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  1. Technology
February 2, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Following its NT enterprise services and technology agreement with Digital Equipment Corp last week (CI No 3,336), Microsoft Corp is looking even higher up the hardware chain. Yesterday the company signed a formal alliance with Amdahl Corp and its professional services company DMR Consulting Group to deliver host integration technology and services for Amdahl’s OS/390- based mainframes with Window NT and Backoffice. The three will jointly offer Amdahl’s 400 or so core business and government mainframe customers the technology and services, aiming initially at the 50% of those already using DMR services, and will concentrate on five initiatives: messaging between host-based systems and Microsoft Exchange; online transaction processing using the Microsoft Transaction Server; internet, electronic commerce and web to host services through Microsoft’s Site Server; data marts through SQL Server; and Year 2000 services. The agreement doesn’t involve the development of any new technology. Amdahl says it looked at IBM Corp’s tools for host- to-NT integration and decided to stick with Microsoft instead – it’s been a user of Microsoft’s SNA server for the last few years. Amdahl will concentrate its efforts through its Host Integration Laboratory, while DMR plans to establish Business Solutions Centers for technology planning, porting and integration, in the process training up some 1,500 Microsoft Certified Engineers and System Developers. The effort will gradually be cranked up over the next 18 months to two years, during which time NT 5.0 should emerge. It should enable customers to move from host-based messaging systems such as PROFS over to the Microsoft Exchange Server equivalent, and the database efforts will be expanded to develop a data warehousing initiative based on Windows NT, SQL Server and other Microsoft products. It all sounds like an open invitation for Amdahl’s customers to move away from their mainframe systems all together, but Amdahl says it is answering its customer needs, and doesn’t believe there will be a negative impact on the OS/390 market.

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