Intel Europe has signed Granada to handle the warranty business for Intel OEM systems, reflecting a surge in the growth of the company's PC and server sales.
The move follows an earlier u5 million deal in which the chip giant division hived off its motherboard repair business to the computer services division.
Intel's own PC and server business has grown steadily over the past three years to the point where other hardware vendors, including Apricot and Compaq, complained it was biting into their own sales. The appointment of Granada to handle warranties and repairs underlines the fact that Intel's PC sales are increasing.
The system warranty business is also European-wide and applies to Intel's own PCs distributed through companies such as Bytech Systems and Datrontech.
Gordon Towell, European managing director at Granada, estimated that the unit would repair around 600 PCs and servers each month. No details are available on how much this business is worth, although Granada hinted that distributors of Intel systems were considering other similar contracts.
Staff at Intel now work for Granada at the former warranty repair business workshop at Greenbridge and handle more than 2,000 motherboards a month. Sources at Intel put the business up for tender after an internal feasibility study.
An Intel representative said that its repair operation was 'a very small part of Intel's operation' with around 20 people employed in the workshop.
He estimated that around 10 Intel staff had decided to take jobs with Granada.
Details have emerged about Intel's P7 chip, codenamed Merced. According to one OEM, we can expect to see processors running at a respectable 1,400MHz by the end of the century. But Intel is expected to bring the release of the chip forward to 1998, following the introduction of the Klamath processor next year.
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