Data General predicts better times ahead

Despite Data General's recent poor financial results, which led to the restructuring of its global operations, Pacific region managing director Dan O'Hara is predicting much better times ahead for the company. He believes the future will be built around NT in the enterprise, and professional services. 'The big opportunity in New Zealand is NT enterprise.'

Despite Data General's recent poor financial results, which led to the restructuring of its global operations, Pacific region managing director Dan O'Hara is predicting much better times ahead for the company.

He believes the future will be built around NT in the enterprise, and professional services. "The big opportunity in New Zealand is NT enterprise. There's no question that it is not as robust as it could be yet but it is sure as hell chasing Unix up the tree.

"Every application software developer we know has an NT plan."

O'Hara says the enterprise NT opportunity in New Zealand has much to do with the size of businesses.

"We've only sold one of our large NUMA [non-uniform memory access server architecture] systems in New Zealand — to BioLab — but 20 in Australia."

Under NUMA, processors share a virtual memory rather than a fixed memory bus.

Data General's strategy to address the lack of robustness in Windows NT is to provide surround products, such as a failover mechanism and performance tuning tools.

"The next challenge for companies like ours is NT because of the lower blended margins," O'Hara says. "In the last quarter, 65% of our revenue came from NT."

In Australasia the Clariion storage unit has been hived off under former DG New Zealand manager Robert Lee. The remainder of the New Zealand operation reports to O'Hara.

"In the March quarter, Clariion revenue dropped because we couldn't deliver volume fibre channel," he says. "We'd skipped going to ultra SCSI.

"We've used the opportunity to take stock, and in the June quarter we spent $US135 million on restructuring. That should translate into ongoing trading savings of $US40 million a year."

The company is also focusing strongly on professional services, he says. They up around 20% of DG's New Zealand revenue, while total services account for half.

The company expects to move from its Wellington premises by the end of September, reflecting the smaller-sized operation of 25 people.

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