Norsk Data’s recent announcements of its new proprietary ND-5850 minicomputer, the tpServer, and Unix-based Uniline 33 family (CI No 1,288), were accompanied by enhancements to its existing products. And company strategy for the 1990s, which one sceptic described as survival but Norsk Data says is much less simplistic, comprises focusing on vertical markets with a […]
Norsk Data’s recent announcements of its new proprietary ND-5850 minicomputer, the tpServer, and Unix-based Uniline 33 family (CI No 1,288), were accompanied by enhancements to its existing products. And company strategy for the 1990s, which one sceptic described as survival but Norsk Data says is much less simplistic, comprises focusing on vertical markets with a particular Unix interest. The Wordplex range of text and document processing systems, which has received scant attention since Norsk Data acquired Wordplex Plc in 1987, has been upgraded. Wordtext 2 now runs on AT-alikes and has line and box draw facilities. A second addition to Wordplex is a new piece of software aimed at the legal profession. Legal Draft Marker automates the preparation of leases and wills, originally prepared in the Wordplex text editor. The third software enhancement is Policy Manager, targeted at insurance brokers, and designed to reduce the time spent proof reading documents. It tracks all changes made to text during the compilation of a document, and marks each change while retaining the original information. A simultaneous printing facility produces the original document and highlights text changes at the same time as the clean document is produced. Norsk Data has also released a new property system aimed at local authorities. ND-Props consists of a range of modules handling building control, improvement grants, commercial premises, competitive tendering, complaints investigation, land charges, and digital mapping. The modules continuously update the shared database, and the software runs on the company’s 32-bit range of minis. A pilot system has been implemented at the planning department of the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale. Norsk Data has also been collaborating with the Department of Education & Science to develop a Unix-based record management system. The Registry File System runs on the new Uniline 33 machines designed for workgroup to departmental systems. It stores file and document titles as free text, and monitors access to the files. The company believes that security features and the Unix operating system will ensure that it’s of interest to other government departments, including the Ministry of Defence. Norsk Data is intending to focus on selected markets during the 1990s, and develop as a systems integrator. It will adhere to 88open standards and cites its involvement in Unix, SQL and Open Systems Interconnection networks as proof of commitment to open systems. The company has also made moves towards becoming leaner and fitter. It is selling its Euston offices and moving into accommodation more appropriate to staff numbers and requirements. And perhaps more wounding, it is disposing of the 128-acre Benham Valence headquarters in Berkshire. The property is reputed to be worth UKP30m, but Norsk Data is looking at the more modest figure of UKP15m, which includes the Scandinavian-designed offices recently attached to the 17th Century mansion.