Amex to buy 25,000 Compaq thin clients

American Express Co. last week announced plans to buy 25,000 of Compaq Computer Corp.'s thin-client devices to replace PCs used by customer service workers and other employees who don't need mobile computing capabilities.

The New York-based financial services company said it will also install 400 Compaq ProLiant servers to support the Windows-based T1010 thin clients. In addition, the five-year deal with Compaq includes deployment, server management and help desk services, the companies said.

Amex and Compaq didn't disclose the cost of the deal, but sources said it's valued in the tens of millions of dollars.

Tony Mitchell, an Amex spokesman, said the use of thin-client devices should reduce the company's technology costs while still providing up-to-date equipment to the workers who will receive the thin-client devices.

Like other thin clients, the T1010s don't include components such as hard drives. Data from the devices will be processed and stored on the ProLiant servers, which will be linked in an infrastructure designed to save money and reduce system deployment times, Mitchell said.

Jack Sunderlage, vice president of global accounts for Compaq's Western sales region, said such cost savings can typically amount to 20 percent to 30 percent for companies choosing thin clients over desktop and laptop PCs.

About 80 percent of the thin-client devices are due to be installed at Amex facilities in the U.S., the companies said. The remainder will be deployed at sites in Europe, Asia and South America.

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