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IBM Takes Over Sales Arm Of Rolm Subsidiary

March 12, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ International Business Machines Corp. said Wednesday it was taking more direct control of the sales and service operations of Rolm Corp., its subsidiary for office telephone systems.

The move makes it easier for customers to reach IBM for telecommunications products, instead of having to call Rolm and IBM separately, the company said.

IBM bought Rolm in 1984 for $1.6 billion, but financial analysts say the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has lost substantial amounts of money.

The move is another step in a gradual reorganization at IBM that began last summer, said analyst Jay Stevens of Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. ″They’re not satisfied with the results they’ve been getting,″ Stevens said. ″They want to increase customer contact and do it more efficiently.″

A new branch of IBM’s Information Systems Group, the Telecommunications Marketing and Service organization, will be responsible for U.S. direct sales, installation and service of Rolm products as well as technical and marketing support for both Rolm and other IBM telecommunications products.

The change is mainly on paper, since the same people will do the work. Also, Rolm will continue to be responsible for developing and manufacturing its own products.

″It’s a matter of evolving with the times and with the needs of the marketplace,″ said Rolm spokeswoman Carol Keslar. ″I think it makes us better able to do our job.″

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