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Technology / AI and automation

THIRD PARTY MANAGEMENT EYES WORDPLEX MAINTENANCE ON THE CONTINENT

The revenue target of UKP15m within three years set by president John Stancioff (CI No 468) soon after the TPM Europe Inc was set up last year (CI No 436) has already ceased to look outrageous. Following the purchase of former Systime subsidiary, Amsterdam-based Business Solutions International BV from Control Data Corp in July and last week’s acquisition of the maintenance base of former mini manufacturer Digico from Optim Computer Group Ltd (CI No 641), TPM – Third Party Management – is now looking with covetous eyes at Wordplex Plc’s European maintenance operations, many of which are currently in the hands of the word processor maker’s local distributors. According to Stancioff, who in addition to his role as corporate president is also managing director of UK subsidiary TPM Computer Services Ltd, TPM aims to provide European-wide maintenance, installation, and consultancy for sophisticated large accounts, small-to-medium manufacturers – Wordplex and Digico users are just two of 15 potential customer bases he has identified – and leasing companies. In addition, TPM will, through its New York office, offer centralised buying and subsequent discounts, and licence certain hardware and software products. It has already taken on Cardware, a board that allows VAX users to run PC-DOS software, Nissho, which converts a PDP-11/34 into an 11/84, Unbound Inc’s Cube, a MicroVAX-alike built round a DEC motherboard, Flexlink, a piece of local network software which links IBM 4300s, DEC VAXes, Sun Microsystems Inc’s Sun 3, Apollo Computer Inc’s Domain and Gould Computer Systems’ boxes, Britton Lee Inc’s database for IBM and DEC machines, and Aspen Peripherals Inc’s 3480-type tape drive (CI No 603). Finding money to fund the growth – depending on performance over the next five years, up to UKP2m for Business Solutions; UKP1m for Digico; the start-up costs of two already operational subsidiaries, one covering France, the other the Germanic speaking countries; further planned expansion through joint ventures in Spain and Scandanavia, and through subcontracting in Italy – has not proved to be a problem so far. TPM has already raised $3m – $900,000 from company executives Stancioff, chairman and ex-Millicom president Peter Erb, lawyer Paul Mishkin, and finance director Tom Barry – and will shortly go in search of a second round of finance. The biggest investor is Kansas City Southern Industries, the venture capital arm of Kansas City Railroad, and NASDAQ- quoted Metromobile Inc is also among the backers.

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CBR Staff Writer

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