Services Briefs: Servers, Powerlan, IBM

Services Briefs: Servers, Powerlan, IBM

Servers sales soft

The server market took a dip in the fourth quarter of 2002 as overall revenue declined, but there are signs that it could rebound through the rest of the year, according to IDC. Server market revenue fell 5.2 per cent overall compared to the fourth quarter a year ago, to hit $US12.3 billion. Sales of low-end servers offered some relief for vendors, with positive low-end sales leading a 15.2 per cent rise in revenue compared to the immediate prior quarter.

Powerlan queried again

Troubled software provider Powerlan’s recent cash flow problems were due to “extraordinary payments made in relation to divested business and legacy debts”, according to a statement by the company to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). The announcement comes one month after the sale of two software divisions by the company. The ASX asked the company to report on negative cash flow problems, following Powerlan’s monthly report. For the quarter ending January 31, 2003, the ASX noted that Powerlan had net negative operating cash flows of $3,121,000. The statement also noted that “the company does expect to produce negative operating cash flows from time-to-time. However, the business is profitable, excluding the extraordinary payments, and it is anticipated these profits, the receipt of monies still owed to Powerlan from the sale of non-core businesses and, if required, the chairman’s loan facility will enable the business to continue operating and build on the recent sales successes.”

Another billion for IBM

French insurance and financial services company AXA Group has picked IBM to streamline its global IT systems in a six-year deal worth about $US1 billion. IBM will help consolidate server, mainframe and storage systems into a new “on demand” computing structure that will mean AXA only pays for the capacity it uses and can quickly adapt IT needs to business needs.

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