Microsoft, Hitachi to Partner on W2K Enterprise Solutions

Hitachi Ltd. and Microsoft Corp. have reached an agreement to establish a global relationship that will focus on the development of a core set of replicable Windows 2000-based enterprise solutions as well as the formation of a joint venture in October.

Hitachi (www.hitachi.com) and Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) will fill key executive positions in the joint venture. Both the relationship and joint venture will initially be focused in the Japanese market with plans to expand globally.

Highlights of the relationship will include development and delivery of a set of solution offerings for organizations in specific industries that use Windows 2000 and DNA components such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, COM+, and BizTalk. Additionally, the relationship will lead to the formation of a joint venture to develop and deliver replicable Windows DNA and Windows 2000-based solutions, consulting services, and high availability support services to businesses of all sizes.

Hitachi will train approximately 10,000 engineers for certification on the Microsoft enterprise platform. Based on this relationship, a significant number of replicable solutions offerings based on Windows 2000 and Windows DNA will be developed and delivered to customers. In addition, Hitachi will establish ten Customer Solution Centers throughout Japan focused on demonstrating the attributes and business value of the Microsoft Enterprise Solutions Platform and will support 520 middleware and 50 industry applications on Windows 2000. Microsoft will cooperate with Hitachi in the development of set models utilizing Microsoft software and Hitachi's hardware, such as high-end PC servers and large capacity storage systems for SANs.

In addition to Windows technology-based solutions, the joint venture will provide consulting services, high availability support services, and ASP and Web hosting services. It will leverage resources from both companies, initially starting with 300 employees but expected to grow to 1,000 employees by March 2002.