Hitachi is buying out partner Electronic Data Systems? stake in Hitachi Data Systems, the joint venture the two companies formed back in 1989 to sell Hitachi?s mainframe systems. With the acquisition the company plans to make a major push into the open systems market space. In Japan the company sells Unix systems.
?This market has changed dramatically since 1989,? said Toshihiko Odaka, board director and group executive of computer products at Hitachi, ?With this agreement in place, we now plan to strengthen and broaden the resources and product mix of HDS as a solutions provider.?
John Taffinder, general manager of HDS Europe, said the move will allow HDS to be a bigger player in the corporate market.
?We will widen our scope of operations from the S/390 marketplace into open systems.? There will be a number of product announcements in the next three to four months, he said, with HDS offering a broader range of hardware.
While Hitachi is a strong player in the Unix market in Japan, it has little presence in this market overseas. Taffinder said it will also look at having a larger presence in the software and applications market.
Last year, HDS announced a restructuring of the company, axing some 350 jobs worldwide, as it shifted its focus away from the S/390 market, and towards open systems and storage.
Taffinder said job losses in Europe had been comparatively small, with the main losses being in administrative staff at its corporate headquarters in Stoke Poges. ?We?ve actually added technical and support staff,? he said.
HDS will launch the second generation of its Skyline mainframe system, now dubbed the Trinium, or mainframe for the third Millennium, on 22 February, with general availability scheduled for third quarter this year.
Hitachi said it will complete the purchase of EDS? 16.2 per cent stake in HDS by no later than 21 April this year.
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