Microsoft Exchange Server Gains Momentum With Leading Application Service Providers

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 12, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that a growing list of leading application service providers (ASPs) have committed to using Microsoft® Exchange Server as the foundation of their managed corporate messaging and collaboration offerings. The growing availability of managed Exchange services will enable customers to deploy messaging and collaboration more quickly, and potentially reduce total cost of ownership by outsourcing hardware, network and application management to an ASP.

Companies offering hosted solutions based on Exchange Server 5.5 include British Telecommunications PLC; CenterBeam Inc.; Data Return Corp.; Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS); Equant; FutureLink Corp.; Hewlett-Packard Co.; Mi8 Corp.; Micron Technology Inc.; NetStore Group Ltd.; MTT Mpowered, a division of Aliant; Qwest Communications International Inc.; TeleComputing Inc.; United Messaging Inc.; and USinternetworking Inc. (USi). These companies also plan to offer services based on Exchange 2000 later this year. Many of the companies are also offering Office Online, which enables the use of Microsoft Office 2000 over the Internet (announced on Nov. 9, 1999). Exchange Server and Office 2000 work together to provide e-mail functionality, group scheduling collaboration and information sharing.

“Today, our customers are accessing the full-featured messaging and collaboration functionality offered by Exchange 5.5 through the Internet,”
said Nick Magliato, president and general manager of the Enterprise Messaging and Collaboration Business Unit at USi.
“We are particularly excited about supporting Exchange 2000 and Office Online, which will allow us to continue offering new functionality to our customers in a cost-effective and highly reliable ASP model.”

Microsoft Committed to Supporting ASPs

These ASPs are part of a pilot program designed to provide Microsoft with customer feedback on application-hosting issues. This information will enable Microsoft to offer broad-based ASP licensing and marketing programs in the second half of the year.

Microsoft is currently developing a number of programs to support ASPs, including Exchange 2000 Readiness Workshops, which are specifically focused on application hosting; white papers to help customers optimize Exchange 2000 as a managed service; Exchange ASP certification; and consulting services to help development and deployment of high-availability, Exchange-based solutions. These readiness programs are scheduled to roll out in the first half of this year.

“ASPs are key to our vision of ‘Knowledge Workers Without Limits,'”
said Paul Gross, senior vice president for Server Applications at Microsoft.
“Managed services make Exchange easier to use and deploy for a broader set of customers — including small and medium-sized businesses and mobile professionals — than ever. In addition, they enable knowledge workers to access new communication and collaboration features more quickly.”

Advanced Hosting Features Planned With Exchange 2000

ASPs will be able to take advantage of additional hosting capabilities available in the upcoming Exchange 2000 release:

  • Greater reliability. Features such as partitioned data stores, fault-tolerant SMTP routing, and active-active clustering will enable ASPs to offer even higher levels of service availability.

  • Greater availability. The ability to separate front-end and back-end servers and to dedicate servers to manage directory, protocol and storage enables ASPs to scale their hosting environment easily as demand requires.

  • New features. ASPs will be able to offer a richer set of managed services by taking advantage of the Web store, document services, wireless device and unified messaging platform available in Exchange 2000.

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