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HP and Fluke Agree to a Worldwide Distribution Alliance; New Approach to Distribution Will Serve Customers Better.

PALO ALTO, Calif., and EVERETT, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- April 23, 1997--Hewlett-Packard Company and Fluke Corporation, world leaders in test and measurement, today signed a reciprocal distribution and marketing agreement that will enable customers to buy HP's Basic Instruments from selected distributors of Fluke products. According to the agreement, HP will sell and support several of Fluke's compact electronic-test tools.

The two companies' product lines have evolved independently during the past five years to the point at which many products are now complementary -- setting the stage for mutual distribution and marketing of some products worldwide. A distribution and marketing plan will be launched immediately in the United States, and others will be rolled out in countries around the world during the next several months.

"This contract responds to customers' desire for the additional convenience of buying HP Basic Instruments from distributors," said Larry Potter, HP vice president and general manager of the Test and Measurement Organization's worldwide field operations. "Equally important is that this contract allows HP to augment its traditional, bench test and measurement equipment with Fluke's handheld test tools, addressing the new need of a large segment of HP's customers -- research and development engineers -- for portable, multifunction test tools.

"Our agreement to rely on each other in an effort to serve our customers better was born out of mutual trust and respect for our companies' people, corporate culture and high-quality products," Potter said. "This contract underscores the reality of doing business today. Our companies interact in a variety of ways: We buy each other's products; we'll share distributors for some products; and, in some product areas, we compete vigorously."

This strategic alliance enables Fluke to provide distributors a larger, complementary selection of products and broadens the audience for its own products, which typically have been purchased by technicians and engineers performing service, installation and maintenance in a wide variety of electronic and electrical applications.

"When two companies with complementary products team up, customers are better served because they have a broader selection of products available from their preferred sources," said Bill Parzybok, chairman and chief executive officer of Fluke. "Not only will both companies increase their market presence, but this alliance also will help distributors provide a greater selection of products to their customers. Distributors provide customers easy ordering, fast delivery and one-stop shopping."

A number of Fluke distributors in the United States on May 1 will begin selling many of the oscilloscopes, multimeters, counters, logic probes, waveform generators and accessories that are part of HP's Basic Instruments portfolio.

They are as follows: the new HP LogicDart -- HP E2310A -- advanced logic probe, HP 54600 Series digital oscilloscopes, the new HP 34970A data acquisition system, HP 34401A digital multimeter, HP 53131A and 53132A universal counters, HP 53181A radio-frequency counter, HP E3600 Series direct-current power supplies, HP 33120 function/arbitrary-waveform generator, HP 34810 - 34812A BenchLink series, and accessories for scopes and digital multimeters.

The following 15 Fluke distributors have signed agreements to market and sell HP Basic Instruments: Allied Electronics, Cameron-Barkley, Contact East, EIL, Fry's, Future Electronics, Inotek, Jensen Tools, Marshall, Metermaster, Newark, RS Electronics, Specialized, Techni-Tool and Zack Electronics.

Fluke will be a worldwide distributor-channel manager for HP's Test and Measurement Organization, develop and administer marketing programs and provide pre-sales technical support to distributors and their customers.

Initially, HP will sell and support seven Fluke compact electronic-test tools through its direct sales force and HP DIRECT, the company's online technical sales and support center. Those products, which fall into three categories, are the Fluke ScopeMeter(R) test tools, Models 105B and 123; Graphical(TM) MultiMeter, Models 863 and 867; the handheld, Multi-Function Counter, Models 164, 164H and 164T; and a large selection of accessories associated with these products. They will be featured in HP's U.S. Basic Instruments Catalog, which will be mailed to customers in May. Fluke and HP will be responsible for the warranties of their respective products.

"We are continuously looking for ways to make it easier for customers to buy HP test technology," Potter said. "This alliance enables HP to leverage Fluke's marketing expertise and its successful worldwide distribution channel to connect with a large number of engineers and technicians historically not reached by HP's direct sales force."

During the past few years, the needs of HP's target market -- research and development engineers -- have broadened beyond lab-bench instruments to tools that they can carry to other locations. Besides portability, these engineers want to rely on multifunction test and measurement tools that provide greater utility and are easy to learn and use. HP's Basic Instruments portfolio has broadened to meet these needs.

For years, Fluke has been developing products that deliver high performance in a portable package to address the needs of the service, installation and maintenance professionals. This trend has accelerated in recent years as electronics have become more pervasive in commercial and industrial environments.

The emergence of new market trends -- both the need by R&D engineers for portable, multifunction tools and the need by technicians for more sophisticated instruments -- spurred this strategic distribution alliance.

Fluke's mission is to be the leader in compact, professional electronic test tools. Fluke's products are used by technicians and engineers in service, installation, maintenance and manufacturing test and quality functions in a wide variety of industries throughout the world. Fluke, founded in 1948, has approximately 2,500 employees worldwide and distributes its products in over 100 countries. The company's worldwide headquarters are in Everett, Washington, USA, with European sales and service headquarters located in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Information about Fluke products can be obtained on the World Wide Web via http://www.fluke.com.

Hewlett-Packard Company is a leading global provider of computing, Internet and Intranet solutions, services, communications products and measurement solutions, all of which are recognized for excellence in quality and support. HP has 112,800 employees and had revenue of $38.4 billion in its 1996 fiscal year.

Information about products from HP's Test and Measurement Organization can be obtained on the World Wide Web via http://www.hp.com/go/tmnews. -0-

ScopeMeter(R) and Graphical(TM) MultiMeter are registered trademarks of Fluke Corporation

EDITORS NOTE: Customers can order HP Basic Instruments and Fluke products covered by this agreement by calling HP at 1-800-452-4844 or calling Fluke at 1-888-723-7278.

CONTACT: Hewlett-Packard Company

Mary A. C. Fallon, 408/553-7091

fax, 408/553-6248

mary_fallon@hp.com

or

Fluke Corporation

Gary Ball, 206/356-5262

or

Debby Coyne, 206/356-5671

fax, 206/356-5962

sunny@tc.fluke.com
COPYRIGHT 1997 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 23, 1997
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