Compaq to spend US$1 billion on ASPs

Compaq will become more aggressive on financing and on forming strategic alliances with partners, said Mark Linesch, vice president of Compaq's dot-com and service provider solutions group, while giving a speech at the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) Forum on Wednesday.

Compaq will spend US$1 billion on enabling application service providers (ASPs) with its services, Linesch said. He went on to say that Compaq is looking for more partners - resellers, ASPs and distributors. "We need to get more aggressive with our alliances," he said.

One ASP that is currently looking for customers is Nortel Networks Corp. One of the biggest challenges for Nortel's ASP division is to gain the customers' trust. Giving an ASP control of a company's systems is a scary business, said Craig Maszer, director of the ASP strategy group at Nortel.

"The CEOs are scared of viruses and of losing control," said Maszer, who also gave a speech here at the SCO Forum. The role of an ASP is to move the companies' systems, such as backup systems, on to the Internet.

"But we need to give the control back to the CEOs," Maszer said. However, he didn't say how that was going to happen.

"The Internet is going to disappear," he went on. "It is going to become brokered services instead." Maszer said people involved in traditional telephone conversations don't worry about which router or switch their conversations go through. "The same trust has to come to the Internet."

Maszer, as well as Compaq's Linesch, stressed the importance of working together with partners to take full advantage of e-business opportunities. Despite the many opportunities in e-commerce, "we must find distinctive competence and specialise," said Maszer. "Then we execute. It is when it comes to execution that we need partnerships."

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