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Groupe Bull

Groupe Bull
Company nameBull SAS
Company typePublic
IndustryComputer hardware
Computer software
Consultant
IT Services
Founded1931
Founder(s)Fredrik Rosing Bull
HeadquartersLes Clayes-sous-Bois
Area servedWorldwide

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Bull SAS (Euronext - BULL) (also known as Groupe Bull, Bull Information Systems, or simply Bull) is a French-owned computer company headquartered in Les Clayes-sous-Bois, in the western suburbs of Paris. The company has also been known at various times as Bull General Electric, Honeywell Bull, CII Honeywell Bull, and Bull HN. Bull was founded in 1931, as H.W. Egli - Bull, to capitalize on the punched card technology patents of Norwegian engineer Fredrik Rosing Bull (1882 - 1925). After a reorganization in 1933, with new owners coming in, the name was changed to Compagnie des Machines Bull.

The company has undergone many takeovers and mergers since its formation. In particular, it has had various ownership relations with General Electric, Honeywell, and NEC from the 1960s to the 1980s; and with Motorola, Debeka, and France Télécom more recently. It acquired Honeywell Information Systems in the late 1980s, and later also had a share of Zenith Data Systems and Packard Bell. Bull was nationalised in 1982 and was merged with most of the rest of the French computer industry. In 1994 the company was re-privatised.

Bull has a worldwide presence in more than 100 countries, and is particularly active in the defense, finance, health care, manufacturing, public and telecommunication sectors.

Recent major products of the company are the scalable Bull NovaScale family of Itanium 2-based servers for High Performance Computing and commercial applications and the high-availability Bull Escala family of IBM Power5-architecture servers. Bull also has a Bull DPS-9000 mainframe computer range (catering to long-time customers with Bull computer installations) and a blade server line. All new products are available with a distribution of Linux.

Bull also offers services, including IT consulting (from IT architecture and ‘urbanization’ to project management support), IT integration and IT operations.


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