Head-on payroll and personnel software competitors Peterborough Software and Management Science America have reached a meaning ful and positive alliance, in order to rechannel funds they currently spend marketing similar rival products into research and development projects. As reported briefly (CI No 937), under the terms of the worldwide – excluding North and South America agreement, C E Heath Plc-owned Peterborough Software will take over the distribution and support of MSA’s entire insurance, payroll and personnel product range, while MSA will act as agents for Peterborough’s products in the European markets – notably France, Germany, Holland and Spain – where Peterborough has yet to establish a significant presence. Both companies were at pains to reassure users that nothing sudden would happen under the new arrangement, and that customers would not be put under immediate pressure to migrate to new offerings. Future plans include the development by Peterborough of interfaces to MSA’s range of IE or Information Expert software tools, and the gradual merging of MSA’s packages with the Peterborough product line. Long-term both companies agree that the future lies in the provision of migration paths to IBM Silverlake, DB2 and Olympic technology.