Pioneer-Standard Wants To Drive SAN Opportunities From HP-Compaq Merger

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Pioneer-Standard sees strong growth possibilities in Hewlett-Packard's proposed merger with Compaq Computer, especially in the SAN market.

The distributor has enjoyed a 20-year relationship with Compaq and is eager to work with the merged company.

"We certainly think the merger creates an abundance of new business opportunities for Pioneer-Standard," said Pat O'Connor, vice president of marketing. "[Compaq and HP really bring together the best of both worlds."

Pioneer-Standard sees its strength in the SAN market, and the combination of Compaq and HP in this market seems to be "an excellent fit," O'Connor said.

The distributor said its customers can expect no drop-off in service while the merged company wades through the transition. Service levels will be consistent with pre-merger levels, he said.

Pioneer-Standard met with Compaq senior executive teams prior to the merger vote, but the vendor was legally bound from releasing too many details, O'Connor said. As a result, the distributor has had an internal plan for "some time" for handling changes brought about by the merged company, but O'Connor would not discuss it.

Internally at Pioneer-Standard, areas that will be affected by the merger are sales teams, product lines, SKUs, and marketing and technical support teams, but the distributor needs more news before it can make any changes. "There will be some tweaks, some additions and maybe some shifts," said O'Connor, adding that he believes the overall impact on Pioneer-Standard and the channel will be "very positive."

Pioneer-Standard is not fazed by HP's plans to continue pursuing direct business in addition to its channel operations. "We have a value that we bring to the table," O'Connor said. "A strong channel will be [Compaq and HP's biggest alliance."

In the meantime, Pioneer-Standard has become an informational conduit by relaying news about the merger to its partners and customers to help facilitate a smooth transition, O'Connor said. However, he added that very little information has been released about the new company.

"We'll stand with our customers to work through the transition," O'Connor said.

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