Compaq releases new SME package

Compaq has released a new e-commerce package for small businesses which bundles WebCentral's Internet access and Web site hosting services, as well as iNETstore's e-commerce suite for building and deploying on-line shopping applications, with it's entry-level server.

The offering includes Compaq's NeoServer 150, with 50 hours of Internet access per month, a .com domain name, e-mail addresses for staff connected to the server and a Web site built with iNETstore's e-commerce software. The package costs $199 per month.

The NeoServer runs on a 500MHz Celeron processor, with 64 megabyte of memory, a 13 gigabyte hard disk, a 17 gigabyte back-up hard disk, a pre-loaded operating system and can support both 56k and high-speed Internet access.

The package is co-branded and ships with a "NeoServer for dummies" book, aiming to satisfy the many small businesses treading very cautiously when it comes to going on-line.

"This is aimed at all those small businesses who don't have an IT manager," said Stephen Johns, marketing manager at WebCentral. "A lot of businesses want to get on-line but aren't very Web-savvy, and need a simple package."

Compaq product marketing manager Angus Jones said the product would be sold through Compaq's existing channels and direct through its Web site.

"We are trying to work closely with those of our resellers that target SMEs," he said. "It's not something our existing channel is used to selling, as a lot of the value-adds are already there in the package."

Jones said the bundled services should not worry resellers who make their margins on adding their own services, such as hosting and access, to the sale of the Compaq box. To avoid this conflict, resellers will have the choice as to whether they want to market the new package or sell the NeoServer outright and add their own services. The server retails at around $2899.

"You can have it as simple or as detailed as you want," said Jones.

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