Microsoft has orchestrated its third Big Six liaison in its latest bid to become a corporate-wide supplier with NT.
Ernst & Young?s consultancy arm has set up a dedicated business unit, Entyron, developing enterprise-wide solutions based on Microsoft?s Windows NT and Back Office.
Washington-based Entyron has been set up as an advanced development centre focused on building solutions to take advantage of the Windows NT platform. It has just announced its first global client, Votorantim Cement, part of a large Brazilian group. Entyron will support the company's supply chain and sales information system.
This is the third deal between Microsoft and the Big Six consultancies, which are hugely influential with corporate IT buyers. E&Y follows in the footsteps of KPMG, which set up a joint venture with Cisco and Microsoft last August to focus on enterprise solutions around NT (see Newswire, 8 August 1997).
Later that month, Andersen Consulting (see Newswire 21 August 1997) formed a major intitiative to sell and support SAP?s R/3 applications suite on Windows NT.
Entyron says its decision to concentrate on Microsoft products springs from increasing client demand for NT and the belief that this growth trend will continue.
But Doug Woodward, Entyron?s director, admitted that "the largest and most complex systems might not be suitable for NT", although he added: "NT is on a fast path for growth in both market acceptance and scalability."
Chris Gale of Sun Microsystems, Microsoft?s arch rival, said: "Entyron will have difficulty offering a strong value proposition because stability, security and scalability would be a problem."
He added: "NT is relatively immature and not as cheap as it would seem if it is bought for more than 50 concurrent users."
But Dave Russell of Tandem - which offers both NT and Unix systems - argued: "Depending on how you set it up, NT can be used on a large scale and its implementation is half the cost of comparable Unix systems. Demand for NT is exploding and even multimillion dollar corporations like Compaq and Microsoft are running on NT."
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