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COMPAQ ANNOUNCES COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM FOR VALUE ADDED RESELLERS; AUTHORIZES MERISEL, TECH DATA AS FIRST-EVER DISTRIBUTORS

    COMPAQ ANNOUNCES COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM FOR VALUE ADDED RESELLERS;
       AUTHORIZES MERISEL, TECH DATA AS FIRST-EVER DISTRIBUTORS
    HOUSTON, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Reflecting an evolution in its distribution strategy, Compaq Computer Corporation (NYSE: CPQ) today implemented a new comprehensive channel program which includes the authorization of two leading national distributors to sell and support COMPAQ products directly to Value Added Resellers (VARs).
    Compaq becomes the first major PC vendor to use distributors, authorizing Merisel, Inc. and Tech Data Corporation to purchase and warehouse its products and distribute them to specific authorized VARs. Designed to increase the company's marketshare in small to medium size businesses, the Compaq program targets approximately 600 new VARs in the U.S. by the end of 1992, with an initial emphasis on network integrators and application and industry vertical markets.
    "We continue our goal of broadening our distribution by adding complementary channels which are closely aligned to our strategies," said Ross Cooley, vice president, North America, Compaq Computer Corporation.
    "This year alone, Compaq announced its entry into superstores, such as Bizmart and Tandy's Computer City, which target individual and entrepreneurial customers.  We introduced a new worldwide systems integrator program agreement with EDS to target those large customers with multinational information system needs.  With this new VAR approach, we are developing a significant program to reach small and medium size businesses which represents incremental sales opportunities," Cooley said.
    Cooley added that Compaq has long recognized the significant marketshare VARs represent in the marketplace -- about 15 percent of PCs and single user PC workstations shipped in the United States, according to InfoCorp -- and has enjoyed some success from its relationships with the VAR community.
    "Over time, our relationships with VARs have helped us understand what is required to support them.  We have listened to VARs regarding which channels meet their requirements best, such as working through distributors, and have designed our new program accordingly," he said.
    Both Merisel and Tech Data, which have built their businesses around VARs, will drive the Compaq VAR program.  Each organization is efficiently structured to provide the types of services required by a VAR while maintaining an appropriate cost structure.  These services include recruiting VARs as well as providing resellers with account maintenance, credit services, configuration, technical support, lead generation and marketing programs.
     Key executives at Merisel and Tech Data view the new VAR program as a strategic shift in the distribution of PC products.
    "The Compaq/Merisel partnership is a crucial strategic move for both companies," said Michael D. Pickett, president and CEO, Merisel, Inc. "The agreement provides Compaq with a cost-effective advantage in reaching the VAR community, and the addition of Compaq products to our hardware line enables us to significantly enhance our  best brands' strategy."
    According to Tech Data Chairman and CEO Steve Raymund, "VARs continually tell us they want the services a distributor can deliver and having the right products available makes their buying decisions that much easier.  We believe with our reputation in servicing and supporting VARs, Compaq will realize incremental opportunities." The VAR Program
    The Compaq VAR program is designed to support VARs who typically provide small to medium size businesses with installation, technical support, hardware maintenance, pre-sales consulting, training and customer programming.  The program targets resellers that provide application or industry expertise as demonstrated by advanced certification from an approved networking vendor, a proprietary software solution or an approved vertical market expertise.
    Authorized VARs will be able to sell the entire line of COMPAQ products.  The VARs will receive sales and technical support directly from each distributor who has extensive telephone hotline and technical resource capabilities.  The distributors will have access to a variety of Compaq support programs. Compaq Distributor Program
    The new distributor program targets organizations that not only distribute product, but also provide extensive technical and sales support, training, marketing programs and credit services to VARs. Compaq does not have any current plans to authorize additional distributors at this time. Company Backgrounds
    With annual sales of over $1.5 billion, Merisel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSEL) is one of the world's leading distributors of microcomputer hardware and software products to computer resellers.  The company presently stocks over 8,000 products from more than 700 hardware and software manufacturers for sale to 55,000 resellers worldwide.
    Tech Data Corporation (NASDAQ: TECD) is one of North America's largest wholesale distributors which sells its products to an active customer base of over 25,000 VARs and computer retailers through 11 distribution centers located throughout the U.S. and Canada.
    Compaq Computer Corporation is a world leader in the manufacture of PC systems, and desktop, portable, laptop and notebook personal computers.  COMPAQ products are sold in more than 69 countries through a network of more than 3,500 resellers.
    Founded in 1982, Compaq ranks No. 377 in Fortune Magazine's 1991 "Global Fortune 500" listing of the world's largest companies.  The Company reported 1990 worldwide sales of $3.6 billion.
    ---
    Note: COMPAQ, DESKPRO and SYSTEMPRO are registered trademarks (Registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) of Compaq Computer Corporation.
    Product names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
    -0-                     11/5/91
    /CONTACT:  Hedy Baker, Mike Berman, Debra Globe, Catherine Macora, Nora Rice or John Sweney of Compaq Computer Corporation, 713-374-4616, or Tony Sapienza of Miller Communications, 617-536-0470, for Compaq; Electronic media contact:  Tom Pearson of Pearson Communications, 215-648-3975/
    (CPQ MSEL TECD) CO:  Compaq Computer Corporation; Merisel, Inc.; Tech Data Corporation ST:  Texas IN:  CPR SU: SH -- NE016 -- 1326 11/05/91 14:26 EST
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 5, 1991
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