Compaq Computer Corp. said Tuesday that it had signed a three-year contract to provide services and equipment to Bank of America.

Compaq, based in Houston, will now handle computing systems for the Charlotte, N.C., banking company's nationwide branch network.

The contract covers 120,000 desktop computers, 6,000 retail branch servers, 4,000 trading workstations, services and support, said Peter Blackmore, Compaq's executive vice president of worldwide sales and support. Services are about a third of the contract.

Neither company would disclose the dollar amount of the deal. Don Obert, a senior vice president in Bank of America's technology solutions group, said only that Compaq "was extremely aggressive" in its bid.

Bank of America, the third-largest U.S. banking company, said the arrangement is an opportunity to consolidate procurement for some of its vast service and equipment needs. According to Mr. Obert, Compaq will supply services that about a dozen companies have handled until now.

"A major focus was standardization," he said, adding that the change would make Bank of America's operations more efficient. Compaq will supply Bank of America's desktop support, he said.

The deal is a turning point for Compaq as it works to transform itself from a hardware company to a technology services provider. Chief executive officer Michael Capellas, in a memo to employees last month, outlined the company's 180-day plan for accelerating this switch. One aspect of the plan is a greater focus on offering solutions specific to particular sectors; financial services is one of four industries the company is now targeting.

"We use the word 'solutions' a lot within Compaq, but in this context it means the integration of hardware, software, and services - from Compaq and our partners - to solve customer- and industry-specific problems," Mr. Capellas said in the memo. He added that the company's goal is "to increase services from about one-fifth of Compaq's revenue today to one-third of total company revenue during the next three or four years."

Mr. Blackmore said Bank of America chose Compaq because it "wanted a very strong partner to provide all of its infrastructure."

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