High-end systems specialist Amdahl outlined plans last week to give its software and services businesses higher profiles.
Despite annual software sales of $100 million ($60.97 million), Amdahl is still known for its mainframe-focused hardware business: "This is as much our fault as anyone else's," admitted Alun Cope-Morgan, Amdahl's director of software operations for northern Europe. He stressed that the hardware business will still remain core but explained that the company is looking to reduce its dependence on it by balancing up the two sides of the business. "Hardware, is becoming more of a commodity, whether mainframe or PC - the margins are much better in software," he said.
Amdahl hopes to establish a suite of products that develop, deploy and manage large business-critical applications that span the enterprise.
The suite will be developed from existing Amdahl products, those taken from its parent company Fujitsu, and from OEM deals and acquisitions.
Products that were formally sold through Amdahl subsidiaries such as ObjectStar - a now defunct joint venture with EDS - under the Antares badge, and the A Plus systems management tools will now be branded Amdahl.
Products under consideration from Fujitsu include J P Walker, a suite of network management products that competes for the Tivoli TME market in Japan. Amdahl is currently assessing the market potential for this product in the US and Europe, considering the hold of Tivoli and Computer Associates. Cope-Morgan expects Fujitsu to use Amdahl as a channel for much of its high-end software and services in Europe and in the US where the Amdahl brand and user base is much better established than Fujitsu's.
The strategy to broaden the product portfolio through acquisition and OEM licensing has already borne fruit. Amdahl acquired EnView, which monitors distributed applications, from Bell Atlantic in May. OEM deals have also been struck for the Qualiparc asset management tool for PCs from French company PF'Soft, Networker from Legato and Enterprise Desktop Management from Novadigm.
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