM, 6.4GB hard drive, 32x CD-ROM, Compaq Fast Ethernet 10/100 network card, 15in monitor and Word 2000. The entry-level notebook launched today has Intel Pentium II 333MHz, 64MB RAM, 14.1in TFT screen, 4GB hard drive, 24x CD-ROM, 56k V90 fax modem, Windows 98 and Office 2000 Small Business Edition. It costs £1355 plus VAT. David Petts, director of Compaq PC business Unit, said the company expected 40 per cent of sales to be direct, and 60 per cent to be through the channel. He stressed Compaq still needed its resellers, and was not kicking sand in their faces. "SMBs [small and medium sized businesses] need a partner to work with. We will provide an advantage for small businesses over other manufacturers who can't offer a channel," he said. Compaq has been forced to adopt an increasingly direct sales model to compete with direct king Dell. ®

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