In what it optimistically claims is the most significant product announcement of 1988, San Francisco-based Walker Interactive Systems last week launched its existing Strategic Mangement range of financial software under DB2. Reversing the usual importation trend, 85% of the two-year design and development process was conducted at the company’s international sales and marketing base in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. The range, which Walker claims is the only comprehensive offering on the market, comprises the UKP170,000 flagship General Ledger product, together with the Accounts Payable Management and Purchase Order Management packages, priced at UKP120,000 and UKP140,000 respectively. 10% to 20% discounts are envisaged for multiple product purchases. Number one users are expected to be accountancy firms, whose top speed financial data analysis needs will, according to Peat Marwick McLintock associate Graham Oates, be amply catered for by the new Strategic Management-DB2 combination. Equal play was made of the company’s Strategic Software Architecture, designed, in modular and layer terms, to bear a striking resemblance to IBM’s Systems Application Architecture, to which Walker last week announced its formal commitment. Projected benefits of the Walker architecture include the protection of products from functional and technical obsolescence, increased user productivity, and – ultimately – a straight-forward migration path, for existing customers, to DB2. Conversion, according to marketing director David Roberts, was simply a matter of removing one module and replacing it with another – a process which could easily be acomplished in the space of a weekend. Meanwhile, Walker is taking comfort in company-commissioned research, which suggests that some 50% of its world-wide customer base either has DB2, or plans to install it within the next 12 months. Current customers include Reynolds Metals in Richmond, Virginia, picked by the company as a test and evaluation site, and Mercury Communications, Lloyds Bank, Peat Marwick McLintock, CBS Records, the Bristol & West Building Society, the Ministry of Transport, and Oxford Regional Health Authority in the UK.