Silicon Graphics changes name as part of makeover

Promising to take its results from red to black by the end of its fiscal fourth quarter Silicon Graphics says it is changing its name and, it hopes, its image as well. The official name change to SGI is part of an overall strategy to broaden the customer base for products and services the company currently offers, but which escaped the radar of most IT organisations surveyed by the company.

Promising to take the company from red to black by the end of its fiscal fourth quarter (June 30) Silicon Graphics says it is changing its name and, it hopes, its image as well.

The official name change to SGI is part of an overall strategy to broaden the customer base for products and services the company currently offers, but which escaped the radar of most IT organisations surveyed by the company.

"When we look back in two years, it will prove to be the right decision as SGI looks to expand its base of customers. They have a good story to tell in servers and storage," said Jay Moore, a senior analyst at the Aberdeen Group, in Boston. "Re-branding is a good idea."

Although SGI is well known as a high-end supplier of workstations used by the film makers of Jurassic Park and design engineers at Harley Davidson motorcycles, the workstation market is only a small part of SGI's business. More than 50% of its business comes out of servers and supercomputers, said a company representative.

The company bought Cray Research in 1996, which provides the backbone of its supercomputer line.

According to one analyst, SGI's biggest problem is its lack of marketing acumen.

"The best-kept secret is they have this fantastic strategic business analysis systems software that does things like database marketing, financial analytics, [and] business performance analysis that nobody seems to know about," said Joyce Becknell, director of Unix and enterprise systems at the Aberdeen Group.

The State of Texas is currently using SGI servers and software for welfare-fraud analysis, and GTE is using it to analyse why customers jump from one service to another, a major problem for cellular phone carriers.

Although analysts say forecasts for SGI's future look good, the company's earnings for its last quarter, which will end April 22, are expected to still be in the red, according to an SGI representative.

SGI Inc., in Mountain View, Calif., is at www.sgi.com.

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