Groupe Bull (also known as Bull Information Systems or simply Bull) is a French owned computer company headquartered in Les Clayes-sous-Bois, outside 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 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. Groupe 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.
Using the slogan "Architect of an Open World", Bull today claims to be an information technology company dedicated to helping corporations and public sector bodies develop open and secure information systems to sustain their business strategies. 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.
The company is named after its original Norwegian founder, Fredrik Rosing Bull, whose name rhymes with the fairly innocuous French word bulle (bubble), but also rhymes (in English) with the much less innocuous English word bull. Overcoming the potential negative connotations of this linguistic coincidence for advertising and marketing campaigns in English has been a continuing challenge for the company. However, it is debatable how much it matters to their particular clientele, in contrast to the marketing driven mainstream PC market.
Throwing hat in multivendor ring; Bull's DDA for distributed database rejects DRDA in favor of OpenSQL. (Groupe Bull's Distributed Data Access architecture and IBM's Distributed Relational Database Architecture)
Nov 15, 1991; Paris-based Groupe Bull completed a 30-month development effort this fall with the unveiling of its distributed database...
Groupe Bull supports two OODBMS products. (object-oriented data base management systems from Versant Object Technology and O2 Technology) (Newsfront) (Brief Article)
Nov 01, 1992; Paris-based computer manufacturer Groupe Bull has added a pair of object-oriented database management systems to its catalog of...