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June 21, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Those interested in the European fortunes of Banyan Systems Inc, the Westborough, Massachusetts-based Vines network operating system supplier, were invited backstage at Networks ’90 to hear Wayne Fitzsimmons, vice-president of international operations, say that 1990 – or what’s left of it – is going to be a year of profile lifting at Banyan. Fitzsimmons confessed that marketing of both the company, whose 1989 revenues were 70% up at $80m, and of its Vines product range had been less than desirable, but claimed that new reseller agreements and better distribution channels were about to change that, the overall objective being to position itself against the likes of IBM and DEC in its field. At the moment, the problem for privately owned Banyan is that it just hasn’t got enough money to expand throughout the important markets using the wholly-owned subsidiary approach. Accordingly, Fitzsimmons sees Banyan attacking the European market by thrusting out of the UK – where it has got a wholly-owned subsidiary in the shape of Crawley, West Sussex-based Banyan Systems Europe – by continuing to establish a country partner in each national market. These partners, of which Banyan has one in each of around 35 countries, are to support and sell Banyan products through a second tier of local resellers; they are also called upon to help develop new products intended specifically for their national markets. In the US and UK, Banyan will be using value-added resellers such as Hoskyns, Trinitec, ROCC Computers and the five new ones announced this week: ANP Ltd, Communications Solutions Ltd, LSI Plc, Portfolio Systems and Whitehall Systems Ltd. Banyan is also looking at joint marketing agreements such as that signed with Apricot Computers Ltd: under the deal, the two companies will participate in joint sales support and marketing activities to allow their respective resellers to offer Apricot hardware and Banyan software as part of the same network, which will then be supported through a single co-operative reseller for each customer. As part of the agreement, Apricot will be submitting its VX FTserver and Qi ranges for Banyan’s new server certification programme. And in the push to increase the 6% share of the network operating system market that the US LAN magazine recently estimated Banyan commands, two separate trade-in programmes were also announced. Firstly, Banyan will be offering trade-in cash credits to entice users away from their existing Novell, 3Com, Corvus PC/NOS, DSC NEX/OS, IBM and Digital Communications Associates 10Net networks to Vines; under the programme, varying amounts of cash will be offered to customers depending on whether they decide to incorporate Vines into their current networks, migrate to Vines gradually, or trade in all their equipment for Vines immediately. Discounts on networks of five to nine servers, and of 10 or more servers are also to be offered. Meanwhile, Vines users will be encouraged to trade in their BNS and DTS servers for credit (UKP4,500 for a BNS, UKP3,500 for a DTS) against the cost of a new CNS/386 or CNS/486 server. On the product front, Fitzsimmons promised that French and German versions of Multilingual Vines will be available early in the third quarter of 1990; Spanish and Norwegian versions will come later in the same quarter, with Korean, Chinese and then Japanese versions to follow.

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