While retail is important, the company also will grow its direct business, which will be key in gaining ground in the enterprise product space. Enterprise products accounted for $1.2 billion in revenue in 2003, and that number should grow this year, said Bruce Smith, senior vice president for Gateways Professional division. That group includes government, education and mid-sized enterprises, who have between 200 and 2,500 employees, Smith said. Smith told the analysts that key for growing that business will be not only having new products but a sales and services staff that can sell and support them. Among the new products will be a thin-and-light notebook with the latest wireless Centrino technology and battery life of up to 7 hours that will be released to enterprises in October and desktop PCs based on the new BTX chassis, which will improve thermal management and reduce noise, said Memo. The BTX chassis creates a wind tunnel the center of the chassis, and places the hottest-running componentsincluding the processors and video cardsin that wind tunnel.Right now the company has strong presence in Japan, Mexico and Great Britain, and is targeting Germany and France as expansion possibilities. In that area, though, Gateway will let other companies like Dell Inc. do the heavy work of opening up the European markets to U.S. products. "Well be a fast follower," Inouye said. "Were going to follow Dell in. Well let Dell move the big boulder, let Dell spend all the money to change consumer [buying habits in Europe]." Inouye said Gateways got a good brand that should make it easier to return the company back to profitability. Keys to that will be developing and selling productsparticularly on the high-margin enterprise sidewhile continuing to drive down costs, of the products as well as internally. The headcount reductions will cut by almost two-thirds the 7,500 workers at Gateway before the acquisition. Inouye was asked why he will be successful in driving down costs while other companies are still struggling with it. "I have a fault of being less sensitive than other people," he said. "On the other hand, it works in business. For us, its life and death. I tell my employees, If we dont get there, well be gone." Check out eWEEK.coms Desktop & Notebook Center for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.
Gateway also will offer more bundles in its products, Smith said, such as security bundles including asset recovery, asset protection and biometric features. In addition, Gateway will offer build-to-order capabilities, and will try to grow internationally.