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February 25, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Hyundai Electronics America Inc’s Axil Workstations Inc is bent on conquering the slippery slopes of Sun Microsystems Inc Sparcsystem cloning, and last week announced the Axil-220, a MicroSparc-based copy of the Sparcclassic, which undercuts Sun with a price of $3,600 in single quantities and will run Solaris 1.1 as well as 2.X. It says it is the lowest priced RISC colour workstation in the industry. The San Jose, California-based outfit is taking a leaf out of Compaq Computer Corp’s book and will sell only through resellers under the direction of sales and marketing vice-president Dan Shaver who recently left a job with Sun as director of its channels strategy. The street price it put on the box is only a ballpark figure (a 10% to 15% differential) and it will not reveal its dealer discounts.

Look like Sun LX

Axil will also configure the machine to look like a Sun LX, the Classic’s $8,000 big brother, and price it at around $7,000. Although the company is on Sparc International’s executive committee and Tsunami chips are said to be available to firms other than Sun, the boxes will not be available until June. In the interests of further adding value, the Axil-220 can be expanded to 128Mb (Sun’s at 96Mb maximum) and all configurations include facsimile modem and ISDN options as well as two drives, larger screens and larger external storage. Axil also introduced an Open Look-based facsimile modem package called AxilEnvoy as the first in a series of software products to provide added functionality such as voice mail, conversation record and playback, multimedia document support, security, image filtering and editing and optical character reading. All configurations can be ordered from the board level up. Axil started recruiting value added resellers overseas and 24 are in place internationally. Master value-added resellers with Unix experience are still needed there. The domestic programme kicked off in December and has so far rounded up 32 resellers out of a desired 50 with access to key accounts, Unix expertise and a vertical orientation. They should also garner a minimum of 35%. It predicts that 50% to 60% of the workstations sold in the US will go through indirect channels by 1994. IBM Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co distributor Dickens Data Systems Inc has been signed as a master reseller. Axil, which introduced other Sparcsystems earlier on, says in has been shipping hundreds of units a month and is on the verge of moving to a thousand.

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