WorldCom Inc. and Compaq Computer Corp. announced an expansion to their existing relationship today, in a move Compaq officials say indicates the progress of their Computing On Demand initiative.
Specifically, the companies said they will co-market and co-promote WorldComs global managed hosting and co-location services. Also, WorldCom becomes an official Compaq Strategic Service Provider Alliance Partner, said Ron McMurtrie, vice president of global e-Services for WorldCom, in Clinton, Miss.
The telecommunications and Web hosting company already uses Compaq as its official Windows server provider, offering customers ProLiant servers and StorageWorks storage area network solutions, in pre-packaged bundles. WorldCom uses Sun Microsystems Inc. systems for customers Unix needs.
However, McMurtrie, said, neither vendor is actually reselling the others products. "The part thats new today is the joint distribution agreement. Our sales forces work together. With this agreement well now couple ourselves with the Compaq Professional Services organization," he said. But regional sales staffs can still seek independent deals with hardware makers, he said.
Ultimately, customers will save money, McMurtrie said. "They can combine the pricing of Compaq servers and WorldCom hosting," he said.
Houston-based Compaqs possible merger with Hewlett-Packard Co. wont affect WorldCom, McMurtrie added.
From Compaqs perspective, "We have a strong enable, not compete" approach, said Sean Hehir, director of Compaqs Worldwide Service Provider Business Unit. Firming up the WorldCom relationship is important to Compaqs Computing On Demand strategy; more specifics of which will be announced in the next few months, Hehir said.
Meanwhile, now that the industrys Web hosting consolidation trend is eseentially complete, WorldCom and other vendors will start using the "co-location" term again, McMurtrie added.
"It was taboo because the industry was going through great flux. You started promoting yourself in that ilk and you became one of them by association," he said, referring to rivals like the now-defunct Exodus Communications Inc., the Santa Clara, Calif., hoster whose well-publicized business problems led to its bankruptcy and acquisition by Cable & Wireless plc last fall. WorldCom owns the majority stake in Digex Inc., the Laurel, Md., managed hosting specialist.