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July 5, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Psion UK Plc, in the news recently because of its troubled Dacom subsidiary (CI No 1,455), is highly visible because of the widespread promotion of its Organisers in retail outlets – but those retail sales are the jam for Psion. The company makes its real money out of volume sales of its portable computers to large companies and public sector organisations for application-specific tasks such as stock control – and with the investment that has gone into its new Mobile Computer range will be justified only if it can win the same kind of corporate customers for the things. So four new contracts worth over UKP2m announced by the company could prove vital to its future health. The first corporate trials of its Psion Mobile Computers are to take place at Lee Valley Water and British Gas South Eastern in job control systems. Some of the field workers at Lee Valley are using MC400 Graphic Interface models which receive full details of jobs sent via radio communication systems in vans. If this trial is successful, the water company is to extend the system to include pre-inspection reports and digitised maps of pipe and valve locations. British Gas South Eastern is using the MC600 model for job control trials at two depots, and says it chose the M600 since it runs MS-DOS-based fourth generation language software to log details of work done and elapsed time. British Telecom has ordered 10,000 Psion P250 hand-held computers for its installation engineers, taking the total number used by the company to 19,000. The last order is with the Pest Control Service of Rentokil, which is issuing 900 service engineers with four-line hand-held computers. As with the other trials, they will be used for logging details of jobs completed, work schedules, and time spent.

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