A leading rival yesterday expressed the general opinion of the industry as it gathered its collective thoughts following the IT world's biggest ever merger between Compaq and Digital. His verdict: no major surprise.
"It's absolutely in line with what we would have predicted in terms of a consolidation in the market," said Nick Stacey, VP of marketing for Fujitsu Europe.
"Compaq is looking to DEC for their sales and enterprise capabilities. If you look at the Q4 [fourth fiscal quarter] results, the players who are growing are Compaq, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu and they are all growing at the 30, 40, 50 per cent growth rate. Fujitsu is number five in western Europe and year-on-year we grew 37 per cent. Companies are working with fewer global payers. The second tier is losing market share. Dell has always struggled to have credibility in the enterprise market.
"You need a lot of broad coverage. This is a commodity marketplace and you have to cover a broad range of hardware. There are definite synergies in notebooks, desktops and servers."
However, Stacey expects a stream rather than a flood of merger and acquisition activity.
"The sheer size makes this an unusual one but Compaq bought Tandem just last year and I'm sure there'll be others."