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Sherwin-Williams Brushes SCO Unix Aside, Adopts Linux

Will deploy IBM PCs running Turbolinux at 2,500 paint stores

By Todd R. Weiss
May 27, 2002 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Sherwin-Williams Co. is deploying IBM PCs running the Turbolinux operating system to replace SCO Unix-equipped systems throughout its 2,500 stores across North America.
In an announcement last week, the Cleveland-based paint manufacturer and retailer said it's moving to Linux and IBM to upgrade its point-of-sale and in-store operations, while minimizing its transition costs from established Unix systems.
Under the multimillion-dollar deal - the exact value of which isn't being released - IBM will install about 9,700 of its M41 NetVista desktops, along with monitors, printers, cash drawers and related products, in Sherwin-Williams' stores, said Peter Neilsen, a Linux executive at IBM Global Services. The new Turbolinux-equipped systems will run all store functions, including customer transactions, inventory and software applications used for paint mixing and tinting. One PC will be configured as an in-store server at each location.
Bill Thompson, director of IT at Sherwin-Williams' Paint Stores Group, said in a statement that the new systems will allow an easy transition from The Santa Cruz Operation Inc.'s (SCO) Unix systems. SCO, formerly a leader in the Unix business, was purchased by Caldera International Inc. in Lindon, Utah, in August 2000.
Blake Stowell, a Caldera spokesman, said the company is disappointed about losing Sherwin-Williams' Unix business. However, he said the paint company remains a customer and "hasn't closed the door on Caldera."
Sherwin-Williams and Caldera are engaged in talks about using Caldera's Volution management application within the new systems being deployed, he said.
Sherwin-Williams' IT staff designed and developed the new systems and has ported the company's proprietary applications to Linux from Unix. The company's IT staff will work with 500 to 1,000 IBM Global Services employees who will assist in the deployment, which will begin in July and be completed in the second quarter of 2003.
Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata Inc. in Nashua, N.H., said the deal is important because it shows "the mainstreaming of Linux" inside a large retail operation.

Read more about Linux and Unix in Computerworld's Linux and Unix Topic Center.

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