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CA and NCR ink software deal

Computer Associates and NCR agree to make CA's Unicenter TNG the standard end-to-end systems management software for NCR's customers.

Computer Associates (CA) and NCR (NCR) may be the perfect match, at least for five years.

Today the two companies signed a comprehensive five-year joint development and marketing agreement that will make CA's Unicenter TNG the standard end-to-end systems management software for NCR's customers. NCR will also sell certain management software components and agent technology to CA, as part of the agreement.

"Computer Associates can bring more value to this particular area," said Bill Eisenman, NCR's senior vice president for its Computer Systems Group. "I think there's strong benefits on both sides of the ledger."

The move signals an end to the cozy agreement Hewlett-Packard has had with NCR for its OpenView platform. Management elements of NCR's Operations Advantage platform for OpenView will be rewritten for a Unicenter version tailored for NCR's WorldMark server hardware, and for Unix and Microsoft Windows NT platforms.

"No Surprise," said Waverly Deutsch, an analyst with the Forrester Research consultancy. "The game has passed from network management to systems management with network management tools, such as database management."

"You've got to cut across technology. Hewlett-Packard has been a no-show in that arena," she said.

Under the arrangement, CA will take over all optimization work for NCR's platforms. Previously, NCR built systems management tools to run on top of OpenView that performed functions particular to NCR's needs.

"From a strategic point of view, it's the right move for all of us," said Charles Wang, CA's Chairman and CEO.

"OpenView has been predominantly used for network monitoring, but I don't actually do any management with OpenView," Deutsch noted. "The new investment (from IT) has moved to the systems management platforms [such as CA and Tivoli Systems TME-10]."

Software for NCR's installed base of point-of-sale hardware and automated teller machines (ATM) for banks will be part of the Unicenter product, allowing bank administrators to manage those devices. NCR software products, such as LifeKeeper for clusters, Top End middleware, and Teradata database management system, will be integrated in future Unicenter releases.

Unicenter TNG for NCR's Windows NT platform will be available by the end of this quarter. A version of Unicenter for NCR's brand of Unix will be available by the end of the second quarter. Versions of Unicenter optimized for NCR's high-availability LifeKeeper software, Top End middleware, and Teradata database will start rolling out this quarter.

Wang would not disclose financial details of the acquired NCR software.