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December 3, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Datapoint UK has found a new application for its Xenix-based Starport system by turning it into an automatic call distribution system for telemarketing. Electronic telemarketing is a new market set for 45% per annum growth according to managing director of Datapoint UK and Europe Brian Gifford. Thorn-Ericsson, which claims to have made around UKP6.5m of business out of the UK automatic call distribution market last year, compared with Datapoint’s UKP4.5m, is more conservative in its growth estimates of around 30%. Gifford estimates the market is worth UKP60m in the UK currently and a massive $50,000m in the US. Some 20% of Datapoint’s business in the UK comes from its current automatic call distribution system, ACD, which is used mainly for in-bound calls. Its only serious competition in the UK comes from Thorn-Ericsson with its ASDP 162 and Sterling systems, and last but not least IBM’s Rolm Corp. But this cosy threesome is in for some stiff competition from British Telecom, Datapoint’s biggest customer in the UK for the ACD, and DEC next year. The two companies will be launching a co-developed system that ties DEC’s VAX computers to a range of PABX equipment into the market for integrated voice and data applications. Telemarketing is just such an application and British Telecom demonstrated the system at Telecom ’87 in Geneva in October, calling it Stanza. The new system from Datapoint is called Prospector, known for the last 18 months as Communicator in the US and sold through ex-Datapoint company Technacron. It is aimed at the low end of the market for systems supporting up to about 60 sales representatives. It consists of a console, a supervisor’s display screen to monitor call activity and up to 128 workstations, after which they must be networked. It costs UKP5,000 to UKP7,000 per user, although the price could come down as low as UKP3,000 per desk, according to Gifford, in volumes of 100 users at a time.

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