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Intel invests in Platinum

The microchip powerhouse says it has teamed with software maker Platinum to advance desktop and systems management, including network PCs.

    Seeking to broaden the reach of its management software products, microchip powerhouse Intel (INTC) today announced a far-reaching partnership with enterprise software maker Platinum Technology (PLAT).

    The agreement includes broad development, licensing, sales, and marketing components that will result in tight integration between Platinum's corporate enterprise systems management tools and Intel's desktop management software expertise.

    Platinum's stock was up more than 10 percent on news of the deal in morning trading. Platinum executives said the deal would have an immediate impact on revenue for the company and could result in future OEM relationships with third-party PC firms.

    As part of the deal, Platinum will purchase Intel's LANDesk Configuration Manager software code in order to add cross-platform capabilities to the software tool. Intel, in turn, will make an equity investment in Platinum of less than 5 percent, according to executives from both firms.

    The two companies will also cross-license software technology and will perform joint marketing and sales. Intel will license Platinum's Open Enterprise Management Services (POEMS) integration technology for Intel's LANDesk management software products. Results of the agreement are expected to be released in the first half of the coming year.

    Intel already has partnered with enterprise management software powerhouses Computer Associates and IBM subsidiary Tivoli Systems, but executives from the company said those relationships would continue and shied away from addressing the competitive systems management landscape.

    Frank Gill, executive vice president at Intel, said the company decided to work with Platinum to add "an enterprise reach" for its tools. "That guided us to Platinum," he said. "The more we got into it, the more it made sense."

    Gill said Intel had no plans to acquire Platinum down the road.

    Platinum's chief could barely contain his pleasure with the deal, in terms of the competition. "We believe it is a watershed event," said Andrew "Flip" Filipowski, chairman and CEO at Platinum. "I think this has put Platinum in a very envious position in systems management."

    Platinum makes a suite of software tools for large corporations called ProVision that manages systems and databases.

    Intel's LANDesk Configuration Manager is a tool that allows IT administrators to define, deploy, and maintain multiple PC configurations--including operating systems and applications--throughout an organization. The package also allows administrators to integrate Network PCs and other managed PCs into existing corporate networks.

    Intel sells its LANDesk family of desktop management products through resellers while Platinum sells directly to corporations, opening opportunities for both companies, executives said.