Small businesses in Latin America are driving a surge in sales of small servers. During the third quarter, server shipments in the region surpassed 38,000 units, according to Dataquest Inc, a research firm in San Jose.

Compaq Computer Corp. was the No. 1 vendor in the region based on shipments, while International Business Machines Corp. was the No. 1 vendor based on revenue. The top three vendors dominated the market, accounting for 54 percent of total shipments in the region and more than 71 percent of server revenue for the third quarter.

"One of the reasons the major vendors are doing well is because of the services they provide to their customers," said Lillian Alvarado, a Dataquest analyst. "They provide not only technical support on the hardware, but they also help with software and provide integral and specific solutions to the needs of each business."

Brazil leads the region, representing 32 percent of server shipments. Mexico is No. 2 with 20 percent of server shipments. Argentina followed with 12 percent of shipments in the third quarter.

Alvarado said entry-level servers will "continue to have a dominant role for small businesses throughout the region."

HEADED SOUTH

Here are the number of computers shipped to Latin America, by manufacturer, along with market share.

Units shipped:

Compaq: 10,286

IBM: 6,286

HP: 4,214

Dell: 1,893

Acer: 960

Others: 14,662

Market share:

Compaq: 26.9%

IBM: 16.4%

Hewlett-Packard: 11.0%

Dell: 4.9%

Acer: 2.5%

Others: 38.3%

SOURCE: Dataquest