CHANNEL NEWS

P> SCO Rolls Our Internet Initiative
The Santa Cruz Operation Inc., a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based UNIX vendor, has assigned Jeffrey Ait, vice president of channel sales, to spearhead the company's Internet strategies.

As SCO's first vice president for Internet, Ait wants to allow SCO developers and channel partners to access and publish information on the Internet; share internal information via Intranets, the closed Internetlike networks; conduct electronic commerce and share secure information on the Internet; and easily connect Novell NetWare local area networks to the Internet.
"A lot of customers are buying parts and pieces [related to the Internet] that don't work," Ait commented. "Our role is to integrate different technologies into easily usable consumer products," which it intends to do by working with more than 80 original equipment manufacturers and 6,000 resellers.
Ait thinks that SCO's ownership of the UNIX and UnixWare intellectual properties will help the company develop its Internet strategies, because UNIX is the Internet's programming language. "As the Internet has developed, so has UNIX," he remarked. He said the company seeks input from vendors who develop platforms and applications for UNIX, such as Digital Equipment Corp., Maynard, Mass.; Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto, Calif.; IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y.; and Silicon Graphics Inc., Mountain View, Calif.
A key challenge for SCO, according to Ait, is developing UNIX to work well with the 64-bit multiprocessor architecture. Digital and Sun Microsystems Inc., Mountain View., Calif., have developed 64-bit chips. HP and Intel Corp., Santa Clara, Calif., are working on a P7 64-bit chip they plan to release in 1998 and make commercially available in 1999 or 2000.

Windows NT Imaging Software Vendor Grows
Optical Technology Group Inc., a software vendor of imaging and mass storage solutions for Microsoft's Windows NT network operating system, reported $8 million in revenue for 1995, according to Richard Kay, president. The privately held Bethesda, Md.-based company reported $3.5 million in sales for 1994. It anticipates doubling its revenue in 1996 to $16 million.
Kay plans to use the distribution channels more in 1996. "We want 90 to 95 percent of our business to go through the channels," remarked Kay, who founded the 50-employee company in 1992. Specifically, OTG wants to achieve deeper penetration by recruiting distributors and resellers in the agriculture, banking and credit union, CAD-CAM, education, government and legal vertical markets. Law Cypress Distributing Co., San Jose, Calif., holds OTG's exclusive distribution rights. Kay wants to spur strong sales through the channels by offering 30 percent to 50 percent discounts on his products and by embarking on a $500,000 advertising campaign in 1996.

S.T. Research Introduces Palmtop PC
S.T. Research Corp., a $16 million defense contractor based in Newington, Va., will introduce a palmtop PC in the spring to sell to commercial and government customers. The Ultimax 2000 ruggedized palmtop PC was developed under a Department of Defense fixed-price contract.
The computer features two PCMCIA slots that give it "almost limitless memory capabilities and great flexibility," according to Sandy Perrino, president and CEO of S.T. Research. Because the Ultimax runs on DOS 6.22 -- not Windows, it preserves memory. Perrino wants to target the agriculture, gambling, medical, military and seafood vertical markets, but he knows he will need software developers, so he has invested heavily in marketing by exhibiting at industry shows such as COMDEX in Las Vegas and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association show in San Diego.
"Anyone who has a need for a ruggedized data input device could use this product," said Nelson Pontillo, products division director. But at a price of $3,000, users should be willing to pay.
Betty Wells, product sales manager, said the Ultimax is in prototype development and will ship in April or May. The company anticipates receiving an order for 250 palmtop PCs in the coming weeks.

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