How Shift Will Help Atlantic Cross Ocean

ATLANTIC Microsystems is a small computer company in Herndon, Va. But it has big ambitions - especially in Eastern Europe. If the United States and its allies lift restrictions, the firm will be able to export more and may even enter into a joint venture in Czechoslovakia, says Terence Dittrich, an East European specialist who is a consultant to the company.

Mr. Dittrich figures the company will be able export more because Atlantic's delivery times will become more competitive with computers made in Western Europe. Currently, Dittrich estimates it takes 90 to 120 days to have a license approved by the US government. Atlantic's European competitors get approval in 30 to 50 days. ``If we don't have to apply for a license, we can get a product shipped in three weeks,'' Dittrich says.

Faster delivery means more satisfied customers and more referrals. Atlantic's computers are used by a variety of users.

As volume expands, the company may look for a joint-venture partner. ``With regular shipments, there is the need for a presence over there to smooth out barriers,'' Dittrich explains.

Atlantic is not alone in seeing the markets open. A senior State Department official says the decontrol order will affect basically every personal computer that can be bought over the counter. In addition, it frees up the sales of many small mainframes and minis. This will benefit some of the big names in computing, such as IBM, Apple, NCR, Digital Equipment, and Control Data - and some of the small names - like Atlantic Microsystems.

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