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February 17, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Control Data Systems Inc, Arden Hills, Minnesota, expects to begin reselling Sun Microsystems Inc kit on a country-by-country basis over the course of the year. The tie-up with Sun is part of Control Data’s plan to broaden the range of hardware systems on which it can offer its software in its new role as a systems integrator rather than a hardware manufacturer. Control Data markets Silicon Graphics Inc’s MIPS Technologies RISC-based boxes as its own 4000 InfoServers and 910 workstations and 920 servers – positioned as technical systems – and will take Silicon Graphics’s newest machines as they arrive. Control Data president, Jim Ousley, admits there may be some conflict through the channels. From the middle of the year Control Data will also formalise an agreement to sell NEC Corp’s MIPS R4000-based 4800 workstations and UP4800 servers, which are to be announced next quarter. The year-old arrangement for Control Data to sell NEC supercomputers into the US and Europe hasn’t worked out, but Control Data says it is now working on NEC’s massively parallel systems, which are due next year and are said to be based around Hewlett-Packard Co’s Precision Architecture RISC, although Ousley says the Japanese firm is keeping its chip options open. Control Data will continue to sell its own systems built around the now-defunct MIPS R6000 ECL RISC until the end of the year, but says plans for Gallium Arsenide MIPS implementations have now been abandoned.

RS/6000s in Denmark

Control Data also resells IBM Corp RS/6000s in Denmark. Control Data’s EP/IX version of Unix is currently being fused into Silicon Graphics’ Irix implementation, a task that should be complete by the end of the year. Control Data, a 3,000-employee outfit, is now divided between manufacturing systems and information management system units rather than along geographical lines. Ousley says business is now split 60%-40% in favour of open systems versus the maintenance and servicing of its 1,800-odd remaining Cyber mainframe sites, which it will continue to support beyond the year 2000. By the end of this year, Ousley expects the split to be 80%-20% between open systems and proprietary revenues – Europe is now its biggest market. Control Data finished its end of year with a net loss of $134.0m after a $129.8m restructuring charge associated with the spin-out from Ceridian Corp last year, although in the two quarters following the spinout it recorded net earnings of $10.2m on revenues of $266.6m. Revenues for the year were off 9.9% at $517.0m. Ousley claims Control Data has some $130m in cash reserves and says it is now in the market for acquisitions in the channels and application areas.

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