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February 13, 1989

AGFA GEARS UP FOR MAJOR EXPANSION IN EUROPEAN OFFICE AUTOMATION MARKET

By CBR Staff Writer

For those who didn’t know it, 1992 is already here. Or at least it is for Agfa. This was the message from the company made after it whisked the press off to the Agfa-Gevaert Ltd headquarters in Brentford, Middlesex for its review of 1988, preview of 1989. A bold statement indeed, but Agfa has big plans for the next few months, which include establishing a high pan-European profile. This is heavily linked to the expansion of its Office Systems Division, with the 1988 creation of Agfa Corp by the merger of its CompuGraphics Corp and Matrix Inc in Ridgefield Park, Pennsylvania (CI No 1,015) to play a key role this year. From April 1 Agfa will take over the European distribution of Matrix office imaging equipment from Honeywell, including support and maintainence services. Agfa is to handle the sales and marketing of five major product lines from Matrix, ranging from colour cameras and thermal printers to software packages, and will incorporate these into the present Business Imaging Systems group of Agfa Office Systems. Business Imaging Systems seem to be the three buzz words for Agfa this year: they represent a major growth area for the company and their sales are expected to account for at least 15% of this year’s turnover. In particular, Agfa is to increase its business graphics range. June or July will see the launch of a new high-end digital scanner based on its Focus range to run on AT-alikes and Microchannel Architecture machines for professional users. Although few details were released, Agfa is adding Optical Character Recognition software for the Macintosh and MS-DOS environment, and plans to expand the memory capacity of the scanner from 4Mb to 16Mb. Further software developments include Computer Aided Retrieval packages to attack the micrographics potential in the DEC VAX and IBM PS/2 markets. The Bayer AG subsidiary has already produced packages for DEC PDP-11 systems and single user systems based on MS-DOS machines, and hopes the new software will broaden its consumer base.

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