IBM, Microsoft, Netscape, and Oracle may be the biggest players in the server suite game, but other vendors are trying to advance in the market. These other players give you some alternatives to the big four's offerings.

Platinum Technology, for example, has a soup-to-nuts lineup of products (that doesn't include a database) linked loosely into its Platinum Open Enterprise Management System (POEMS) architecture, but Platinum has no suite per se. Although many Platinum products such as Forest & Trees, InfoPump, and Paradigm Plus run on NT, the company is decidedly not interested in what it considers the low end of the market. "We're not interested in 95 percent of the market Microsoft is going after," said a company source--on condition of anonymity. In other words, although Platinum offers dozens of infrastructure products for NT, UNIX, and mainframe platforms, the company doesn't want to compete in the down-market, low-margin arena.

Computer Associates (CA), like Platinum, has a broad range of products by virtue of acquisitions, including former database giant Ingres (now CA-Ingres). One product in particular may give the NT suite vendors a run for their money: CA-Unicenter TNG promises to provide strong competition to Microsoft's Systems Management Server (SMS) and IBM's forthcoming Tivoli Management Server.

Novell also has a major stake in the server suite game. However, Novell is losing resources such as developers and market dynamics (reportedly only 20 percent of NetWare sites have upgraded to NetWare 4.x) despite its announcements of IntranetWare, GroupWise, and a forthcoming commerce server.

Contact Info

Computer Associates
516-342-5224
Web: www.cai.com

Novell
801-222-6000
Web: www.novell.com

Platinum Technology
630-620-5000
Web: www.platinum.com