American Express signed a deal with Compaq

American Express Co. has signed a deal with Compaq Computer Corp. to buy 25,000 thin-client machines to replace existing desktop and laptop computers throughout the company.

In an announcement today, the New York-based financial services company said it had reached a five-year deal with Compaq that includes hardware, services and support. The contract is valued in the tens of millions of dollars, but the companies didn't release an exact figure.

Tony Mitchell, a spokesman for Amex, said the thin-client systems will replace existing desktop and laptop machines for employees who don't have to be mobile to do their work, including customer service representatives. The deal was reached after a competitive review process, said Mitchell, but the names of the competing vendors weren't released.

By buying thin-client systems, which don't include components such as hard drives, Amex can save money on technology while still providing up-to-date equipment for workers, Mitchell said. Data from the thin clients is stored and processed in the servers, which are linked together in an infrastructure that saves money and system deployment time.

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