Information Brief on DATEC

INFORMATION BRIEF ON DATEC Prepared INPUT by LTD LONDON JULY 1985 INPUT LTD DOVER STREET LONDON WlX 3RB m 01-493 9335 telex: 27113 / D...

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INFORMATION

BRIEF

ON

DATEC

Prepared

INPUT

by

LTD

LONDON

JULY

1985

INPUT LTD DOVER STREET LONDON WlX 3RB

m

01-493 9335 telex: 27113

/

DATE

BORROWER'S NAME

LOANED

S>



B8-

CAT.

No.

23-108

PRINTED

IN U. S. A.

INFORMATION BRIEF ON DATEC

CONTENTS

Page

I

INTRODUCTION

1

II

COMPANY OVERVIEW

2

A.

Background

2

B.

Company Details

2

III

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

11

IV

PRODUCT AND SERVICE OVERVIEW

17

V

A.

Network Services

17

B.

Other Business Areas

22

1.

Major Software Development

22

2.

OEM/Turnkey Systems

22

3.

Consultancy Services

23

MARKETING STRATEGY

24

A.

Network Applications

24

B.

Competitive Environment

27

APPENDIX A:

FINANCIAL DETAILS

APPENDIX

PUBLICITY MATERIAL

B:

i

-

Digitized by the Internet Archive in

2014

http://archive.org/details/03300YQADxx85lnformationB

INFORMATION BRIEF ON DATEC

EXHIBITS

Page

II

III

IV

A

-1

Principal Company Objectives

3

-2

DATEC Organisation Chart

8

-3

Personnel Growth

9

-1

Balance Sheet

12

-2

Profit and Loss Account

13

-3

Three Year Sales and Proft Summary

14

-4

Growth of DATEC'

-1

DATEC Network - Local and

-2

The DATEC Network - July 1985

21

-1

Tangible Fixed Assets and Stocks

29

-2

Debtors and Creditors

30

-3

Capital and Reserves

31

-4

Profits and Taxation

32

-5

Dividends and Reserves

33

s

Non-Captive Business

ii

'a'

Rate Access

16

20

I

INTRODUCTION

1

.

INTRODUCTION

This information brief has been prepared for British Telecom to

provide basic information on DATEC

,

a company formally known as

Debenhams Applied Technology Ltd.

The information in this brief is set out in the following form:

It provides details of the

Chapter II is an overview.

company background and its objectives.

Basic company details

are provided including its organisation and personnel.

Chapter III provides financial information on DATEC, an analysis of its sources of business and a turnover forecast for 1986.

-

Chapter IV is an outline description of DATEC 's products and services, placing major emphasis on the network services.

-

Chapter V describes the marketing strategy being adopted by

DATEC and an assessment of its competitive environment.

The Appendices contain additional financial information and

copies of some DATEC publicity material.

-

1

-

COMPANY OVERVIEW

.

II

A.

COMPANY OVERVIEW

BACKGROUND

Datec

is

Ltd.,

a

the

trading

wholly

owned

name

of

Debenhams

subsidiary

Applied

of

Debenhams

of

the

Technology

PLC

well

the

known department store group.

Datec was

originally

formed

out

Management

Department of Debenhams about three years ago.

At

Services this

time

it was known as Debenhams Interactive Systems Company Ltd.,

the

company being formally registered on the 4th February 1982.

°

The principal objectives for which the Company was established are defined in Exhibit

0

1

1— I

The Management Services Department was first established as an

independent

profit

before

centre

subsidiary company.

-

2

-

becoming

a

wholely

owned

1

EXHIBIT II-

PRINCIPAL COMPANY OBJECTIVES

To carry on the business of computer bureau and to deal in and operate all kinds of computer systems,

software

and programs and to act as consultants and advisers and to offer and deal in services relating to or

the

use

computer

computer

computers,

of

operating

and

expertise

constructions, systems

analysis,

systems

time,

involving in

programming, development,

telecommunications, interfacing of equipment, education and training advice and all matters connected with the

use of computers and similar or associated equipment.

To

purchase,

calculators,

lease

printing,

storage

devices,

equipment,

computer

other

or

equipment

and

take

hire

on

plotting,

computers,

display

and

data

telecommunications

controls,

peripheral

equipment

in

services

connected

directly

indirectly with the use of computers.

-

3

-

general, or

At

the

time

formation

its

of

only

minimal

revenues

were

generated from outside the Debenhams group, almost the entire business was captive within the Debenhams Group.

The company's brief (as can be seen from Exhibit

1

1— I) was to

market its services outside the Debenhams Group and therefore to

obtain

leverage

commercial

from

its

internal

skills

capabilities and investments.

0

During

1983

the

Company

International Ltd.

sold

its

Viewdata Division

to

DISC

This sale included certain net assets and

intellectual property rights, but DATEC retained the rights to use and market the viewdata products.

B

°

.

COMPANY DETAILS

Datec's registered office is situated at:

1

°

Welbeck Street, London W1A IDF

The Company Secretary is Mr. N. P. H. Webster

Datec's head office is situated at:

-

Bedford House, Park Street, Taunton, Somerset TA1 4DB. Telephone:

0823-57041

-

4

-

46150 DATEC G

Telex:

They also have a London office which is planned to move into

new premises in Hounslow in August, currently they are based at:

Chesham House, 150 Regent Street, London W1R Telephone:

01-439-6288

Telex:

261426 ADFONE G (ref: DATEC)

5 FA

The Company has a nominal share capital of 100,000 £1 Ordinary

shares of which 97,000 have been taken up.

96,999 of these are owned by Debenhams PLC, 1

Welbeck Street, London W1A IDF.

the outstanding share is owned by Jubilee Fashions Ltd. 1

Welbeck Street, London W1A IDF.

The Directors of the Company are:

-

K.

G.

Bishop

D.

J.

Hillyard

A.

S.

Noble

G.

E.

Cox

M.

C.

Goodman

J.

P.

Leighfield

-

5

-

-

M.

J.

-

A.

Breckon

C.

J.

Fisher

B.

F.

Hume

K.

G.

Prentice

Bishop and D.

J.

Hillyard are non-executive directors,

who are also directors of other Debenhams Group companies.

A.

S.

G.

E.

Noble is another non-executive director.

Cox is a management consultant and Director of Butler

Cox and Partners Ltd.

J.

P.

Leighfield

s

the Managing Director of ISTEL.

The executive directors are:

-

Prentice, Managing Director

M.

J.

A.

Breckon, Network Services Division

C.

J.

Fisher

and

B.

F.

Hume

are

responsible

Software

Development and OEM Divisions.

-

M. C. Goodman is the Finance Director.

-

6

-

for

the

DATEC is organised into three basic divisions plus a separate

consultancy

activity which

also

reports

directly

in

the

to

Managing Director, see Exhibit 11-2.

The

activities

these

of

various

functions

are

described

in

Chapter IV, Product Overview.

DATEC employs about 220 personnel, of which approximately one half

are

high number business

accounted

is

and

personnel

Network Service Division.

the

in

relatively

the

needed

for by

man

to

the

large

'round

the

large

This

relatively

data preparation

number

of

clock'

shifts

operations at

the

DATEC

has

Taunton Computer Centre.

The

growth

in

the

number

of

people

employed

by

slowed in the last year as can be seen from the analysis shown in Exhibit 11-3.

Major growth emphasis is being placed on the Network Services Division, in particular VANS and the need to grow a salesforce capable of handling this side of the business.

from a very small base, is high.

Growth in this area, April 1985

1985

there were

there are

5

only

2

salesmen employed,

as

Up to of

July

and one further salesman is currently being

-

7

-

I

I1i

I

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-

8

-

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1

> — Q 1

EXHIBIT

PERSONNEL

II - 3

GROWTH

Numbers of people 1984

1983

144

127

59

52

220

203

179

8.4%

13.4%

1985

Management

Other

Total

%

year on

increase

-

9

-

.

Additionally a sales manager was employed in April

recruited.

of this year.

This group (Network Services Division Sales) sales support person and

Salespeople

with

the

are

not

Debenhams

2

used Group,

also employs one

more are currently being recruited.

to

negotiate

this

the

business

captive

is

handled

business by

the

relevant project manager in a manner analogous to the period

when

DATEC

was

the

Management

Services

Department

for

the

utilising

ICL

Group

DATEC

operates

equipment

a

(2966' s

computer

centre

and ME29's)

and some DEC equipment.

as

at

Taunton

well as Microdata Sequoias

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Ill

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

DATEC's financial year runs to the 28th January.

The latest issued financial results were for the year ending 28th January

1984 and

the balance

sheet and profit and loss

account are shown as Exhibits III-l and III-2 respectively.

These show comparative data for the year ending 28th January 1984 with the previous year ending 28th January 1983.

Back-up data is provided in the Exhibits included as

Appendix A.

Additionally

it

understood

is

that

turnover

for

the

year

ending 28th January 1985 reached approximately £8 million.

Exhibit III-3 shows a three year comparison of DATEC turnover, and profits before tax.

-

11

-

3

s

EXHIBIT

III -

s

s

1

BALANCE SHEET/YEAR ENDED 28th JANUARY 1984 (Published 30th July 1984)

Debenhams Applied Technology Limited 1984 £000 's

FIXED ASSETS Tangible Assets

£000'

£000'

2813

*

Stock Debtors Cash at bank and in hand

1983

+

CREDITORS: Amounts falling due + within one year

2222

53

72

1545

769 533

2

(1602)

NET CURRENT ASSETS

(1316)

58

(2)

TOTAL ASSETS LESS CURRENT LIABILITIES

(2438)

(2045) (2438)

CAPITAL AND RESERVES ± Called up share capital Profit and loss account

*

See

Exhibit

A-l

+

See

Exhibit

A-2

±

See

Exhibit

A-

2280

2811

CREDITORS: Amounts falling due + after more than one year

-

12

-

£000'

(2045)

373

235

97

97

276

138

373

235

4

EXHIBIT

III -

2

PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT

YEAR ENDED 28th JANUARY 1984 (Published 30th July 1984)

Debenhams Applied Technology Limited

LUUU

S

tuuu

S

Turnover Cost of Sales

6179

4318

(929)

(712)

fivnc:«;

JZjU

JdUd

(4914)

(3377)

PT*nf""i

t"

Administrative expenses

Operating profit

336

L 1 L Clllo CUlUlUj CC UiUlXw aliaL C Interest receivable and similar income from group companies Interest payable and similar charges (Loans from group companies)

u L lie

229

(9)

85 (14)

Profit on ordinary activities before** LaAcl

L

TIT

XU LI

Tax on profit on ordinary activities**

1

Profit for the financial year on ordinary activities after taxation

314

Extraordinary item

+

Dividends paid and proposed Retained profit brought forward

1/. _>14 "3

(38)

276

261

+ +

575

276

(437) 138

(138)

276

138

NIL

Retained profit carried forward

**

See

+

Net proceeds from the disposal of the company See

Exhibit

Exhibit

A-

A-5 -

13

-

'

s

Viewbase Division

EXHIBIT

THREE YEAR

III -

AND

SALES

3

PROFIT

SUMMARY

(EOOO's)

1986

Turnover

11,300+

increase over previous year

1985

1984

1983

8,000

6,179

4,318

29%

43%

%

41%

Operating Profit

+

336

INPUT Estimate

-

14

-

229

It can be seen that growth has declined.

Exhibit

III-4

an analysis

shows

of

the

growth

(and

expected

growth) in both captive and non-captive turnover for DATEC.

The non-captive growth revenues of £3.2 million were estimated

by INPUT to be derived as follows:

-

Software Development Division

£0.7 M

OEM/Turnkey Division

£0.7 M

-

Network Services Division

£1.5 M

-

Consultancy Service

£0.3 M

£3.2 M

-

15

-

III - 4

EXHIBIT

GROWTH

OF

DATEC'S

NON-CAPTIVE

BUSINESS

(EOOO's)

1986

Turnover

Captive

1985

1984

1983

11,300+

8,000

6,179

4,318

5,300

4,800

4,420

4,100

60

47

%

Non-Captive

6,000

3,200

72

1,759

%

53

40

28

Growth Rate of Non-Captive revenues

87

82

807

+

INPUT Estimate

-

16

-

95

218

5

PRODUCT AND SERVICE

OVERVIEW

IV

PRODUCT AND SERVICE OVERVIEW

The

range of products and services marketed by DATEC can be

clearly

classified

Exhibit II-2)

from

their

organisation

chart

(shown

as

These fall into the four categories of:

.

Major Software Development

OEM and Turnkey Systems

Bureau and Network Services

-

Consultancy Services

Each of these areas of business and marketing focus for DATEC are described below.

A.

°

NETWORK SERVICES

This

area

is

clearly

most

-

17

-

the

one

of

highest

focus

for

.

development and has grown out of the original in-house bureau services to the Debenhams Group.

Although based upon, and including the bureau services, it is

now known as the Network Services Division.

The

major

expansionary

Network

Added

which

development provides

concerns

DATEC's

support

the

Value

VIDEOTEX

for

services

DATEC's VAN was originally set up as an internal development to

serve

stores.

the

data

Although

fundamentally

capture there

needs is

off-line

an

Debenhams

of

some

POS

system

's

department

equipment

collecting

it

is

data

sales

throughout the week for batch processing on Saturday night.

Sales

analyses

are

then

available

to

store

management

(via

VIDEOTEX terminals) on Sunday.

Electronic mail checking

(a

services

VIDEOTEX system called ENVOY) are

major

applications

also

and

run

credit on

the

network.

The network was installed by Debenhams own staff together with a

contract with

INFOTRON

network equipment.

SYSTEMS LTD.

the

suppliers

of

the

From an original configuration of 20 nodes, the DATEC network has subsequently been expanded to 60. of

700 ports

system

the

of

This provides in excess

either leased line or dial-in connection to

offering

VIDEOTEX

services

connection

and

for

nearly all protocols of the major vendors of equipment.

DATEC

claim that

95%

of

system at local call rates. indicating local call,

The

population can dial

the

'a'

in

to

the

Exhibit IV-1 shows a DATEC map

and 'b

f

rate access areas.

network is based on statistical multiplexing

technology

using leased circuits incorporating Kilostream links from the

main

concentrator

points

London,

at

Manchester,

Bedford,

Harrogate, Taunton and Stirling.

Exhibit

IV- 2

shows

the

DATEC network as

configured

in

July

1985 and also showing planned extensions.

An important decision taken by DATEC was to make their network

operation transparent to users. the message

input

by

'Which Service?'

the

user

routes

is

When connected to the network displayed,

which upon being

him automatically

to

the

service

providers host.

This

is

seen by DATEC as a key sales point when negotiating

with potential network clients like other service bureau.

-

19

-

EXHIBIT

IV-1

EC NET

Local call a' rate access bt rate access

ocal and 'a' rate access -

20

-

EXHIBIT IV-2

THE DATEC NETWORK JULY 1985 Bedford House Park Street, Taunton

Somerset TA1

4DB

Telephone: 0823 57041 Telex:

46150

DATEC G

KEY: KILOSTREAM CIRCUITS 25b OR KILOSTREAM CIRCUITS PLANNED EXTENSIONS K

64

9-6K

KEYUNE

GT.

STAINES

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-

21

-

No. 101

Further details of DATEC's bureau and network services can be found in the publicity material included as Appendix B.

B.

OTHER BUSINESS AREAS

1.

Major Software Development

This area of DATEC's business concentrates on obtaining large

software development contracts for the retail sector.

The main applications specialised in are:

Credit Checking Systems

Stock Taking Systems

2.

OEM/Turnkey Systems

This part of DATEC builds integrated systems (turnkey systems)

based upon Hewlett Packard 3000 systems.

based upon VIDEOTEX technology and

The

software

are

targeted primarily at the retail trade but also to some

systems

are

extent towards the travel industry.

-

22

-

The approach adopted in this area is to build complete turnkey or

integrated systems

to

be

installed as a complete working

package on the customer's site.

3.

Consultancy Services

°

This

is

a

small

specialised

highly

group

of

consultants that provides services in the areas of:

PICK Operating System

-

Network design and development

-

Computer system sizing

-

23

-

about

10

MARKETING STRATEGY

V

MARKETING STRATEGY

The principal marketing strategy of DATEC is of

their network service

to

become

a

the

development

leading player

in

the

also

be

emerging market for VANS.

Related

activities

network

like

consultancy

can

developed as subsidiary strategies.

A.

NETWORK APPLICATIONS

The

current

primary

focus

on

is

the

automobile

trade,

and

DATEC are currently negotiating with a number of manufacturers for

contracts

Value

supply

to

Added

Network

Services

for

VIDEOTEX systems.

Both

manufacturers

systems

with

for

'hire

'car

distributors

and

location'

purchase'

-

and

and

24

-

of

cars

use

'on-line ordering'.

other

financial

VIDEOTEX Together

systems

(eg.

insurance)

and

Guide

'Glass's

-

on-line'

there

are

a

vast

range of VIDEOTEX applications needing communications access.

DATEC are working towards capturing an increasing proportion of this traffic on their network.

DATEC are conscious that with a limited salesforce it is not

possible

to

exploit

all

the

opportunities

that

are

rapidly-

Nevertheless they are attempting

evolving in the marketplace.

to expand their salesforce as fast as possible.

New

areas

which

they

foresee

as

presenting

attractive

opportunities are:

-

Insurance

-

Stock Brokers

-

Financial Services (Banks and Building Societies)

-

Service Bureau

These

are

seen

only

potential

as

development for the network.

areas

for

Little activity has taken place

to date with the exception of the service bureau area.

-

25

-

business

.

DATEC are currently negotiating with a major service bureau to

handle

part

a

of

their

network,

part

the

which

low

has

utilisation.

This is an attractive proposition to the bureau since it can

potentially lower its network costs and is attractive to DATEC as

most

is

it

likely

to

increase

utilisation of

the

their

least used nodes and connections.

DATEC are also currently negotiating with a major British Bank for the contract to supply networking capability.

Interestingly,

despite

DATEC have largely ignored the retail sector,

strength

the

provided to Debenhams.

have

they

in

systems

services

and

This can be attributed to the need to

develop away from their origins and perhaps also to retain a

competitive edge in the department store business.

In

general

network

DATEC

services

foresee

arising

opportunities

with

any

for

the

organisations

supply

of

need

that

information from clients or suppliers eg. orders and invoices. This

data

captured

(or

in

information)

real

time

but

does

can

not

often

necessarily have be

dumped

on

a

to

be

daily

basis

Once

captured

the

information

then

becomes

accessible

interrogation at any desired frequency or time interval.

-

26

-

for

.

B.

COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT

DATEC's view is that currently they have only two competitors:

ISTEL

BRITISH TELECOM

This

is,

however,

a market

in

which is potentially huge and

where the capability to meet all needs is woefully inadequate.

ICL's Network Services Division,

recently renamed as the ICL

VANS Business Centre in the recent STC reorganisation, is not

yet seen as a strong threat.

This is because its network implementation has not yet covered a

significant

become

a

geographical

area.

Potentially

they

could

major player particularly since their salesmen are

currently making the claim to potential network clients that they will cover 90% of the UK by the end of 1985.

ICL's area of focus are with Travel Agencies

(TRAVINET)

and

with the Article Numbering Association (TRADANET)

ISTEL are clearly viewed as

the

prime competitor with their

INFOTRAC network. ISTEL have further increased the competitive

-

27

-

.

pressure with

the

announcement

earlier

this

month

of

their

EDICT Open System for electronic data interchange.

DATEC, at this point in time, does not see British Telecom as an

active

threat

to

its

business.

It

views

BT's

pricing

strategy as complex and confusing for clients (although based on essentially low tariffs) and allied to the fact that PSS is

very inefficient for the transmission of VIDEOTEX.

However, DATEC would be concerned at any major liaison between BT

and

some

other

third-party

analogous

(eg.

to

the

JOVE

initiative) or predatory pricing moves.

DATEC are in the happy position of being an early player in a

However INPUT believes that they

rapidly developing market.

would

be

naive

to

underestimate

the

potential

threat

from

other (much larger) organisations keen to share the spoils.

As well as

DATEC

the

(ISTEL,

organisations

seen as primary competition by

British Telecom and ICL)

operators like GEISCO are active

market

-

28

-

IBM and major network

in preparing

to

enter

this

APPENDIX A

:

FINANCIAL

s

A - 1

EXHIBIT

TANGIBLE

FIXED

ASSETS

AND

STOCKS

Debenhams Applied Technology Limited

Tangible fixed assets

Cost or valuation at 30th January 1983

Total

Plant and Machinery

£000'

£000

's

Fixtures Fittings Tools & Equipment £000 *s

3078

163

2915

depreciation to 30th January 1983

(856)

(12)

(844)

Net book value at 30th January 1983

2222

151

2071

2027

77

1950

LESS: Accumulated

Reclassifications Additions at cost Group transfers Disposals (Net) Depreciation charged in year Scrappings (Net)

(4)

(4)

(664)*

(56)

(608)

(583)

(47)

(536) (185)

2813

121

2692

3679

187

3492

depreciation

(866)

(66)

(800)

Net book value at 28th January 1984

2813

121

2692

Net book value at 28th January 1984

(185)**

Representing assets stated at: Cost LESS: accumulated

* ** 0

cost 957, less accumulated depreciation of 293 cost 463, less accumulated depreciation of 278 1984 Stocks £000's 45

Raw materials and consumables Work in progress Finished goods and goods for resale

27 45

8

53

-

1983 £000's

29

-

:

s

:

EXHIBIT DEBTORS

A

AND

-

s

2

CREDITORS

Debenhams Applied Technology Limited

°

Debtors

1984 LUUU S

Due within one year: Trade debtors Amounts owed by group companies Prepayments and accrued income

1983 LUUU s

70

59

441 194

599 ITT 111

cn /by

~i

/05

Due after more than one year: Amounts owed by group companies

°

Creditors (amounts falling due within one year)

-

1545

769

1984 £000 s

Trade creditors Lease obligations Amounts owed to group companies Other creditors including taxation and social security

203 315 375

460 2

Taxation

89

Social Security

44

Creditors (amounts falling due after more than one year)

Interest-free subordinated loan parent company Leasing obligations

-

1983 £000 s

78

Accruals and deferred income Proposed dividend Payments received on account

°

840

30

-

66 —

133 393 437

66 TO/' 186 138

99

33

1602

1316

1984 £000'

1983 £000'

803 1635

703 1342

2438

2045

s

A

EXHIBIT

CAPITAL

AND

-

3

RESERVES

Debenhams Applied Technology Limited

Called up snare capital and share premium account Share capital £000'

£1.00 each

100

Issued fully paid as at 28th January 1984

0

97

Reserves Profit and Loss Account £000'

Balance at 30th January 1983 Profit retained for the year

138 138

Balance at 28th January 1984

276

The distributable profits of the company at 28th January 1984 are £276,000.

-

31

-

s

.

EXHIBIT PROFITS

A

-

4

TAXATION

AND

Debenhams Applied Technology Limited

o



...

Profit on ordinary activities before taxation •

17OJ

J.UUU

LUUU

s

s

Profit on ordinary activities before taxation is stated after charging: Hire of plant and machinery Other leasing charges Pension contributions Depreciation and amortisation Auditors remuneration Directors emoluments

425 125

377 145 41 325

74

583 5

5

231

149

1443

1042

-

64

- Tax on ordinary activities

United Kingdom Corporation Tax at 52 per cent (1983 52 per cent) based on the profit for the year

Payments for group relief: Claimed Surrendered

38 (1)

(1)

38

- Deferred taxation

No provision has been made for deferred taxation as no liability is expecreu co arise in cue foreseeable future. The estimated potential liability if full Kn An ttiO/-] n 1lo 3 T^TmTI CT nn Il-dU. G LLlcLLLc: UiU V lolUU UccLl 1*1

£000





1

<5

£000'

Deferred tax 1983/84 Acclerated capital allowances

254

Chargeable gains rolled over

115

15

Other reversible timing differences

146

Potential liability

415

-

32

-

115

s

EXHIBIT A

DIVIDENDS

AND

-

s

s

5

RESERVES

Debenhams Applied Technology Limited

0

Dividends

1984 Per Share

Proposed

0

£4.51

£000'

437

Reserves

1983 Per Share

£000'

£1.42

Profit and Loss Account £000'

Balance at 30th January 1983 Profit retained for the year

138 138

Balance at 20th January 1984

276

The distributable profits of the company at 28th January 1984 are £276,000.

-

33

-

138

APPENDIX

B

:

PUBLICITY

MATERIAL

-

dutu. 1 yours for the ask in DATEC has grown from being the computer and

management services department of the longestablished and multimillion

pound Debenhams

was launched

commercial

market with tried-and-tested expertise and an in-depth understanding of

routes to provide massive capacity.

its clients.

In February 1984 the

company was re-named DATEC - Debenhams

Group. It

in the external

in

February 1982, having had 15 years' solid experience providing computer services to meet the demands and pressures of the retailing and consumer credit world.

Applied Technology Ltd — having traded originally as

DISC.

In the

first

and

profits

DATEC operates

This experience has constantly kept pace with the newest developments in sophisticated technology and in many cases, we've been leading the field. This means the company has taken

its

place

has a special licence, allowing it to provide value-added network services; and it already acts as a data carrier linking into other organisations' computer centres.

two

have grown by more than 20 per cent each year. years, sales

DATEC

a large computer bureau with mainframes, mini-computers and more than 600 on-line terminals. It supports an extensive data network linking more than 40 towns and cities, with the latest British Telecom kilostream circuits being used on trunk

The bureau provides a number of specialist services, in support of business

systems. These include a production and processing Sag facility for Kimball Tags and an automated mailing centre which streamlines the mailing of statements, invoices and marketing material to thousands of

addresses.

...

,

continued over page

^

i Sir

Debenhams Applied Technology Limited :r:

V—

DATEC's

systems divisions are widely experienced in many areas

900,000 accounts, along

of retailing. These include

and control.

management

sales reporting,

of selling space, stock control, merchandising and special order processing.

Many

of the systems

in

operation use low-cost viewdata terminals, which offer ease of use for nontechnical staff*

Hand-in-hand with retailing goes credit

management, and here again

DATEC

with all aspects of computerised debt collection

has broadly-

based but detailed experience. The handles account

company

maintenance for more than

Various support systems have been developed, including personnel records,

property management and catering control.

Effective systems development requires the support of top-grade

technical experts. DATEC's technical services group includes specialists in such fields as computer system sizing,

network planning

and interfacing

In every area, staff

work

to the highest

A

professional standards. programme of continued

recruitment has enabled to bring in senior consultants and

DATEC

management from

long-

established systems houses and bureaux, and these members of the team complement the hard-won expertise of the original

Debenhams

staff.

A graduate recruitment programme ensures that young talent is available become the experts of tomorrow.

specific

devices like viewdata sets and transaction telephones.

dytee Contact: the Marketing Manager Telephone: 0823 87979 Telex: 46150 Bedford House, Park Street, Taunton, Somerset

DATEC

TA1 4DB

to

u The

Network that Scones High on

Flexibility''

Reprinted from:

COMMUNICATE July/August,

Group offers its to outside Communicate

visits

The next time you pay

for

Taunton

Datec about systems available

to talk to

goods by cre-

card, while you wait for the assistant to phone up and authorise the transaction, you can reflect that the line for the authorisation call may well have been provided by Datec. One of the comdit

panies that has been granted a Value Added Network Services (Vans) li-

from British Telecom, Datec operates an extensive data network that links over 40 towns by high-capacity Kilostream circuits. Datec claims to have been the first company to offer automatic credit card authorisation via in-store transaction telephones and with the use of credit cards growing steadily, it's an important business area. The

knowledge

IN

WHAT circumstances could a

Value Added Network Supplier provide a solution to problems faced by the Data Processmg Manager or the Telecommunications

Manager?

cence

company now

services 520 transaction

phones, mainly in high risk areas like London's Oxford Street.

As

of £6.5 million.

*

its

Currently running a data preparasection,

tion

ments sent

in

key punching docufrom several (or many)

locations?

* Faced with the need (or wish) to capture data locally, ie in the branches, but cannot justify the cost of setting up dedicated communications facilities?

+

Intending to implement own netultimately but would like a

cheaper way

well as Welbeck, the private cre-

card company that runs Debenhams' credit service, Datec now provides authorisation for Visa cards, and reckons to provide a faster service than any other comparable system with an average call time of 18 seconds. But credit card authorisation is by no dit

to start initially?

Telecommunications Manager * Wants to implement a network but would like consultancy assistance in methodology, in design, equipment selection and implementation? * Wants to augment existing facilities in geographic areas where in house data

traffic

own

warrant

is

insufficient to

facilities?

means

the only string to Datec's bow. It also uses its network for electronic mail services, for management information,

and for in-store information systems based on viewdata. With 50 nodes, Datec claims that its network offers the dial-in user better coverage than BT's switched stream services and at local



call rates.

Linked into the Kilostream network, Datec operates a large computer bureau at Taunton, where two ICL mainframes and seveal Microdata minis support over 400 terminals. This bureau provides a number of specialised services like automated mailing. Its systems division has expertise in sales reporting, selling space management, stock control, order processing and credit

management



it

manages

the

more understandable when you discover that Datec stands for Debenhams Applied Technology. According to Datec's Andy Breckon, "We started life as a traditional in-house data processmg department. Our systems came from batch origins, with little in the way of online services, and no exploitation of communications." Debenhams has been using computer systems for 15 years now. From about 1977 onwards it started to polish up its

:annuNi cat ions

accounts of over 900,000 clients. Datec also has a technical service group, which provides expertise in computer systems sizing, network planning, communications, and interfacing special devices such as viewdata terminals. You may have noticed that Datec's services are strongly orientated towards the retail trade. That becomes

jELcnr-iEi

The

show

illustrations,

Datec's display.

right,

are

taken 84

Communications

Mi

^nu to conns

'j4

PROVIDING VALUE AQDED SERVICES GN OUR NETWORK

IMPLEMENTATION CONSULTANCY OUP E^PEPTISE t*

*o

YOURS FOP THE ASKING

continue

year,

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Debenhams, Datex is now 200 people strong, 80 of them in computer consultancy, systems and programming. Though the bureau side of the company is going strong, it is the communications services, in the form of its Vans network and turnkey systems, where the company sees its mam growth arising.

Network scores high on flexibility The network was built up from simple beginnings a point-to-point connection from Debenham's headquartes at 1 Welbeck Street, London, down to its computer centre at Taunton. Gradually more nodes were added to the network in a star configuration; 23 in early 1982, 23 more in early 1983, and the remainder in late 1983-early 1984. These nodes support 500 ports and 600 devices. According to Andy Breckon, Datec's network scores high on flexibility. "The configuration of the network means that we have backup in the event of one or several nodes failing. It's been designed with rerouting and load sharing in mind. We can cover a larger geographical area, and we aren't locked into one manufacturer." Emulation software packages built into the network allow users to access it with IBM, ICL and Microdata equipment.



As well as

the commercial services its network, it is also

Datec offers on

ATEC

OUP CAPABILITIES INCLUDE

Key

On February 1 this name was changed to Datec.

;GMrtl JN

*4-

NETWORK PLANNING AHQ

from

of advanced computer technology, with the aim of providing better in-house retailing and credit services. Then in February 1982, it started to put this acquired expertise to wider commercial use, with the formation of a separate company, then known as Disc. Since then, it has grown by over 20 per cent each year, and now has a turnover

Data Processing Manager

work

Eighteen second average call time

to retailers

t

*;p CAT t QMS 34 I la OIPL-iJP TERMINAL CONFIGURATION 1

5—

^

used extensively in-house by its parent company. Debenhams uses the electronic mail service to send newsletter-style instructions to all its branches. "The big advantage with that," says Andy Breckon, "is that you can tell which branches have read the message and which haven't.

For instance, Debenhams recently

had a scare about forged £50 notes, and by checking who had read their electronic mail, they were able to ring up and alert any branches that didn't yet

know about

it."

Debenhams' account customers can use the network to check up on the funds left in their accounts, and to quickly add information such as change of address. The network has also provided Debenhams' managers with some interesting Sunday evening reading. That's when the latest information on the week's sales arrive at the managers' terminals in home, so they can storm into the office first thing on Monday and sort out the problem before any serious loss in profits can result.

Scope for future demand Despite all this activity on the network, Datec is still only using 10 per cent of the bandwidth, and anticipatres no problems in coping with future demand. In fact, it is looking to pull even more customers in. "The more users we have, the cheaper it is for each indi-

Andy Breckon

vidual,"

points out.

Canterbury

One

way

of doing this is by extending the range of services Datec provides. Many services formerly restricted to Debenhams are now being extended to outside users. The quick update on sales performance the so-called 'flash sales' system is now being

Folkestone Hastings

— —

offered to owners of the Debenhams shops-within-shops. The Carpet System is also being offered to other large retailers. It's a viewdata-based services that allows carpet sales people instant information on whether the carpet a customer orders is available, and exactly when delivery will be. If the order cannot be met, the system will suggest

Eastbourne Brighton

The map shows the impressive service already offered as well as future expansion. small independent retailers at an affordable price say £400 to £500 a

to



L14a •'P ;QMMUNIC, .TIC US a <» 1 At. •UP VIEU6ASE CONFIGURATION OA TEC

COMMIJH I CAT I QMS HA

i

1

has gained. "Another important leg to our marketing plan is recognising that we've put large networks in and gained a lot of skills. We're keen to do network either planning and consultancy too in defined areas like dimension and design, or by offering a whole package. There are lots of naive people out there, wanting a communications network, it

year.

Clearly the bulk of Datec's business is with the retail trade, but Andy Breckon insists that the company is not ruling out other types of customer. "Our network is for anyone dealing with a large num-

full

network services, Datec is committo expanding the consultancy side of its business, building on the expertise

ted

and all this can be done in view of the customer. "A big selling point is that the sales person takes the customer to the screen, so that they can see exactly what's going on." Datec is now trying to form a consortium of carpet manufacturers to make a modified version of the Carpet System available

alternatives,

As well as generating more interest in its

ber of dispersed

tends

to

be the retailers that have that kind wide geographical spread."

of

A TEC

:.PF.Dir

1".



outlets.

1



It

I \

who

Cij

I

of the alternatives."

The equipment

•Op

I

• ' * d a a

P 0 E U T

I"

aware

1

T

A L

MUL

aren't

HUP 1A T [ ON fFLEPHQNES

" I M a a "a Baa.

• . . a

a.

just



I

E

l

r

The data communications equipment for the Debenhams network was supplied and installed by Infotron Systems

Ltd.

Andy Breckon,

his presentation to the

Conference stated

Networks

that

bids

in '84

were

originally received from three sup-

PLEXOR

The initial order was worth in of a quarter of a million region the pliers.

DATEC NETWORK

NETMUX

"

aMICRGQAT

ACCESS

1 AHE'^

1 VISA

CA

S3

CPEQIT DATABASE ICL.2'366

QATEC

Q C M E P N U T T P E E P

pounds and

Infotron

equipment was

selected as the most suitable for the job.

For Further Information Contact: The Marketing Manager Debenhams Applied Technology Limited Telephone:

OG23

Bedford House

5"7D4.1

Telex:

4B150 DATEC G

Park Street Taunton

Somerset TA1

4DB

NETWORK SERVICES You've found the piece to solve your communications puzzle

Facts and figures at the touch of a button THERE'S

a new communications

force at work.

The

DATEC

Network. Imagine being able, at the touch of a button, to pass information

between your head office and the regional headquarters; to move facts and figures and all sorts of business data between your various branches. Retail groups, caterers, travel agents, building societies — any business, in fact, which has a multioutlet base - can benefit from joining Network. And in today's the fiercely competitive commercial climate, the business with the most efficient information system is the business which beats the opposition. Investing in top-notch technology leads to reduced costs and a vastly increased degree of flexibility within your business operation. That top-notch technology is precisely what

DATEC

DATEC

offers.

The Network

offers

nodes, throughout the

Instant credit

check

more than 40

UK,

with over

500 ports of

either leased line or dial-in

connection. It is

based on statistical

multiplexing using high-quality leased circuits which incorporate kilostream links from the main concentrator points

London, Manchester, Bedford and Taunton. As business demands, the network is continually being expanded. Each node offers a variety of services which support IBM and ICL, viewdata and asynchronous protocols. In fact the system is so flexible that there are very few manufacturers' communications protocols the Network at

doesn't support.

The Network features sophisticated automatic line switching, to ensure an even spread of the load, and automatic re-routing to cope with any failures on the lines. Security controls are built in. Systems access is limited to authorised users only. All sorts of business operations, with varying demands and

DATEC

requirements, can use the Network. More than 600 terminals are already in use. Emulation packages are available to allow a single terminal to access

IBM, ICL and Microdata

equipment,

thus enhancing the already considerable features of the system. Various business systems are now accessed through the Network. These include stock control, order processing, credit authorisation, electronic mail and viewdata. In fact we were the first company to offer the use of credit authorisation telephones to a private credit card operator, and this service now also supports the large banks' cards such as VISA. So if you'd like at-a-stroke control over your business facts and

DATEC

you want rapid, efficient and communications between points all around the country, don't beat about the bush. Get straight to the point with the

figures; if

cost-effective

DATEC

Network

service.

THE LINK TO

MAKE YOUR SYSTEM COMPLETE

Computer Office

NETWORK

terminals

Domestic/commercial viewdata

LOCAL CALL RATE ACCESS AREAS Communication

right across

the country

phone

-

at local

call rates.

DATEC NETWORK ACCESS POINTS TAUNTON LONDON MANCHESTER BEDFORD

Bournemouth Brighton Bristol

Bromley Camberley Cambridge Canterbury Cardiff

Chelmsford Chester

Hull Ipswich Leeds

Luton Northampton Norwich Nottingham Oxford Plymouth Reading

Croydon Derby

Romford

Eastbourne Exeter Folkestone

Southampton

Gloucester

Stockport

Great Yarmouth

Stratford

Guildford

Harrogate

Swansea Swindon

Harrow

Telford

Hastings

Wigan

Sheffield

Southsea Staines

dutu, Contact: the Marketing

Manager

Debenhams Applied Technology Limited Telephone: 0823 87979 Telex: 46150 Bedford House, Park Street, Taunton, Somerset

TA1 4DB

CIRCUIT

SWITCHING MULTIPLEXING

KILOSTREAM

PACKET SWITCHING

PROTOCOL CONVERSION

NETWORK PLANNING AND CONSULTANCY Don't take the

wrong road.

Team up

with

The

five steps

to your

network

PLANNING DESIGN

EQUIPMENT SELECTION IMPLEMENTATION OPERATION & REVIEW Our

expertise

- yours

for the asking

Tailor-made to your requirements Thinking of building a data communications network? DATEC's Network Planning and Consultancy service will be with \you every step of the way. '

I

Using the statement of requirements produced and agreed with you, DATEC will carry out a detailed network design, incorporating all known needs and allowing for modification and expansion where

The

SELECTION

I *

Ii

knowledge is needed comes to selecting cost-effective data communications equipment. Researching the market is a timeconsuming process - so again, leave it Specialist

of course, planning. A full examination of the needs of your organisation - in terms of both data traffic and network user types — must be carried out, and related to your business's overall first vital

stage

is,

structure.

DATEC will join with you in determining network requirements including preferred topology and I connectivity, protocol handling and I' conversion needs, special reliability I

factors, traffic characteristics,

and

switching and contention facilities. At this stage major decisions will I) be made about the type of network required. Should multiplexing, circuitswitching or packet-switching n technology be used? Should there be interfacing to, or use of, public communications systems such as British II

when

it

DATEC experts. DATEC has extensive experience

to the

of implementing data communications systems and networks, and our knowledge of equipment from many different manufacturers and suppliers means we can provide impartial advice to clients on the most economic yet effective

and

reliable

equipment to

select

i

Telecom's Packet Switchstream (PSS)? DATEC will make recommendations, and help you decide.

The

detailed design of a

communications network is affected by many factors, and benefits from the application of computer-based sizing and planning tools.

Satisfactory operation of a major data network depends on regular and careful monitoring of performance. Efficient fault location and overload detection are also of prime importance. DATEC will advise on the most appropriate network management tools to match your needs, and can if required offer a complete network

management

service.

A

continuing programme of regular reviews with you, the client, will ensure the efficiency of your data

communications strategy. And we'll help you look ahead. On-line network monitoring will alert you to the need for modifications and extensions - and this will enable you to avoid communications bottlenecks.

DATEC has detailed experience of every one of those five stages you'll meet on the road to building a communications network. So don't make mistakes: team up with

DATEC

IMPLEMENTATION AND PROJECT

MANAGEMENT DATEC

you with from the initial commitment-to-proceed stage through to your final acceptance of the commissioned network. We have an unrivalled record in installing and commissioning countrywide private data networks, and in interfacing to public networks and to major computing and data processing project

llDESIGN

OPERATION AND REVIEW

appropriate.

EQUIPMENT [PLANNING

NETWORK

will provide

management

services,

centres.

II

II

I II

i

8t£

Contact: the Marketing Manager Debenhams Applied Technology Limited Telephone: 0823 87979 Telex: 46150

Bedford House, Park Street, Taunton, Somerset

TA1 4DB