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March 1, 1994

DEC ESPANA HAS HIGH HOPES FOR ITS NEW MULTI-VENDOR COMPUTER SERVICES ARM IN NEAR-VIRGIN MARKET

By CBR Staff Writer

In a recent interview with Computerworld Espana, the director of Digital Equipment Corp Espana’s newly formed Multisupplier Services Division, Gonzalo Sanz, explained that this division was just one of the new business divisions to spring from Robert Palmer’s presidency, and that in Spain, 20% of the company’s business was coming from non-DEC environments, with about 35% of DEC Espana’s turnover resulting from maintenance and services. For 1994 this last figure could reach 40% ($88m), he claims. First of all, the division has been set up as a result of customer demand, with an increasing number of traditional DEC customers suggesting that the company should play the role of a single integrator of all the necessary maintenance and support services. Besides this, adds Sanz, users see the advantages to be gained from relying on one company with respect to simplifying their structures, increasing efficiency in this area and cutting costs. Questioned about the reactions of manufacturers to this type of initiative, Sanz believes that, up until recently, the Spanish market had been very cautious, with companies being very careful not to tread on each other’s toes, while trying to pro-tect their own bases. This is changing, he maintains, and with a very attractive market in prospect, companies must be open to the idea of working together, but at the same time there will certainly be dogfights between competitors. Meanwhile the us-ers’ reactions to the manufacturers’ incursions into maintenance and support services are divided, in that, on the one hand, there is little resistance from users in the highly competitive field of microcomputing, where it is simply a matter of the price having to be right. In other fields users are more cautious about taking the plunge. DEC’s new division, staffed by some 250 persons, has separate headquarters in Madrid and Barcelona, which provide maintenance service and technical support for mid-to-large systems, backed up by service centres in the various provincial capitals and a national service centre specialising in microcomputing. In all, support is offered for more than 14,000 products coming from 1,300 different suppliers. Meanwhile, the second part of the division is a sales force that offers the full range of DEC’s services, and includes a business development group that remains in contact with the market in order to shape the company’s services to the users’ needs. Be-sides the traditional services, DEC offers personal computer integration and everything relating to design, installation, start-up from square one through to when the local network is in operation. It is a new step for the Spanish arm to be essentially offering the same services as in the UK and the US, Sanz points out, but of course the Spanish market has a lot of ground to make up in the sense that the concept of multi-manufacturer services has taken much deeper root in the users’ consciousness in Britain and America for example, where there is greater comp-etition in the field and less resistance to buying such services. Nevertheless, the market is expected to grow by around 10% to 12% a year in Spain, Sanz believes, while he predicts that DEC itself will be growing 12% to 14% a year in this area.

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