A larger portion of the business printer market has fallen into HP Canada’s hands, and an expert says that a year after ink dried on the HP-Compaq merger, things are looking rosy.

Evans Research Corp. senior market analyst

Bill Fournier dismissed the significance of the merger on the consumer printer market, since Compaq had generally not been active in it, but said the joined entity gained ground in the business space. Its overall share of the printer market went to 46 per cent in 2002 from 40 per cent in 2001, he said.

The high-end laser printer segment of the market — the segment typically reserved for enterprise clients — was particularly fruitful for HP Canada. The company’s share of the colour laser printer space, for example, went to 53 per cent in 2002 from 49 per cent in 2001. Though performance in the business segments improved year over year, Fournier wonders how much of the increase was actually influenced by the merger.

“”Compaq did already have a huge clout with networks,”” he said. “”So it may very well be that MIS managers who had been Compaq shops already decided it would be better to deal with just one organization and moved more of their business over to HP-Compaq. But maybe they just had a lot of good products that year.””

Reseller Reaction: At the time of the merger, Triware Technologies in St. John’s, Nfld., was primarily a Compaq shop, and president Art Stanley was concerned that HP would forget about loyal Compaq customers and that service would suffer. One year later, Triware is an HP reseller and Stanley’s fears have not come to fruition.

“”To sum it up, it’s been business as usual,”” Stanley said. “”It really hasn’t been much different.””

He said that the transition has been smooth, thanks, in part, to the fact HP kept most of Compaq’s procedures intact.

Triware, which sells notebooks, desktops, printers and servers, initially noticed a backlash of Compaq customer loyalty, but said it died down once the product lines were confirmed.

“”Getting used to any new change does take some re-education, but it’s been pretty easy,”” he said.

Tsaparis says: “”We have been aggressively communicating to our channel partners,”” according to the HP Canada president. “”We had universally positive feedback from our resellers that PartnerOne.ca was an excellent innovation from HP Canada. We put all of our channel programs in one place that allowed them to simplify their interactions with all the products and services they have.””

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