Bits & Bytes
DEC: A CONSULTING ARM ACROSS THE SEA
When Digital Equipment Corp.'s customers set up overseas operations, they often asked the minicomputer maker for free advice. After all, the $14 billion Maynard (Mass.) company has subsidiaries all over the world. It has been in Japan since 1968 and recently set up shop in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Russia.
Now, DEC hopes that it can sell its international knowhow to the globally minded--whether or not they are DEC computer customers. A new 10-person unit will do everything from sizing up a potential market and recruiting local managers to scouting headquarters locations. Ahmed Asfour, marketing director of DEC's international business development unit, won't disclose how much revenue the company expects from the new business but says that on some big projects it may charge a percentage of revenues from the client's overseas business. Any new source of revenue and profits would help: In the quarter ended Dec. 31, DEC lost $131 million, and analysts predict it will lose as much as $90 million this quarter.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG