Imprimis Technology Inc, the data storage arm of beleaguered Control Data, has established its new European headquarters in Paris. Imprimis, formerly known as the Data Storage Products Group, found itself in dire straits during the mid 1980s, and was losing money to the tune of $10m per month. 1988 was the first year since 1984 […]
Imprimis Technology Inc, the data storage arm of beleaguered Control Data, has established its new European headquarters in Paris. Imprimis, formerly known as the Data Storage Products Group, found itself in dire straits during the mid 1980s, and was losing money to the tune of $10m per month. 1988 was the first year since 1984 that the company reported a profit, and it did so at considerable cost – the workforce was cut by more than 50% and floor space was reduced by 1m square feet. William Miller, president and chief executive acknowledged at the opening ceremony that the rationalisation programme had been painful and empathised with the parent company’s current difficulties. However, he insisted that identification of the problems: too many people and facilities, unsuitable markets and poor products, was reason to believe that Control Data, like Imprimis, would survive and prosper. As regards Europe, Miller went on to say that in view of 1992, it had become imperative for Imprimis to establish a manufacturing and marketing presence on the Continent. However, manufacturing in high wage countries incurs considerable costs and in order to lighten that burden, Imprimis will be looking to form partnerships with other manufacturers. He was unwilling to be drawn on the identification of possible partners, but given that storage companies are not cash rich, he admitted that other fields were of more interest. In addition, it could be argued that hard disks have reached maturity and various electronic features are going to become increasingly important which means more money has to be put into research and development. That would be less onerous if Imprimis could share the costs with a partner. Of course, Miller’s well-laid plans may yet be scuppered by Control Data deciding to sell Imprimis, and Seagate Technology, which does not have a manufacturing facility in Europe, has been mooted as a potential buyer (CI No 1,089). Not unnaturally, Miller adhered to US policy of not commenting on transactions or potential transactions. As regards products, Imprimis is now shipping in volume its 1.2Gb disks. They offer an access time of 16mS with a transfer rate of 3Mbytes-per-second and SMD, SMD/E, SCSI and IPI-2 interface. It appears that the 1.2Gb is not top of the range and a 2.5Gb disk is in the pipeline. Similar to the 1.2Gb, it has the same interface with a higher transfer rate and a 14mS access time. The 1.2Gb costs $7,000 in OEM quantities and the 2.5 will cost less per megabyte. – Janice McGinn.