Novell has lost another major corporate customer to Microsoft as British American Financial Services (BAFS) has announced it plans to dump its existing NetWare system in favour of Windows NT and Exchange.
The company, one of the UK's largest financial services groups, is rolling out its new infrastructure across 15,000 desktops worldwide. BAFS incorporates three companies, Allied Dunbar, Eagle Star and Threadneedle Asset Management, each of which previously operated different Email solutions. These will now be scrapped in favour of Microsoft Exchange Server 5.0. The existing NetWare network will be replaced by NT 4.0 Workstation and Server, with Windows 95 on the firm's laptops.
Rollout will begin in the first quarter of 1998, to be completed around the year 2000. Neither company would reveal the financial terms of the contract.
BAFS said it shifted to NT because of its strengths as an application server and its integration with the PC client operating system. However, the company stressed that it has no complaints with its current platform. "We're very happy with NetWare," said Andy Wallace, BAFS' technical and operations director.
"But we wanted to standardise on Microsoft software."
"In recent times, Microsoft has made great strides towards developing mission-critical software," added Francis Ainley, BAFS' chief technical consultant, explaining the decision. "The Microsoft platform will enable us to provide better management of our infrastructure."
"I'm very surprised by the move," commented Derek Venter, Intranetware product manager at Novell, "Given the clear warning signals in the market on moving to NT 4 or 5 on that scale. Most companies are waiting for NT 6 or 7 to come along before betting their businesses on it."
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