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June 24, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Bull HN Information Systems Ltd, Brentford, Middlesex, has won its largest order ever – a UKP50m contract from the Inland Revenue to supply 900 68030-based DPX/2-340 Unix servers and 25,000, rising to a possible 50,000, 80286-based diskless personal computers for a project known as IRON – Inland Revenue Terminal of the Nineties. The Revenue has decided to go ahead with the project even though the three other shortlisted suppliers Philips, ICL and GEC Plessey Telecommunications with Nixdorf dropped out of the running at the end of 1989 because of technical and financial reservations about the project’s feasibility. IRON – the original requirement document for which was over 12 thick – will take four years to complete, and involves replacing existing ICL terminals in each of the Revenue’s 632 local tax offices and integrating the servers with other ICL and IBM mainframe sites in Telford and Worthing. Local personal computers will run an interface known as Talkman from French firm Integro SA, as well as PC Interface from Locus Computing, and will have access to Uniplex, Informix and existing ICL and IBM applications. An IRON2 project is penned for the future to upgrade the rest of the Revenue’s computer equipment. Subcontractors on the project include Congleton-based Boldon James Ltd for ICL communications; AGS/SSI, Isleworth, for IBM communications; Network Designers, Oxfordshire, for local networks; and Kernel Technology, Leeds, Yorkshire, for software development.

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