IBM yesterday announced a joint development effort with 3Com Corp of Santa Clara, California to write specifications intended to enable customers to manage different kinds of networks more efficiently. Applications written to the new specifications will provide network managers with the tools they need to control, monitor and analyse network information, IBM claims. It reckons customers are facing the critical need to manage burgeoning local nets within a total, enterprise-wide network. The specifications will cover both Token-Ring and Ethernet and may be expanded over time to include other types of local networks. The Heterogeneous LAN Management specifications will be available in the fourth quarter and both companies will incorporate the specs in future products. IBM reckons that 33% of major users of local area networks have both Token-Rings and Ethernets installed.