Microsoft Unveils New Partner Solutions Center for Rapid Deployment Of End-to-End Network Solutions

REDMOND, Wash., March 13, 2000 — As part of its ongoing commitment to the network service provider community, Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a new and expanded Microsoft® Partner Solutions Center (MPSC) dedicated to the rapid development of secure, end-to-end network solutions. These types of solutions are needed by network service providers (telecommunications companies, application service providers, Internet service providers and cable companies) to maintain a competitive advantage in today’s industry.

Housed in a new 21,000-square-foot facility at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, the new MPSC maintains the same charter it adopted when launched in November 1997 as a one-room, as-needed operation: working with partners and customers to develop specific end-to-end network solutions. The new facility represents an increased commitment by Microsoft to take that mission to a higher level by creating an environment where partners can build and test
“jumpstart prototypes,”
which network service providers can quickly customize and roll out to their respective customers – thereby reducing the time to market for new services.

“The continued demand by network service providers for access to a Microsoft facility where they can easily and quickly create end-to-end network solutions has exceeded our expectations,”
said Thomas Koll, vice president of the Network Solutions Group at Microsoft.
“The new MPSC meets this demand by providing a one-of-a-kind environment staffed by Microsoft and 30-plus partners who are focused on a unified approach to creating next-generation network services.”

Bringing Together the Combined Expertise of Microsoft and Its Partners

The MPSC was designed specifically as a multivendor environment, aimed at bringing together the combined expertise, resources, products and services of Microsoft and its technology partners. Together, Microsoft and partners provide network service providers with the design, development, testing, and integration resources and services they need to create end-to-end network solutions. Staffed by technical engineers from Microsoft and participating companies, the MPSC includes an array of platforms and equipment needed to help develop and test world-class carrier solutions.

This model also focuses on helping partners and network service providers take full advantage of new e-business opportunities such as application hosting, broadband and TV services, voice-over Internet protocols, wireless and commerce technologies, and numerous others.

Now located in Building 25 on the Microsoft campus, the MPSC includes new areas such as a high-availability lab, expanded workshop capacity, a Network Operation Center (NOC) and specialty training rooms. The MPSC is the only facility on the Microsoft campus that operates outside the company firewall, giving partners the ability to easily run
pilots and customer tests on site.

Today more than 40 leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Microsoft Certified Solution Providers (MCSPs), systems integrators, independent software vendors (ISVs), independent hardware vendors (IHVs), and backbone and access providers are participating in the MPSC. Each company has the opportunity to participate at one of four specific levels, depending on its level of contribution. Current key sponsors that have collectively contributed a total of approximately $50 million in equipment and staffing resources to the center include Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc. and Nortel Networks Corp.

“Compaq’s strategic partnership with Microsoft enhances our ability to provide the best Internet infrastructure for service providers and their end customers,”
said Keith McAuliffe, vice president of the Service Provider Business Unit at Compaq.
“As one of the original sponsors of the MPSC, Compaq has been closely involved with its transformation into an Internet solutions test-bed for the most demanding environments. Through our collaboration with partners and network service providers, end users are able to reduce IT management costs, while at the same time having access to a diverse choice of Web-enabled solutions to meet their growing and changing IT requirements.”

“Since 1997, Lucent has been both a network services and product solutions partner of Microsoft,”
said John Drew, executive vice president and CEO, Lucent Technologies NetworkCare.
“Working closely with Microsoft in a multivendor environment at the center, Lucent will enhance its ability to enable some of its best service-provider customers to reduce time to market for new network services.”

Facilitating Knowledge Transfer

Another important function of the MPSC is serving as a resource for driving knowledge transfer for the broader network service provider community. For example, monthly workshops focusing on various solutions are held with partners who work directly with the customers in the field. Current workshops cover topics such as Windows® 2000 Datacenter operations, next-generation OSS/BSS for IP services, advanced hosting, voice-over IP services, and managed PC services. The MPSC also brings in other Microsoft groups, such as product developers, Microsoft Consulting Services and Product Support Services, to work with customers and partners in improving development support for customer solutions, without incurring the costs of replicating infrastructure.

“Leveraging the combined expertise and resources of Microsoft and its partners results in better products and solutions for the overall customer segment,”
Koll said.

To participate in the MPSC, partners must be nominated by their Microsoft business development manager (BDM) and/or have an existing relationship with Microsoft. Customers interested in utilizing the MPSC must be nominated by a participating partner. More information about the MPSC can be obtained at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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MPSC Quote Addendum

“The Microsoft Partner Solutions Center takes a significant step in demonstrating the capabilities of Windows 2000 and Windows NT-based fiber channel SANs in high-availability enterprise applications,”
said Mike Smith, vice president of worldwide marketing at Emulex.
“The LP8000 provides Microsoft with the performance, scalability and robustness needed for high-availability Windows 2000- and Windows NT-based solutions.”

“The MPSC offers tremendous opportunities for exposure to new markets and customer environments in a focused world-class setting,”
said Steve Proudlock, director of Technical Sales at

“We are very excited to be a part of Microsoft’s MPSC, which develops and showcases connected solutions using Intel-based server, networking and client technologies,”
said Dan Russell, general manager, Intel Architecture Content Group.
“The MPSC integrates solutions with world-class performance, reliability, scalability and value in a wide range of configurations. Through this joint work with Microsoft, we will keep expanding what is possible for e-businesses using Intel building blocks.”

“Together with Microsoft, Dell supports the Microsoft Partner Solutions Center to enable our joint customers in the ASP/ISP, telecommunications and cable markets to develop and fine tune end-to-end Internet infrastructure solutions built on Dell PowerEdge servers and PowerVault storage,”
said Gene Austin, vice president and general manager for Internet Server Products, Dell Computer Corp.
“As the No. 2 PC server provider in the world, we will continue to help our global customers build computing systems that can respond to the demands of the new Internet economy.”

“Nortel Networks is proud to be a core partner of the Microsoft Partner Solution Center,”
said Albert Delorenzi, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Nortel Networks Enterprise Solutions.
“As the builder of the next-generation, high-performance Internet, we view the MPSC as an ideal arena to come together with our customers and partners to create and test rapidly deployable unified networks and solutions. Through the MPSC, Nortel is creating a premier venue that showcases our leading optical networking technology, which is at the very heart of the high-performance Internet, enterprises and datacenters. We are pleased to join Microsoft in creating an environment of innovation and unlimited opportunity dedicated to the advancement of networking and communications for enterprises and service providers worldwide.”

“The MPSC is the ideal setting for service providers to learn about these new technologies and how they can improve their networks,”
said Ian Yates, president and CEO of InfoLibria.
“InfoLibria believes that within the infrastructure market, the key products are those that give service providers control of the content on their networks. InfoLibria will showcase its MediaMall streaming media solution that allows service providers to control television- and CD-quality streaming media at the edge. This unique ability will improve the end-user experience and enable service providers to create new, revenue-generating services.”

“The MPSC is an excellent opportunity for BMC Software to highlight our strong partnership with Microsoft,”
said Brinkley Morse, senior vice president, Corporate Development for BMC Software.
“It gives us an opportunity to showcase the extent that our application management solutions provide high availability, performance and recovery while integrating with Microsoft’s solutions.”

“The goal of this partnership is to give service providers the opportunity to create and test any kind of networking service or solution,”
said Jim Zeitlin, vice president for strategy and business development of Internetworking Systems at Lucent.
“Lucent’s broad portfolio of solutions including Voice over IP, DSL and CableConnect are leading-edge technologies and products for service providers building next-generation networks. Working with Microsoft and our Lucent NetworkCare colleagues, Lucent’s Internetworking Systems is helping customers bring these next-generation solutions to market quickly and cost-effectively.”

“We are thrilled to be involved in a cutting-edge laboratory such as the MPSC that gives us such a unique opportunity to showcase our innovative and powerful product lines for service providers such as ASPs, ISPs and telecommunications companies,”
said Gary Johnson, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Cybex.
“This center will give developers a unique opportunity to configure real-world applications using our multiplatform switches such as the XP4000 Series. By collaborating with Microsoft’s technical engineers and other participating companies, the new MPSC will help us significantly decrease our sales cycle, improve customer satisfaction, and take advantage of new business opportunities that we previously did not have the resources to tackle.”

“The new MPSC enables customers to conveniently test several cutting-edge technologies all under one roof,”
said Peter Rumsey, vice president of American Power Conversion’s Enterprise Systems Group.
“From APC’s perspective, it enables us to work on joint customer engagements with Microsoft and other Microsoft partners, allowing us to get closer to the customers to better understand the challenges they face in building out large-scale networks. Working directly with the customers and the system providers from the start also allows us to immediately identify the right power protection solutions needed to enhance the availability of the customer’s key business processes.”

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