NeXT got its foot in some very large corporate doors in September, closing sales with Chrysler Financial, Mobil Sales and Supply Corporation, and McCaw Cellular. The deals represent both large hardware and NeXTSTEP '486 commitments.
Chrysler Financial, an automotive-financing subsidiary of Chrysler Corporation based in Southfield, Michigan, will purchase 2500 copies of NeXTSTEP '486. The company plans to use the OS in a client-server environment to support over 100 branch offices throughout North America.
When a mission-critical custom application for auto financing is put in place, dealers will be able to access up-to-date, comprehensive data to offer wholesale and retail customers more timely lease financing. The company also hopes to extend the custom system to fleet buyers, including rental-car companies.
Sources report that the operating system will be running on Goldstar hardware. NeXT also signed a multiyear deal with Mobil Sales and Supply Corporation and Mobil Oil Corporation's Supply and Trading Division for 400 NeXTstations over the next 18 months. Installation and custom-software development will be overseen by mc2 technologies, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based subsidiary of Phibro Energy, one of NeXT's biggest clients to date and a worldwide leader in oil trading.
Mobil plans to use the apps developed by mc2 technologies to integrate trading information into a unified environment; implement new derivative products; link front-office and back-office workers through a common database; and build customized tools for analytics, deal capture, and portfolio and risk management.
And in a deal that could add to NeXT's hardware bottom line even more significantly, McCaw Cellular, of Kirkland, Washington, plans to purchase and deploy several thousand NeXT machines over the next three to five years. McCaw, the largest provider of cellular phone service in the United States, planned to begin testing an in-house custom app in October.
After news in September that J.P. Morgan and Company was dropping NeXT from consideration as the platform of choice in its global trading department (see "Morgan drops NeXT," NeXTWORLD Extra, October 1992), the deals to Chrysler, Mobil, and McCaw Cellular were seen as important inroads to high-profile corporations that could help NeXT more easily win customers.