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Just to fan the flames of what promises to be an interesting battle for dominance in the Unix-based office automation arena, another developer is seeking to set up in Europe. Applix Inc, responsible for the Alis office automation software just picked up by NCR Corp for the Tower family (CI No 791), is attempting to build up a European sales network and has set the ball rolling by signing up MBP Software and Systems GmbH of West Germany earlier this year. Under the terms of the agreement MBP offers full service and support for Alis throughout West Germany, and has translated software and documentation to provide a complete German language version of the package. MBP also intend to provide Alis implementations for a number of European man ufacturers’ machines. Applix is hoping to emulate this agreement with other companies throughout Europe and to this end is in discussion with Lexitech, a technical translation company that has offices in Germany, France and UK. Applix expects to do well in the government sector in Europe because of its past record of selling software to the US Government, and the increasing emphasis put on Unix-based systems by government departments over here. Applix has an OEM agreement with Computer Sciences Corp in the US, which is a major provider of computer systems to the US Government and sells Alis packaged with DEC, IBM and other hardware to government agencies. The Westboro, Massachusetts company was founded in 1983 by a team of developers from Data General responsible for the minimaker’s Comprehensive Electronic Office office automation software. The privately held company has now grown to 75 staff. Applix does not expect to open a European office itself within the next year or so but is looking to sign value-added reseller agreements in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Scandinavia – where Unix is almost a sine qua non for government business these days.

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