Microsoft NT has gained a foothold in the coveted high finance market through a deal with Tandem, that will put NT and Microsoft applications on a fault tolerant platform for processing Internet electronic commerce transactions.
The two companies aim to take Internet electronic commerce solutions based on Microsoft NT into Tandem's customer base, which is dominated by financial institutions - Tandem servers handle over half of all credit card transactions. For the first time, Tandem will run another company's applications - Microsoft Back Office, Normandy and Merchant - on its Himalaya fault tolerant platforms.
"We want to extend our leadership position into the Internet space by extending existing applications, such as settlements and payments, to take advantage of browser technology and to sell and buy goods over the Internet," said Alan Harris, manager of e-commerce at Tandem.
Tandem will also port its Servernet architecture, which provides a framework for highly distributed applications, to NT and the partners will jointly promote the Microsoft applications, particularly the Merchant e-commerce server software, into this market.
For Tandem, the deal should help to preserve its customer base in financial organisations by linking its high end technology, which handles business critical and transaction-intensive processes such as settlements and payments, to the fashionable Internet/Microsoft approach. Moving into Internet electronic commerce is a logical extension of its existing business providing credit card processing servers.
For Microsoft, the agreement is potentially more significant, giving it a powerful inroad into a lucrative corporate market that still regards its products with some suspicion. Availability on the Tandem platform will calm fears that NT is not robust enough for critical applications and Servernet, which supports applications that need to distribute large quantities of data over clustered or networked servers, will significantly boost NT's capabilities at the high end.
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