Data General Corp has reinforced its commitment to implementing the Pick database under its own version of Unix, DG/UX, by establishing a separate business unit to cater solely to this market. The new division will look after marketing and product management, research and development, quality assurance and customer support. Director of Pick database marketing Daniel […]
Data General Corp has reinforced its commitment to implementing the Pick database under its own version of Unix, DG/UX, by establishing a separate business unit to cater solely to this market. The new division will look after marketing and product management, research and development, quality assurance and customer support. Director of Pick database marketing Daniel Sapir claims the Westborough, Massachussetts-based group is the only one really focussing on the market as there’s a lot of money in it. He claims that the Pick market is worth $3,500m worldwide and is growing fast – according to market research company InfoCorp it will grow by 28% during this year alone. Furthermore, Data General now generates between 50% and 55% of total revenues worldwide from its AViiON Unix boxes – this figure is significantly higher in the UK at 75% – and most of these incorporate a database of some description – either in its raw state or with applications developed on it. But of all the databases available, Pick is the only one that the group has agreements to sell licences for. Of the 75% of AViiON boxes the company sells into the UK, between 6% and 7% of these incorporate one of the four versions of Pick database: VMark Software Inc’s UniVerse or PI/Open; UniData Inc’s UniData system, and Pick System Inc’s Advanced Pick. According to UK business partnership marketing manager Malcolm Barnes Data General sees most of its Pick business coming from customers wanting to migrate from proprietary to open systems. This is substantiated by Pick Sys tems, which reckons out of an installed base of 400,000 worldwide, between 60,000 and 70,000 will move from proprietary minicomputers to Unix over the next two or three years. But this trend is changing, according to Barnes. While last year, Data General generated all of its Pick-related turnover from migrations, this year the figure will be more like 75%, and over the next few years, he expects it to drop to about 40%. The remaining revenues come from sales to value-added resellers, which cater particularly well to such vertical sectors as local authorities, health, insurance, manufacturing and distribution. Which fits in nicely with Data General, Sapir says, because these happen to be its traditional markets too. One of the reasons, in fact, why customers are so keen to stay with Pick, he attests, is the wealth of applications available under it. Since it was released over 25 years ago, between 3,000 and 4,000 packages have been developed across more than 200 vertical sectors.
Loyal to Pick
Conversely, he claims, Unix caters to no more than 75. Another reason why people are so loyal to Pick, he said, is because it is easy to use and administer – it uses English-like language commands to make queries, which means users don’t have to be computer whizz-kids. Furthermore, it is cheap at UKP400 per licence per user compared with an average UKP1,500 for mainstream vendors, it doesn’t use as much memory or need as much disk storage space as other relational database management systems, and it offers symmetric multiprocessing. But of course, he reckons, that Pick under DG/UX provides customers with something extra special. After 25 years of experience in the commercial market, he claims Data General has developed enough expertise to make many commercial enhancements to its Unix operating system – for example, he stated, it is very robust and if, say, the plug was pulled out of the machine, no data would be lost. Moreover, he said, the group can provide document imaging capabilities via its AV/Image; optical imaging systems using Uniplex Ltd’s onGO package; and is the only Unix vendor to offer a geographical information system.