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November 23, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The networking division of Scicon Ltd, the UK commercial arm of SD-Scicon Plc, has landed UKP3m worth of contracts in the last few weeks. By far the largest is a UKP2m network maintenance contract from the Metropolitan Police: Scicon Networks will maintain the interface between New Scotland Yard’s Unisys mainframe and the Plessey Telenet-supplied X25 network which is currently being installed. Other deals include a UKP338,000 contract to install a data-communications network at the London head-office of engineers and constructors Davy McKee; a UKP216,000 order from the Welsh Water Authority for its Netway communications system; and a UKP300,000 a year facilities management contract for the Royal Automobile Club. Sam Sassoon, managing director of Scicon Networks, outlined the changes that have occurred since Scicon Corp was taken over by Systems Designers Plc last April to form one of the UK’s biggest systems houses. As we reported last August (CI No 987) the new company, SD-Scicon Plc, has been reorganised along civil and government lines. Scicon’s defence business, numbering about 300 people, was transferred to SD, and SD’s 500 strong commercial arm has moved over to Scicon. Scicon Ltd now operates in the UK through four independent businesses: Scicon Networks, Scicon Finance, Scicon Industry and Scicon Energy. All four divisions are expected to have a turnover in the region of UKP15m this year, out of a total group turnover of UKP250m. Not surprisingly Sassoon expects Scicon’s networking division to prove a major growth area over the next four years. The division has 200 employees and specialises in facilities and network management, messaging systems, as well as systems installation and consultancy. With the demand for total solutions ever increasing the company forecasts a significant shift towards facilities management over the next few years, an area in which it claims to have 12% of the UKP65m UK market. The market is expected to be worth UKP125m by 1991 (Input Europe), and Sassoon predicts that Scicon’s share will increase to 25% by then, despite increased competition from people like IBM and British Telecommunications Plc. The company offers a dedicated or shared facilities management service from its data processing centre at Milton Keynes, or a service based at the customer’s own premises. Specialising in IBM, Unisys 1100 and DEC equipment, the division, says Sassoon, can offer network management, back-up services, operating systems support and application development and support.

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