Midrange firm Sequent has lost business to PC company Apricot even though it cut the cost of its servers by u100,000 each after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) complained that its prices were too high.
Group financial director of the CAA Richard Brett said last week that he had asked Sequent to rethink its pricing after it pitched its servers at u175,000 while Apricot (recently renamed the Mitsubishi Electric PC division) offered to sell it two machines at u29,000 apiece.
'They came back after two days and had cut the cost by u100,000,' said Brett. 'Then I realised it was time to start talking.' Despite the price cuts, he opted for Apricot's Shogun.
The deal was brokered by reseller Network SI, confirmed Mike Langmore, chairman of the company. 'We are the primary supplier to the CAA for everything,' he said. 'We provide a whole range of things and have 100 people there.'
Network SI, which sold off its ailing TPM business to SCC last week, had a strategy to concentrate on desktop facilities management, said Langmore, ex-head of Kalamazoo.
'We're very much a services company,' he said. 'We do provide hardware but we don't hold stock. Hardware would not necessarily be Apricot, we also sell Compaq, Sequent and IBM.' His firm provided a procurement service to the CAA and also gave them a catalogue to choose from, he said.
Terry Jordan, marketing manager at Sequent UK, confessed himself puzzled by Brett's statement. 'We had a machine on loan to them for six months and we offered to sell it to him as refurbished equipment,' he said.
Langmore confirmed that further changes could be expected at Network SI after it sold its maintenance division last week. His role is to trim the company into shape, he said.
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