IBM is adding more software products to its Windows NT suites in a bid to derail Microsoft BackOffice.
The new suites are a mix of Ecommerce, database and messaging software, with the promise of a coherent way to deploy and manage them.
"People tend to stick with what they know and our messaging product, the MQSeries, has a 60% market share," said Tony Occleshaw, software strategist at IBM. "With this kind of penetration it would be daft for us not to bundle it with our NT suite. At the moment, you're not in software if you're not in NT."
Occleshaw was quick to point out that IBM is not just a follower of fashion.
"The advantage with our suites over BackOffice is that it's 100% Pure Java, and customers get NT as a Pure Java platform which guarantees openness and integration, whereas Microsoft is not Pure Java," he said.
Microsoft BackOffice has its SNA and SQL servers, Exchange and other Internet management software, and IBM's Enterprise Suite for Windows NT offers similar facilities. These include Intel LANDesk Management Suite 6.1; Lotus Domino 4.61; DB2 Universal Database; IBM's eNetwork communications server; and Adstar Distributed Storage Manager for backing up, restoring and archiving enterprise data.
IBM also announced a suite for branch offices and is beta testing the IBM Small Business Suite for Windows NT.
The IBM Enterprise Suite for NT costs #10,400 and #240 for a single desktop client, and the IBM NT Suite geared for branch offices is #1,600 and #145 per desktop. Pricing for the Small Business Suite is not available yet.
"The key difference from a pricing standpoint against the BackOffice bundles is that we allow customers to run software on any server they want to run it on versus machine license," said Occleshaw.
IBM plans to release versions of the suites that will run on all its servers, including AS/400 and RS/6000, and competing platforms such as Sun and Hewlett-Packard. Suites for OS/400 and AIX will be available at the end of June, while suites for HP and Sun servers will come next year.
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