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November 13, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Between courses and poll-tax package announcements (CI No 1,056), Cincom UK managing director Terry Booth hammered home a we’re not – floundering – like others – I – could – mention – message, with a break-down of end of year results served up as evidence. From an annual UK turnover of UKP12.3m, Booth extricated a new business figure of some UKP7m, claiming over half – in reality 51% – had been generated by combined IBM Supra (33%) and Netmaster (18%) sales. Other slices of the pie were divided 23%, 20% and 6% between Manufacturing Control, the Mantis programming language, and Ultra for the VAX. Subsequently eager to clarify what Netmaster could offer over and above IBM’s rival NetView product, Booth pointed to a physically integrated solution, embracing problem change management and automated lights out operations features, an easy-to-use Network Control Language, and full Open Systems Interconnection compliance. IBM’s no-comparison-NetView was dismissed as a piecemeal, marketing solution. Adding IBM Supra sales into the equation, Cincom certainly appears to be meeting Booths’ earning a comfortable living by compe-ting with IBM’s dearest products claims. Booth also provided a vague update on the highly successful technical exchange on Unix software with Nixdorf Computer AG, promising product announcements by the first quarter of 1989. Going public, however, is clearly not on the agenda. According to Booth, the need to satisfy Wall Street’s quick return on capital expectations would endanger the basis of the firm’s success – its expensive, labour-intensive, and protracted research and development activities. Being public means taking quarterly views; Cincom is involved in long-term directions he concluded. Demands for IBM crystal ball gazing produced predictions that, once AS/400 sales flatten out, the company will introduce a new range of 370 architecture hardware to replace the 4300s and the 9370s. The real battle of the future will be in the mid-range market, he added; Booth, at any rate, is clearly thirsting for the fight.

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