Austin, Texas-based Tivoli Systems Inc is hoping to forge new international ground with its multi-million dollar world-wide deal to provide the Tivoli Management Environment to consumer products group Unilever Plc. Unilever has adopted Tivoli’s systems management as part of its worldwide, enterprise-wide client-server systems strategy. Dr Martin Armitage, head of technology for Unilever’s information technology group said the company had identified the area of systems management as one of the key factors in the successful deployment of client-server computing. What he felt Tivoli offered was a fully integrated management package, which would help improve the speed and quality of implementing new technologies. Tivoli apparently beat competitor Computer Associates International Inc to the Unilever deal, after Unilever installed both Computer Associates’ CA-Unicenter and Tivoli’s Management Environment for a trial evaluation period. Tivoli’s manager of international sales, Pierre Schmidt, said the Unilever deal is of great importance to Tivoli, not simply because it will be worth more than $2m a year, but because beyond the US and the UK, client-server awareness was not very high, and the Unilever deal will open doors for the company to new markets. Tivoli Management Environment provides a set of systems management applications such as software distribution, user and security management, client and server configuration. The Tivoli Management Framework also provides an architecture upon which integrated systems management applications can be built. It was initially a Unix-based product, but the company has just launched Tivoli Management Environment for Windows NT, which seems to complete the set for the company’s client-server offering. The systems management now boasts single action management across Unix, NT, NetWare and desktop computers. For example, adding users to a system can be done from a Unix or Windows machine with a single action, and the Tivoli software will automatically add the user to all the machines in the network, whichever operating system they are running. The company is aware that users do not always want to give up local systems management products, and Tivoli Plus is what it calls its framework for connection to other systems. Microsoft Corp’s Systems Management Server comes bundled with NT BackOffice, so Tivoli has been careful to ensure that users wanting to use elements of the Server can do so, and offers a two-way interface to the product. TME for Windows NT will be priced at ú600 to ú2,040 per server and ú270 per client depending on the features and number of users. It will be shipping early next year.