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Cisco makes the connection

Cisco Systems makes equity investments in Interlink Computer Sciences and OpenConnect Systems in order to bolster its internetworking software.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) has made equity investments in internetworking software specialists Interlink Computer Sciences (INLK) and OpenConnect Systems and will work to integrate their mainframe connectivity tools into its internetworking operating system (IOS).

The agreement spans joint development, marketing, and customer support efforts. As part of the deal, Cisco now has an equity stake in Interlink of approximately nine percent, as well as an undisclosed stake in OpenConnect.

Cisco will also license Interlink's TCPaccess software suite for TCP/IP connectivity to MVS mainframes that ties legacy systems to the Internet. The TCP/IP-based networking software will now be based on Cisco IOS/390 software package.

OpenConnect's WebAccess/390 software will also be integrated with Cisco's IOS/390 package; the first modules will be OC://WebConnect and OpenVista. These offerings provide secure access to SNA-based mainframe applications through a Web browser. Other integration efforts will continue over the next several months.

Separately, Cisco will bundle Sybase's SQL Anywhere desktop database with its Unix and Microsoft Windows network management platforms. SQL Anywhere is targeted at individual and remote users, as well as small workgroups.

Inclusion of the SQL Anywhere database will be part of an upcoming remote access thrust by Cisco targeted at competitors such as Shiva. Upcoming announcements, code-named "Brazil," are targeted at competitor's strengths in the low end of the remote access market. Cisco hopes to update and expand its CiscoPro remote access product line with the announcements.