October 28, 2005
And the Interex list winner is...
After many rounds of serious bidding over the telephone yesterday, another hardware vendor emerged as the winner of the Interex customer list auction. The customer list came up for auction as part of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings for the user group.
At the end of the auction, it was HP which took possession of between 110,000 and 115,000 names of Interex members, subscribers and individuals who requested the e-mail blasts the user group used to put out. The final price: $66,500.
If that seems quite a bit higher than the $15,000 opening offer from HP hardware resource Genisys, it's probably because the bidding was conducted blind, with two of the three parties remaining anonymous. HP had no idea who the third party was in the bidding for awhile, and didn't even have to identify itself until it won the auction. Genisys was bidding against two anonymous competitors. HP might have believed it was buying the customer list to keep it out of the hands of a competitor like IBM.
Genisys founder Danny Richardson said he knew his company would have plenty of cleanup to do on such a gaggle of names, gathered over 31 years and not pruned much. Genisys put down the first offer for the list and wasn't concerned about its size or condition.
"I didn't get a great sense of the size or content of the list," Richardson told us, "although I have heard it will take a lot of work to make it usable. We bid what we thought was a fair price given the perceived condition of the list. Genisys has been serving the HP 3000 community since our start in 1992. We are committed to supplying quality hardware well into the future."
The irony of HP's purchase wasn't lost on some in the HP community. After losing more than $100,000 to the user group through the failure of the 2005 HP World, HP then paid more than half as much again to purchase a list of its own customers. At least we know that HP has the resources to stay in touch with the enterprise computer user community. How much of that community actually resides among those tens of thousands of names remains an exercise for HP's marketing team.
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HP's marketing team won't know what to do with the list since HP hasn't been doing proper marketing of the HP3000 for many years. Even with it's questionable quality, this list of customers is probably better than what HP has ever had internally. Their incorrect definition of customer is one who is still paying support.
Posted by: Paul Edwards | Oct 28, 2005 7:47:30 AM
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