One Year Ago: Compaq Direct gets vote of no confidence

Compaq UK's direct strategy is doomed to failure, according to an analyst report from research firm Dataquest, and in the short term will "trundle along" rather than take the market by storm.

Dataquest estimated that Compaq Direct UK would not generate "more than five per cent of UK revenue" and that with time, it would be forgotten and "dismissed as an experiment."

Compaq Direct will also not entirely omit dealers from its sales equation. Users who order machines direct from Compaq will still be fulfilled by a geographically nominated dealer, while dealers can also get a referral fee by passing on customer leads to Compaq's direct sales team.

Compaq UK was still tight-lipped over its impending direct policy today and therefore could not say how the company will police direct sales to ensure that it doesn't conflict with dealers and sell to companies of more than 10 employees.

Dataquest said Compaq will target the micro-business sector with customised products and prices not available to its traditional dealer channel, and suggested that this may cause some confusion and sales conflict.