Compaq Canada Corp. Tuesday announced an extension of its Computing on Demand program the company said will help it further meet the corporate desire to get more bang out of IT dollars.

The new offerings, involving managed storage, ProLiant

servers and thin clients, complement Evo PC and IPaq packages Compaq announced in September.

“”The economy is driving it,”” Compaq Canada vice-president of global services Reg Schade said of the move towards computing on demand. “”Doing more with less, pay for what you use.””

“”Companies are looking at their limited capital and looking at where they want to advance,”” added Mike Pearce, Compaq’s Computing on Demand regional manager. “”(But) they still have to find a way to make it work.””

Pearce said the savings from adopting a pay-as-you-go approach would vary from company to company, with the biggest benefits going to companies that have not yet implemented best practices. Pearce also said he was unable to provide starting costs for the new packages, as the products involved can only be priced on a case-by-case basis.

The six packages unveiled in September, including hardware and services, start at $89.

Without giving actual penetration numbers, Pearce said Compaq is quite pleased with the uptake of those services announced in September. Compaq lists America Express Co. and Bank of America Corp. among current Computing on Demand customers.

Pearce also said there is increasing interest from companies to adopt a pay-as-you approach.

“”The pipeline is growing,”” he said. “”We’ve closed a few deals in Canada. Is it meeting expectations? Absolutely.””

And Pearce said companies he talks to are looking for complete solutions, encompassing product packages covered in the September announcement and the one made Tuesday.

The managed storage solution allows customers to view their storage infrastructure and make service requests through a secure and dedicated Web portal.

Jason Bremner, IDC Canada outsourcing and IT utility services senior analyst, said the ability to offload management of resources and make IT and operational rather than capital cost is enough to the cultural obstacle of companies wanting the ability to touch and feel their assets.

“”It’s a compelling message to users,”” he said of Compaq’s Computing on Demand. “”It’s similar to the idea of Web hosting . . . you’re getting that management issue, but what you’re paying for is additional capacity.””

Bremner said the overall systems infrastructure provider market is valued at more than $330 million per year.

Schade said he was unable to discuss how Compaq’s Computing on Demand packages would dovetail with pay-as-you go services being offered by Hewlett Packard Co., assuming plans to merge the two companies are realized. However, he did say all contract with Compaq would be honored, and that he has seen no evidence of consumer concern over how such packages would be handled by a new entity comprising both companies.

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