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May 5, 1988

ROCC COMPUTERS IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN HOPES OF OPEN SYSTEMS

By CBR Staff Writer

ROCC Computers Ltd yesterday broke what seems to have been a three-and-a-half-year silence by revealing bold plans that the company hopes will take it successfully into the 1990s. The company, formerly Rediffusion Computers, was formed back in November 1984 through a Charterhouse Development Capital-backed management buy-out, headed by managing director Mike Aldrich, from its parent company British Electric Traction Plc (CI No 74). Prospects for ROCC did not look too good at the time as BET took a UKP14.0m write-off in the transaction and it was labouring under an UKP884,000 first half loss. However the company now employs 450 people, mostly at its head-office in Crawley, West Sussex and has announced profits of UKP1.8m and a turnover of UKP16.0m for the financial year just ended – and is now 94%-owned by its employees. It has concentrated on the business it knew best, data capture and viewdata systems in the local authority, sales/marketing and financial applications markets. Mike Aldrich said that the company’s business plans call for an expansion from its present 450-person, UKP16.0m sales level to an 800-person, UKP50.0m sales level in the 1990s. The proposed expansion will be based around three processor ranges called the Tripos Workstation Management Systems – WMS – implementing Open Systems Interconnection standards. The basic WMS software system supports a variety of workstation terminals for multiuser real time processing and can handle up to 96 concurrent users on ROCC’s 28X5 series 32-bit processors, which take a RISC approach in what is believed to be a bit-slice processor that the company rates at 15 to 17 MIPs. The WMS/Videotex system is specifically designed to handle up to 1,000 viewdata terminals in typical usage. Running on the ROCC 28X6 processor, the system also includes an integrated database management system. Finally ROCC has introduced the WMS/Unix which provides an overall system interface manager for Unix, relational databases and the ROCC C Check 11 fourth generation language. The system runs on the ROCC 28X8 VMEbus range of computers, based on Motorola 68000 family processors, which are due to be replaced by a RISC chip shortly.

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