Mainframe and services supplier Amdahl has allied with Microsoft to improve connectivity between its OS/390 platform and Windows NT applications. The company claims the alliance is intended to help customers expand Windows NT across the enterprise by providing increased transparency of mainframe data to Microsoft server and desktop users. Support and consultancy services will also be made available for Year 2000, enterprise messaging and Web-to-host linking. Amdahl plans to certify 1,500 technicians in Microsoft applications, particularly on MS Exchange Server. Amdahl is joining a host of other vendors, including Hewlett-Packard, Unisys and Digital, in cooperating with Microsoft to try to improve the integration and scaleability of Windows NT for their respective customer bases. Amdahl has offered a basic bridge to mainframe data from NT servers running over Microsoft SNA (Systems Network Architecture) for some time. However, according to the company, improving connectivity with NT is a necessity for Amdahl to help its customers sustain their investment in existing systems and legacy databases. "Customers are demanding a solution to the complex issue of integrating Windows NT with their mainframe data centre systems," said David Wright, president and CEO of Amdahl. Another aspect of the alliance included DMR Consulting, Amdahl's subsidiary company, establishing four proof-of-concept demonstration centres for new technology and services. This will include showing legacy host applications that DNR rewrites for Windows NT. In a separate announcement, Amdahl announced that Alan Bell, the UK managing director, has been promoted to senior vice president of worldwide operations - effectively making him the number two to CEO Wright.
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