Seagate Technology’s acquisition of Control Data’s Imprimis subsidiary in September (CI No 1,261) looks as if it will leave companies like Vermont Research with the last laugh. For rumour has it that the two companies are not enjoying the merger of their businesses. It seems that Seagate, known for its high volume manufacture storage products, […]
Seagate Technology’s acquisition of Control Data’s Imprimis subsidiary in September (CI No 1,261) looks as if it will leave companies like Vermont Research with the last laugh. For rumour has it that the two companies are not enjoying the merger of their businesses. It seems that Seagate, known for its high volume manufacture storage products, is trying to push Imprimis’ high end products through its normal distribution channels and is not getting very far. It, therefore, seems likely that Seagate will sell the Imprimis solid state secondary store business in the near future and pull out of many of its support roles for Control Data users and OEM customers. All of which is good news for the far smaller companies in solid state secondary storage who will be left to polish off this market between them. One of these companies, Vermont Research, is already benefitting from the exodus of Imprimis personnel leaving Seagate. For Vermont, based in Leatherhead, Surrey over here, has just appointed Peter Harris as international sales and marketing director in an effort to move into less specialised, more commercial markets by drawing on his experience in marketing for Imprimis. Harris has worked for Imprimis for the past 18 years, 15 of which were spent marketing peripherals for the direct sales force and OEM sales group. During the last three years, however, as the company began to move, albeit late, away from 14 products, Harris had to assess new ways of bringing products to market – one of these ways was the opening of UK distribution channels. Needless to say Vermont is also looking to grow through dealer and distribution channels. Hitherto, Vermont has relied on direct selling to large sophisticated end-users such as the Ministry of Defence as well as on OEM sales.
While both types of marketing will continue, Vermont is now keen to get its products pushed by specific vendor dealers. The first area being explored, naturally enough considering Vermont’s products, is DEC, and the Leeds-based DEC dealer ESS has already signed an agreement with the company. Negotiations are also underway with ICL, and Data General, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard and IBM are other names on Vermont’s list of possible distribution and dealer moves. Aside from negotiations with dealers, Vermont is also talking about the possibility of licensing its technology to companies within countries where hard currency is at a premium. The first place from which such an announcement is likely to emerge is South Korea, since talks are said to well advanced there, but following its deal with Iskra in Jugoslavia, Vermont is also sizing up the East European market. According to Stuart Lock, managing director of Vermont UK, the company is looking to a more organised and rational approach to marketing for its growth. Its end of year results are due out in a week or two and apparently show that Vermont is on the right footing. Turnover, however, is likely to remain sluggish until the company has established a wider market share and more outlets, but should start looking up in the second half of 1990.