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IBM has responded to customer complaints – and, say observers, to dissatisfaction with the unit’s performance – by folding a large part of the sales force of its Rolm Corp subsidiary into Information Systems Group, so that large customers will have a single point of contact for IBM computers and telecommunications equipment. The new Telecommunications Marketing and Service Organisation will take in about 6,000 of Rolm’s 10,000 employees, but Rolm will continue to run a small sales force of its own for non-IBM customers. IBM’s Communications Products Division will remain responsible for world development and US marketing of pure telecommunications equipment, but the major loss of identity for a large part of Rolm is expected to be followed by closer links between the Rolm research, development and manufacturing operations in Santa Clara, California, and IBM’s communications equipment development and manufacturing in Raleigh, North Carolina. Observers expect the moves to lead to the departure of many of Rolm’s senior old-timers.

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