NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation
Type Public (NYSE: NCR)
Industry Technology
Founded (1884)
incorporation 1900[1]
Headquarters Duluth, Georgia, U.S. (relocated from Dayton, Ohio)[2]
Key people William Nuti, Chairman and CEO
Robert Fishman, CFO
Jeff McCroskey, CPO
Products self-service kiosks, Point of sale, automated teller machines, data warehouses, retail store automation
Revenue US$ $4.819 billion (2010)[3]
Net income US$ $0.92 billion(2008)[4]
Employees 21,500 (2009)[3]

NCR Corporation (NYSENCR) is an American technology company specializing in kiosk products for the retail, financial, travel, healthcare, food service, entertainment, gaming and public sector industries. Its main products are self-service kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, automated teller machines, check processing systems, barcode scanners, and business consumables. They also provide IT maintenance support services. From 1988 to 1997 they sponsored the NCR Book Award for non-fiction. NCR had been based in Dayton, Ohio, starting in 1884, but in June 2009, the company sold most of the Dayton properties and moved its headquarters to Metro Atlanta. Currently the headquarters are in unincorporated Gwinnett County, Georgia, near Duluth.[5][6]

The company was founded in 1884 and acquired by AT&T in 1991. A restructuring of AT&T in 1996 led to NCR's re-establishment on 1 January 1997 as a separate company, and involved the spin-off of Lucent Technologies from AT&T. NCR is the only AT&T acquisition that retained its original name – all the others have either been purchased or renamed following subsequent mergers.



Early years

Antique three-column full-keyboard cash register
Old National Cash Register on display at the Museo de la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público in Mexico City.

The company began as the National Manufacturing Company of Dayton, Ohio, which was established to manufacture and sell the first mechanical cash register, invented in 1879 by James Ritty. In 1884 the company and patents were bought by John Henry Patterson and his brother Frank Jefferson Patterson and the firm was renamed the National Cash Register Company. Patterson formed NCR into one of the first modern American companies, introducing new, aggressive sales methods and business techniques. He established the first sales training school in 1893, and introduced a comprehensive social welfare program for his factory workers.

Other significant figures in the early history of the company were Charles F. Kettering, Thomas J. Watson, Sr. and Edward A. Deeds. Deeds and Kettering went on to found Delco Electronics which became a division of General Motors. Watson eventually worked his way up to general sales manager. Bent on inspiring the dispirited NCR sales force, Watson introduced the motto "THINK!" Signs with this motto were erected in factory buildings, sales offices, and club rooms during the mid-1890s. "THINK" later became a widely-known symbol of IBM. Kettering designed the first cash register powered by an electric motor in 1906. Within a few years he developed the Class 1000 register which was in production for 40 years, and the O.K. Telephone Credit Authorization system for verifying credit in department stores.[citation needed]

American Selling Force

When John H. Patterson and his brother took over the company, cash registers were expensive ($50 USD) and only about a dozen of "Ritty's Incorruptible Cashier" machines were in use. There was little demand for the expensive device, but Patterson believed the product would sell once shopkeepers understood it would drastically decrease theft by salesclerks. He created a sales force, called the "American Selling Force" which worked on commissions and followed a standard sales script, the "N.C.R. Primer." The philosophy was to sell a business function, rather than just a piece of machinery. Sale demonstrations were set up in hotels (away from the distractions of the buyer's business), depicting a store interior, complete with real merchandise and real cash. The sale prospect was described as the "P.P." or "Probable Purchaser." Once initial objections were swept aside and the P.P. admitted to internal theft losses, the product was demonstrated, along with large business charts and diagrams. The deal was sealed with a 25 cent cigar.[7]


NCR expanded quickly and became multi-national in 1888. Between 1893 and 1906 it acquired a number of smaller cash register companies.[8]

By 1911 it had sold one million machines and grown to almost 6,000 employees. Combined with rigorous legal attacks, Patterson's methods enabled the company to fight off, bankrupt or buy-out over 80 of its early competitors and achieve control of 95% of the U.S. market.

In 1912, the company was found guilty of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. Patterson, Deeds, Watson, and 25 other NCR executives and managers were convicted for illegal anti-competitive sales practices and were sentenced to one year of imprisonment. Their convictions were unpopular with the public due to the efforts of Patterson and Watson to help those affected by the Dayton, Ohio floods of 1913, but efforts to have them pardoned by President Woodrow Wilson were unsuccessful. However, their convictions were overturned on appeal in 1915 on the grounds that important defense evidence should have been admitted.

Two million units were sold by 1922, the year John Patterson died. In 1925 the company went public with an issue of $55 million in stock, at that time the largest public offering in United States history. During World War I the company manufactured shell fuzes and aircraft instrumentation, and during World War II built aero-engines, bomb sights and code-breaking machines, including the American bombe designed by Joseph Desch.


Computer NCR 304

Building on its wartime experience with secret communication systems, high speed counters, and cryptanalytic equipment,[9] NCR became a major post-war force in developing new computing and communications technology. In 1953, following its acquisition of Computer Research Corporation the previous year, the company created a specialised electronics division. In 1956, NCR introduced its first electronic device, the Class 29 Post-Tronic, a bank machine using magnetic stripe technology. With GE the company manufactured its first transistor-based computer in 1957, the NCR 304. Also in the 1950s NCR introduced MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition).[10]

In 1962, NCR introduced the NCR-315 Electronic Data Processing System which included the CRAM storage device, the first automated mass storage alternative to magnetic tape libraries accessed manually by computer operators. The NCR 390 and 500 computers were also offered to customers who did not need the full power of the 315. The company's first all-integrated circuit computer was the Century 100 of 1968. The Century 200 was added in 1970. The line was extended through the Century 300, NCR's first multiprocessor system. The Century series was followed by the Criterion series in 1976, NCR's first virtual machine system.

During this period NCR also produced the 605 minicomputer for in-house use. It was the compute engine for the 399 and 499 accounting machines, several generations of in-store and in-bank controllers, and the 82xx/90xx IMOS COBOL systems. The 605 also powered peripheral controllers, including the 658 disk subsystem and the 721 communications processor.

By 1986 the number of mainframe makers had dropped from 8 (IBM and the "seven dwarfs") to 6 (IBM and the "BUNCH") to 4: IBM, Unisys, NCR, and Control Data Corporation.

The company adopted the name NCR Corporation in 1974.

Small computers

In 1982, NCR became involved in open systems architecture. Its first such system was the UNIX-powered TOWER 16/32, the success of which (approximately 100,000 were sold) established NCR as a pioneer in bringing industry standards and open systems architecture to the computer market. These 5000-series systems were based on Motorola 680xx CPUs and supported NCR's proprietary transaction processing system TMX, which was mainly used by financial institutions.

NCR office buildings in Augsburg, Germany

In the 1980s, NCR sold various PC compatible AT-class computers, like the small form factor NCR-3390 (called an "intelligent terminal"). They proposed a customized version of MS-DOS, NCR-DOS, which for example offered support for switching the CPU between 6, 8 or 10 MHz speeds. The computers featured an improved CGA adapter, the NGA, which had a 640×400 text mode more suitable for business uses than the original 640x200 mode, with characters drawn using single-pixel-wide lines, giving an appearance similar to that of classic IBM 3270 terminals. The additional four-color 640×400 graphical mode was identical to CGA's 320×200 mode from a programming point of view.

In 1990, NCR introduced the System 3000, a seven-level family of computers based on Intel's 386 and 486 CPUs. The majority of the System 3000 range utilised IBM's Micro Channel architecture rather than the more prevalent ISA architecture, and utilised SCSI peripherals as well as the more popular parallel and serial port interfaces, resulting in a premium product with premium pricing.

Automated Teller Machines

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are now NCR's principal product line. NCR had made its first ATM in the late 1970s with widespread installations of the model 770 in National Westminster and Barclays Banks throughout the UK, but it was not until the Model 5070, developed at its Dundee plant in Scotland and introduced in 1983 that the company began to make more serious inroads into the ATM market. Subsequent models included the 5084, 56xx, and 58xx (Personas) series. In early 2008 the company launched its new generation of ATMs - the 662x/663x SelfServ series. NCR currently commands over a third of the entire ATM market, with an estimated $18 trillion being withdrawn from NCR ATMs every year. In addition, NCR's expertise in this field led the company to contract with the U.S. Military to support the Eagle Cash program with customized ATMs.[11]

NCR 5xxx series

The NCR 5xxx-series is the range of (ATM's) produced by NCR from the early 1980s. Most models were designed and initially manufactured at its Dundee factory in Scotland, but later produced at several other locations around the world.

There have been several distinct generations:

  • 50xx-series; The initial models introduced in 1983 were the 5070 (interior vestibule) and 5080 (Through The Wall or TTW) introduced a number of features which have become standard among ATM's - chiefly the individual functions of the ATM are divided among discrete modules which can be easily removed and replaced for repair or replenishment. The 5080 featured the standard anti-vandal smoked perspex screen which covered the keypad and screen until the cardholder inserted their card. The enhanced 5084 TTW model appeared in 1987, and had an improved anti-vandal fascia and was the first ATM to dispense with the need for the retracting perspex screen. The 5085 offered the first crude deposit function; with the machine supplying the desposit envelopes which were subsequently stored in the machine's safe for subsequent back office processing.
  • 56xx-series; produced from 1991 to 1997.

Enhanced functions such as colour displays and improved security and usability functions became available. The introduction of Media Entry Indicators (MEI) which highlight the card entry slot to the customer was also a part of this series. Some 56xx machines produced between 1994–1996 were badged as AT&T rather than NCR, mirroring the company's brief ownership under the telecoms giant in the mid 1990s. 56xx models have included the 5670 (interior lobby cash dispense only), 5675 (interior lobby multifunction - dispense & deposit), 5684 (exterior TTW dispense only), 5688 (exterior TTW drive-up multifunction) and 5685 (exterior TTW multifunction).

  • 58xx-series marketed as Personas from 1998 to the present. These models were characterised by the gradual move towards greater ATM functionality including intelligent, envelopeless deposit by means of automated cheque recognition modules, coin dispense, and electronic cash recognition functions which allows bank customers to deposit cash and cheques with instant processing of the transaction. The 58xx series has also been characterised by the gradual introduction of LCD displays instead of the traditional CRT monitor. Models have included the 5870 (compact interior lobby dispense only), 5873 (interior lobby with cash accept & deposit only), 5874 (Exterior TTW cash dispense), 5875 (Multifunction TTW). The latest TTW versions of the Personas line, introduced in 2000 and marketed as M-Series added functions such as cash recycling, coin dispense, barcode reading, a larger 12" LCD display with touchscreen option, and for the first time, a common wall footprint for both the Multifunction (5886) or single function (5887).

NCR 66XX series

NCR's 6th generation of ATMs have been noted for the further move towards intelligent deposit and the expansion of secondary functions such as barcode reading.

  • 667x-series marketed under the Personas M-Series brand were introduced in 2005 to the present. These models consist of the 6676 (interior lobby multifunction) and 6674 (through-the-wall multifunction). The outlook design is very different from the Personas model; on the front-access 6676s the front cover is opened upwards which claim to be saving the services area.

NCR Self-Serv 20 & 30 series

NCR's latest ATM services, introduced in 2008.

This series is a complete redesign of both outlook and technological contents. It is also a cost down product.

Self-Serv 20 series are single-function (e.g. cash-out) ATMs, while Self-Serv 30 series are full-function (cash-out and intelligent deposit) machines.

Self-Serv models are (Sep.2009): 6622 (interior lobby single-function, small footprint); 6625 (through-the-wall single-function); 6626 (through-the-wall version of 6622); 6631 (interior lobby deposit-only, small footprint); 6632 (interior lobby full-function); 6634 (through-the-wall version of 6632); 6636 (through-the-wall version of 6631); 6638 (drive-up full-function).

6631 - customized for Yao Ming.


NCR was acquired September 19, 1991 by AT&T for $7.4 billion and was joined with Teradata Corporation on February 28, 1992. As an AT&T subsidiary, its 1992 year-end headcount was 53,800 employees and contractors.[12] By 1993, the subsidiary produced a year-end $1.287 billion net loss on $7.265 billion in revenue. The net losses continued in 1994 and 1995, losses that required repeated subsidies from the parent company and resulted in a 1995 year-end headcount of 41,100.[12] During these three years, AT&T was the former NCR's largest customer, accounting for over $1.5 billion in revenue.[12]

On February 15th, 1995, the company sold its microelectronics division and storage systems division to Hyundai which named it Symbios Logic. At the time it was the largest purchase of an American company by a Korean company.

For a while, starting in 1994, the subsidiary was renamed AT&T Global Information Solutions, but in 1995, AT&T decided to spin off the company, and in 1996, changed its name back to NCR in preparation for the spin-off. The company outlined its reasons for the spin-off in an Information Statement sent to its stockholders, which cited, in addition to "changes in customer needs" and "need for focused management time and attention", the following:

...[A]dvantages of vertical integration [which had motivated ATT's earlier acquisition of NCR] are outweighed by its costs and disadvantages....[T]o varying degrees, many of the actual and potential customers of Lucent and NCR are or will be competitors of AT&T's communications services businesses. NCR believes that its efforts to target the communications industry have been hindered by the reluctance of AT&T's communications services competitors to make purchases from an AT&T subsidiary.

NCR re-emerged as a stand-alone company on January 1, 1997.


One of NCR's first significant acquisitions after becoming independent from AT&T came in July 1997 when it purchased Compris Technologies, a privately held company in Kennesaw, Georgia that produced software for restaurant chains.[13] In November 1997, NCR purchased Dataworks Inc., a 60-person privately held company in San Antonio, Texas.[14]

The Montgomery County Historical Society and NCR Corporation joined in 1998 into an innovative partnership committed to preserving the voluminous NCR Archive. For more than three months in late 1999, trucks traveled between NCR's Building 28 and the Historical Society's Research Center, taking three million pieces of an extraordinary collection to their new home.

In 1998, NCR sold its computer hardware manufacturing assets to Solectron and ceased to produce general-purpose computer systems, focusing instead on the retail and financial industries. In 2000, NCR acquired CRM provider Ceres Integrated Solutions and services company 4Front Technologies. Recent acquisitions include self-service companies Kinetics, InfoAmerica and Galvanon, and software company DecisionPoint. In 2006, NCR acquired software company IDVelocity and the ATM manufacturing division of Tidel, a cash security equipment manufacturer specializing in retail markets. In 2009, NCR became the second largest DVD Kiosk operator in North America with the acquisitions of The New Release and DVD Play. In 2010, NCR completed the acquisition of digital signage company, Netkey.

Today, NCR's R&D activity is split between its three major centres in Atlanta USA (Retail), Dundee, Scotland (Financial Industry), and Waterloo, Canada. It also has R&D centres in Puducherry and Hyderabad in India.[15] NCR also has a manufacturing facility at Puducherry in India, which is a regional manufacturing and export hub.

Recent developments

On January 8, 2007, NCR announced its intention to separate into two independent companies by spinning off Teradata to shareholders. Bill Nuti will continue in his current role as president and CEO of NCR, while Teradata Senior VP Mike Koehler will assume leadership of Teradata.[1]

On 1 October 2007, NCR Corporation and Teradata jointly announced the Teradata business unit spin-off was complete, with Michael Kohler as the first CEO of Teradata.[2]

On January 11, 2007, NCR announced plans to restructure its entire ATM manufacturing operations, with 650 jobs at its Dundee plant being cut [3] A further 450 jobs were cut in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. In 2009 , the Dundee manufacturing facility was closed, citing global economic conditions as the reason.

NCR extended its self-service portfolio into the digital media market with the January announcement of NCR Xpress Entertainment, a next-generation multichannel entertainment kiosk solution. The launch of NCR Xpress Entertainment follows NCR’s acquisition of Touch Automation LLC on Dec. 31, 2007. [4]

On October 15, 2008, NCR announced a global reseller partnership with Experticity, a Seattle-based software company.[5] NCR can now supplement its existing suite of technology offerings with the industry's first market-proven in-store video customer support solution. According to Richard Arnold, NCR Vice President, Retail Industry Marketing, "Experticity's innovative live video technology paired with flexible and robust self-service kiosks from NCR provides retailers with a way to redefine the in-store experience for their customers, while also improving business efficiencies by optimizing staffing resources."

NCR office building in Duluth, Georgia.

On June 2, 2009, NCR announced a plan to relocate its corporate headquarters from Dayton, OH to Duluth, GA. This news was shocking as Dayton served as NCR's home for 125 years. [6] "The decision to consolidate functions in Georgia and build a technology focused corporate headquarters campus is right in line with our business strategy to drive growth, improve our innovation output, increase productivity and continually upgrade our focus on the customer," said Bill Nuti, NCR’s chairman and chief executive officer.

On July 11, 2011, NCR agreed to purchase Radiant Systems, a hospitality and retail systems company, for US$1.2B. NCR plans to turn Radiant into a new business division that is focused hospitality and specialty retail. Several Radiant executives will remain on board and will be led by the company’s chief operating officer, Andrew Heyman. “Radiant Systems is a logical and strategic extension for NCR, moving us into attractive fast-growth adjacent markets,” Bill Nuti, NCR’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. “We will bring together two strong teams with Radiant Systems playing a vital role in enhancing our long-term growth, margin expansion and earnings appreciation.”[7]

On August 22, 2011, Radiant announced the completion of the tender offer by NCR Corporation. [16]

On August 24, 2011, NCR Corporation completed the acquisition of Radiant Systems. [17]


  • CEO: Bill Nuti (August 8, 2005 – present)
  • CEO: Mark Hurd (2003–2005)
  • CEO: Lars Nyberg (1996–2003)
  • CEO: Jerre Stead (1993–1995) company renamed AT&T GIS
  • CEO: Charles E. Exley, Jr. (1983–1993)
  • CEO: William S. Anderson (1973–1984)
  • CEO: Robert S. Oelman (1962–1973)
  • CEO: Stanley C. Allyn (1957–1962)
  • CEO: Edward A. Deeds (1931–1957)
  • CEO: Frederick Beck Patterson (1922–1931)
  • CEO: John H. Patterson (1884–1922)
  • Interim CEO: Jim Ringler (2005)
  • Interim CEO: Bill O'Shea (1995)
  • Interim CEO: Gil Williamson (1993)



NCR FastLane




Factory 1b.svg Companies portal
  1. ^ "Company Histories: NCR Corporation" Funding Universe, accessed 25 February 2009
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "NCR at a Glance". Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  4. ^ "Company Profile for NCR Corp (NCR)". Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  5. ^ "Contact NCR." NCR Corporation. Retrieved on July 6, 2011. "NCR WORLD HEADQUARTERS 3097 Satellite Boulevard Duluth, Ga. 30096-5810 USA"
  6. ^ "Duluth city, Georgia." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on July 6, 2011.
  7. ^ Template:"The Machine That Kept Them Honest", by Gerald Carson, American Heritage magazine, August 1966, Vol. 17, No. 5
  8. ^ Kenneth Brevoort and Howard P. Marvel (PDF). "Successful Monopolization Through Predation: The National Cash Register Company," in J.B. Kirkwood, ed., Antitrust Law and Economics. New York: Elsevier, 2004. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  9. ^ Oral history interview with Robert E. Mumma, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota.
  10. ^ Oral history interview with Carl Rench, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota.
  11. ^ Harris, Bryan (2006-01-17). "Smart cards, kiosks ease Army life". Kiosk Marketplace. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  12. ^ a b c Information Statement dated November 25, 1996, furnished to AT&T shareholders of record
  13. ^ NCR Corp. to buy Compris Technologies, a July 1997 article from the Atlanta Business Chronicle
  14. ^ NCR Corp. buys Dataworks software firm, a November 1997 article from the Dayton Business Journal
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Radiant Systems Announces Completion of Tender Offer by NCR Corporation". 
  17. ^ "NCR completes acquisition of Radiant Systems". 

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