EDS, Microsoft Cozy Up in Services Deal

EDS, will provide Microsoft with expertise in managing large-scale corporate computing infrastructures, as the companies work together to develop new enterprise applications and new and upgraded products.

Global services firm Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) and Microsoft Corp. said today they will work more closely together to deliver Microsoft-based IT systems to large corporate customers.

The strategic alliance is designed to make it easier for customers to order Microsoft-based products through EDS. It will also allow the services firm to offer its customers IT systems based on the latest Microsoft software more quickly, the companies said.

As part of the agreement, EDS will train 7,000 staff to become certified Microsoft systems engineers and solutions developers. That represents the largest single commitment from a services company to the Microsoft training programs, the companies said.

In addition, EDS will have greater access to beta versions of new Microsoft products, allowing the company to test new combinations of hardware and software before the Microsoft products are released to market. This will give EDS customers faster access to new Microsoft products, company spokesman Blake Lewis said.

EDS, will provide Microsoft with expertise in managing large-scale corporate computing infrastructures, as the companies work together to develop new enterprise applications and new and upgraded products.

As part of the agreement, the companies will also jointly develop IT systems for the financial services industry, including branch automation and credit union systems, using Microsoft products.

The joint efforts will be focused initially on Europe and the U.S., extending to other regions of the world over time, Lewis said.

"When you sit back and look at the size and scope of the companies, I think that's pretty significant in itself," Lewis said. EDS operates in about 50 countries and reported revenues of US$16.9 billion [B] in 1998.

Based on the Windows NT Server operating system, the Microsoft enterprise platform comprises Internet software, development tools, Office desktop applications, and the Microsoft BackOffice family of integrated server applications.

Microsoft Corp., in Redmond, Washington, is at +1-425-882-8080, or at http://www.microsoft.com/. EDS, based in Plano, Texas, can be reached at +1-972-604-6000 or via the Internet at http://www.eds.com/.

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