TECHNOLOGY : Unisys to Target Networking in New Products

TIMES STAFF WRITER

After years of struggling to spur sagging sales, Unisys Corp., the nation's third-largest computer manufacturer, is expected to unveil plans Monday for new computer networking products and services designed to become the centerpiece of the company's business strategy for the rest of this century.

Company officials declined to reveal details before the announcement in New York.

But sources said Unisys, along with several key partners, will begin offering new computer software and consulting services to help corporations link their existing computer operations throughout the world.

These networks will be able to tie together computers made by a variety of vendors, not just Unisys Corp.

The move by Unisys puts it in direct competition with International Business Machines Corp. and Digital Equipment Corp., the nation's two largest computer makers.

The two giants have also stepped up efforts recently to help their customers tie together all their computer systems--from personal computers on individual desk tops to the very largest mainframe models.

A number of experts say that IBM and Digital, like Unisys, have recognized that network management potentially is one of the most lucrative markets remaining for them and other makers of mainframes.

Unisys officials said the company has been planning its entry into the business for some time and amassed the required expertise with its recent acquisition of Timeplex, a maker of long-range network systems.

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