Only a day after fellow direct marketer Micron Electronics Inc announced plans to expand its offerings into the enterprise market, Gateway 2000 Inc tossed its hat into the server and workstation ring. Its maiden entries into the server market are the NS series, a direct result of the acquisition of Advanced Logic Research Inc in June (CI No 3,186). The NS 7000 is an entry-level two-processor workgroup server that starts at $2,500. The mid-range NS 8000 departmental server also supports two Pentium Pro or Pentium II processors and starts at $3,800. The NS 9000 enterprise class, touted as the fastest Windows NT server in the world, makes use of ALR’s Revolution 6×6 technology to support up to six Pentiums and goes for $13,000. All of the NS series are managed by ALR’s Informanager, which uses thirty different sensors to monitor key operational data and alert network administrators to possible problems. Informanager also supports remote software monitoring via NT 4.0, NetWare and SCO Unix applets. Customers for the NS servers have the option of buying from Gateway or ALR, which will offer similar products under its own name, the main differences being just in the supply channels and different bundled services and support plans. In the area of workstations, Gateway announced the e-5000, pre-loaded with Windows NT, which supports dual Pentium II’s and features Intel’s 440LX AGPset accelerated graphics port technology. The e- 5000 will ship at the end of September and ranges from $3,600 to $6,000, depending upon configuration. Although Gateway chief executive Ted Waitt stressed that the company is not attempting to be all things to all people, it seems that offering corporate customers one-stop shopping is the goal. Gateway has branded well in the consumer market, and is now trying to leverage that brand appeal into what it calls its major accounts business, which includes large corporate, education and government customers. Major accounts currently represents roughly 30% of Gateway’s $5bn a year business, and has raked in $850m in the first half of 1997. Waitt says he would like to see the consumer-to-major accounts ratio at 50-50 or more, although he added that there are no specific targets, just a desire to have Gateway’s sales numbers reflect the market as a whole.
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