Sprint and Microsoft Announce Affordable, Complete Communications Solutions for Small Businesses

ATLANTA, June 8, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. and Sprint Corp. today introduced a robust, integrated suite of communications solutions for small business customers – providing complete communications solutions for small businesses.

The small business solutions, available this summer through independent value-added providers (VAPs) that are both Sprint Partners and Microsoft® Certified Solution Providers, integrate a complete portfolio of voice and data communications services with all the hardware and software required to provide private branch exchange (PBX), local area network (LAN), and Internet and remote access server functions. A demonstration of the small business solutions is taking place in the Microsoft booth (Booth 2041) at SUPERCOMM ’99, June 8-10 in Atlanta.

Communications Solutions for Small Businesses

These offerings bring together an integrated package of hardware, software, communications services and installation services, which makes buying and using these solutions easy and affordable for small businesses. These solutions integrate approved third-party communications products that are based on Microsoft BackOffice® Small Business Server 4.5 and Sprint’s Business Flex SM portfolio of communications services. The new solutions are designed to save small businesses a significant amount off the price of purchasing comparable individual components.

Through the integrated suite of communications solutions, VAPs will be able to offer small businesses the following communications functions in a single server:

  • Voice services with full switching features and advanced call control and routing using a powerful, software-based PBX

  • Unified messaging with Microsoft Exchange Server

  • Internet access and Web hosting services

  • Seamless voice communications over wire line, wireless and Internet transport services

  • Integrated business applications for vertical markets (e.g., accounting software packages specialized for the medical industry)

“These small business solutions, enabled by Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server and COM2001.com’s InternetPBX, place advanced voice and data services within the grasp of small businesses,”
said Thomas Koll, vice president, Network Solutions Group, Microsoft.
“Companies large and small must compete by harnessing highly functional communications services in ways that help them succeed in their core businesses. Microsoft and Sprint are cooperating to let small business do that in a cost-effective way.”

The new communications solutions will give small businesses a powerful platform for more sophisticated communications services on today’s advanced networks, as well as provide them with an easy migration path to Sprint ION SM and its next-generation services and capabilities.

Sprint ION, the Integrated On-Demand Network, is a communications platform that delivers voice, video and data services over a single, existing connection to the home or business. The service, available to small businesses beginning later this year, enables next-generation information and communication applications with virtually unlimited, scalable bandwidth.

“In the new digital economy, small businesses will be able to match the communication strength of their larger competitors, thanks to sophisticated, affordable solutions such as the ones Microsoft and Sprint are providing,”
said Sue Sentell, president of marketing and operations for Sprint Business.
“The flexibility and scalability of Microsoft software, combined with the power and service quality of Sprint’s state-of-the-art network, will enable our customers to use communications to create a true competitive advantage.”

About Sprint

Sprint (NYSE
) is a global communications company at the forefront in integrating long distance, local and wireless communications services and the world’s largest carrier of Internet traffic. Sprint built and operates the United States’ only nationwide all-digital, fiber optic network and is the leader in advanced data communication services. Sprint has $17 billion in annual revenues and serves more than 17 million business and residential customers.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and BackOffice are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. For telecom industry news, visit http://www.microsoft.com/isn/ .

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