Despite a $500 (#312) price tag being touted rounnd the industry earlier this year, AT&T last week bought 2,500 NC units from Sun River priced at $2,120 each.
But although the initial price is close to that of a decently configured PC, Sun River claimed cost of ownership arguments made them cheaper in the long run. Sun River's Boundless Technologies subsidiary concluded the deal last week, with the NCs due to be installed at US AT&T operator offices from next March onwards.
Eva Lilljegren, European marketing manager at Boundless, said the company was talking to AT&T in Europe but nothing had been concluded as yet. She said: "The deal is both hardware and software and if you split it per seat it does cost $2,120. AT&T originally chose PCs for its call centres, but they calculated the total cost of ownership amounted to $350 million over five years using PCs."
She said the deal was an extension of an earlier deal Sun River struck with AT&T in 1993 to sell it a host of multimedia PCs. "It's an extension of the original order," she said. "They've upgraded their original multimedia stations." An internal analysis of the cost of ownership was the reason for the change, she added.
Tom Upton, director of worldwide sales at Boundless, said the company had changed its strategy in order to allow its existing customer base, including AT&T, to move to NT and intranet environments.
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