2,500 IT Professionals Line Up to Help Customers Evaluate And Deploy Microsoft Exchange 2000

ORLANDO, Fla., June 6, 2000 — At Microsoft® TechEd 2000 today, Microsoft Corp. announced that 2,500 technology specialists are qualified and ready to work with customers in all phases of Exchange 2000 planning and deployment. These specialists, many from leading global IT service organizations, have completed intensive training on Exchange 2000 and already have helped deploy it to thousands of end users worldwide. In addition, many independent software vendors (ISVs) and application service providers (ASPs) are working closely with Microsoft to deliver services and solutions built on Exchange 2000.

Exchange 2000 Release Candidate 2 (RC2) is now broadly available and delivers a reliable, scalable and easy-to-manage messaging and collaboration infrastructure as well as a rich set of services for automating business processes and developing Web-based collaborative solutions. Exchange 2000 RC2 is available to customers from the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/productinfo/orderkit.htm . With Exchange RC2, customers can conduct pilots on the Exchange 2000 platform and develop collaborative applications.

In addition to the community of qualified solution providers supporting Exchange 2000, companies can take advantage of the Exchange 2000 Readiness Training promotion for their own IT staff. This promotion is now available at participating Microsoft Certified Technical Education Centers (Microsoft CTECs) and features discounted training on selected courses covering the Windows® 2000 operating system and Exchange 2000. More information can be found online at http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/default.asp?PageId=training & LearnCenterHtm=exchange2000 .

“Earlier this year Microsoft delivered Windows 2000, a revolutionary new operating system for business-critical applications,”
said Bob Muglia, group vice president of the Business Productivity Group at Microsoft.
“Microsoft is now releasing a wave of server products that allow customers to take full advantage of this platform; the first of these is Exchange 2000. We are excited to see the groundswell of support and enthusiasm among all our industry partners to help customers realize these benefits.”

Customers Benefiting From Enhanced Collaboration in Exchange 2000

Over 125 customers and partners are participating in the Exchange 2000 Joint Development Program (JDP). They are an integral part of the product development process that helps ensure Exchange 2000 meets customer needs. For example, Marathon Oil Co., a worldwide oil and gas company with over 10,000 users, is planning to consolidate its messaging and collaboration infrastructure on Exchange 2000 from a heterogeneous infrastructure that included Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise.

“We expect easier administration and lower cost of ownership with the integrated platform of Exchange 2000 and Windows 2000. Exchange 2000 also allows our workers to communicate seamlessly in offices across the world using Outlook Web Access, instant messaging, and discussion groups,”
said Keith Talbert, project manager at Marathon Oil.
“We are confident that Exchange 2000 is the right collaboration platform today and that it will grow with our company to continue to meet our needs in the future.”

Deployment Partners: Ready, Willing and Able

Twenty-five leading global IT companies now have the expertise to speed customer evaluation and deployment of Exchange 2000. These Exchange 2000 Global Launch Partners are offering a broad range of Exchange 2000-based services and products. Over 800 senior technology leaders from companies such as Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS), Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc. and Xerox Corp. are delivering services today including planning, upgrade, deployment, training and hosting.

In addition, approximately 1,500 Microsoft Certified Solution Provider (MCSP) systems engineers and more than 500 value-added providers (VAPs) now have the skills to provide on-site support to customers deploying Exchange 2000. Exchange MCSPs can be found at http://mcspreferral.microsoft.com/ .

ISVs Building Exchange 2000-Based Solutions

Independent software vendors are lining up to build on the Web Storage System in Exchange 2000. For example, Xpedior Inc., an ISV and member of the Exchange JDP, developed a knowledge-management portal for the World Bank to help build better relationships with its 80 private-sector partners that participate in joint economic development projects.

“World Bank came to us looking for a more efficient way to share information between both its employees and its partners,”
said John Havlick, global alliance manager at Xpedior.
“Using Exchange 2000’s Web Storage System and skills our developers already possessed, we created a simple yet powerful knowledge-management solution.”

By taking advantage of the Web Store’s ability to handle multimedia file types, ISVs are also developing fax, voice integration and unified messaging applications that address both service provider and enterprise markets.

ASP Partners: A new model for evaluating and deploying Exchange 2000

In addition to deployment partners and ISVs, 12 industry-leading ASPs are today announcing their support for Exchange 2000 in their managed corporate messaging and collaboration offerings. ASPs can help organizations of all sizes accelerate the evaluation and deployment of Exchange 2000, and will make such processes more cost-effective for smaller organizations with limited IT resources. Customers selecting Exchange 2000-based ASP offerings also will benefit from new value-add services such as instant messaging, unified messaging, team collaboration workspaces and mobile access.

“At USi, we chose Exchange 2000 because of its reliability and ability to meet our demanding scalability requirements,”
said Nick Magliato, president and general manager of the Enterprise Messaging and Collaboration Business Unit at USinternetworking Inc. (USi).
“We are 100 percent committed to delivering feature-rich, managed solutions built on the Exchange 2000 platform. To highlight the powerful features of Exchange 2000 we have joined with Microsoft to launch a one-of-a-kind technology evaluation tool that will enable companies of all sizes to quickly and easily evaluate the features of Exchange 2000 — with no impact on the customer’s current messaging environment.”

More information on USi can be found at http://www.usi.net/solutions/messaging/ .

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