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  1. Technology
April 4, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

From IBM System User International, a sister publication

PCM vendor Amdahl is a company acutely aware of the dangers of putting all its corporate eggs into one basket, the recent acquisition of TreCom being a perfect example of its diversification strategy. Amdahl also moved into software development with ObjectStar; resells servers from Cray, Tandem and Sun; developed its own high-end Unix variant, UTS; resells ICL servers as part of its Precision Retailing program; as well as services and consulting to complement and supplement its mainframe revenues. This diversification is beginning bear fruit. In 1994, the revenue split was 92 per cent mainframe, 8 per cent new businesses. This shifted to 79:21 in 1995, and the company hopes it will be 59:41 this year, moving to around 40 per cent of revenues from the mainframe and 60 per cent from other business in 1997. At the same time, the company says it remains committed to its mainframe core. Last year it announced the Spectris RAID storage device and its Millenium CMOS-based mainframes will be available late second quarter this year. Amdahl says that each engine will perform around 45 MIPS, about twice that of the currently available IBM CMOS servers. As one the latest parts of this diversification, Amdahl and Groupe Bull have signed a five year partnership whereby Amdahl will sell Bull’s ISM/OpenMaster systems management software worldwide. The software will be sold through Amdahl’s 130-strong Enterprise Systems Management Group. The object-oriented software carries out monitoring, controlling and maintaining PCs, workgroups, Unix systems, mainframes, data and voice networks, enterprise-wide security and database systems. It comprises six modules (OperationMaster, PC OperationMaster, TransMaster, TMNMaster, SQLMaster, and AccessMaster) which are made up of more than 50 applications. However, ISM (Integrated SystemsManagement) is also able to communicate with other systems management products and can read any protocol, such as TCP/IP, CORBA, or SNMP. Launched in 1992, ISM is used by more than 500 companies worldwide. At the same time, Amdahl will integrate ISM with its own range of systems management tools as well as the local area management products it resells from Network Intelligence, modeling tools from SES, and distributed software management products from Novadigm by May 1. Amdahl will also port ISM to Solaris so it can be used as an ISM management platform. Darryll Dewan, vice president of sales at Amdahl’s systems management group categorizes Amdahl’s existing range of systems management products as carrying out the ‘ground control’ functions such as tracking, configuring, and synchronizing software changes to the desktop. The deal with Bull will move the company into the upper atmosphere of air traffic control of real time network management, he says. Amdahl’s strategy is to then couple the combined products with its consulting and services division to offer companies a complete systems management package, looking firstly to exploit its own installed base of users which numbers more than 1,600 companies worldwide and 220 of the Fortune 500 companies. Many of these systems management products have to be tailored to suit the individuals and this is where the skills and resources of DMR and Operation Services come into play, says Dewan. Amdahl supplemented it $500 million services business last November with the takeover of the Canadian services consulting and services company, DMR. DMR, which has more than 2,800 employees and revenues of almost $220 million, carries out high level consulting in North America, Belgium, France and the UK, as well as outsourcing in Australia. Trecom is the second acquisition in the service/consulting area, an area which is rapidly becoming a highly competitive market. For example, Amdahl had to fight off rival bids from IBM Canada and BDM International for DMR and was forced to raise its bid to $Can 12.50 from $Can 8.25 per share. Furthermore, it remains very much in doubt whether Amdahl can extend its systems management b

usiness beyond its existing installed base of mainframe users. The company is positioning the Bull deal as the best alternative to IBM/Tivoli, but it will take a great deal of effort to persuade other companies that Amdahl is more than a PCM-vendor. Amdahl is also looking to move into the NT market, and Amdahl will launch a range of NT servers in the third quarter of this year. Amdahl and Bull will port ISM to Windows NT as management platform before the end of the year and ISM will be available on Amdahl’s servers. A company spokesperson says that a lot of Amdahl users are looking to use NT as an enterprise server and there is a market opportunity for a company with mainframe expertise.

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