Microsoft Announces New Resources, Collaborations and Business Terms For Application Service Providers

ATLANTA, July 14, 2000 — Today at the Fusion 2000 business symposium for Microsoft channel partners, Microsoft Corp. announced new tools and programs to support the growing application hosting market. Application service providers (ASPs) can now take advantage of new technical resources, partnerships, licensing and certification programs in offering software as a service on the Microsoft® platform, including Microsoft Windows® 2000, SQL Server™
2000, Exchange 2000 and Office 2000. Independent software vendors (ISVs) and Microsoft Certified Solution Providers (MCSPs) will be able to quickly bring hosted solutions to market. These programs are based on feedback from industry partners and customers and are an initial step toward Microsoft’s recently announced .NET strategy. Over 65 ASP, ISV and systems integrator partners have announced support for Microsoft’s platform and applications. The growing availability of hosted application services will broaden customers’ choices in addressing their IT needs.

“Microsoft’s .NET vision will establish a new world of dynamic software services,”
said Steve Ballmer, president and CEO of Microsoft.
“ASPs, developers and channel partners can participate in this vision today by building, customizing and reselling XML-based, programmable Web services, integrating .NET building block services such as Passport, and customizing and reselling bCentral™ small-business services.”

Tools, Partners and Support to Help Develop and Deploy Applications

To build compelling services, ASPs need an integrated platform, a broad pool of applications, tools and professional services. The Microsoft platform is the best for application hosting because it relies on open standards, such as XML and SOAP, to enable the integration of Microsoft and ISV applications to create customized solutions. Today Microsoft announced the following:

  • ISV partners. ISVs that offer Windows DNA-based applications for hosting today include Solomon, Shared Medical Systems Corp., Pivotal Corp. and many others. Operational support and management ISVs include Xevo Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Evidian and Full Armor Corp.

  • Tools. To facilitate the development and deployment of hosted Web applications on the Microsoft platform, Microsoft is offering the Guide to Developing and Hosting Web Applications. The guide was created for ISVs, customer application developers, hosters and other companies offering hosted application services, and provides a comprehensive set of documentation, guidelines and best practices for developing hosted applications and deploying them in a hosted ASP environment.

  • Professional services. Microsoft is working with systems integrators such as Compaq Computer Corp., EDS and marchFirst Inc. to offer professional services to ASPs and ISVs that want to deploy ASP services. Microsoft also will provide technical readiness resources targeted specifically to ASPs, including Microsoft Consulting Services and Product Support Services, to assist ASPs in developing their online offerings of the Windows DNA platform, Office 2000 and Exchange 2000.

“Shared Medical Systems, a Siemens company, is the leading provider of hosted solutions for the health-care industry,”
said Dennis Castaldi, advisory systems analyst of SMS Corp.
“We have found that developing on the Microsoft platform we have access not only to a rich development platform but also to a rich set of tools, partnerships and support.”

“Enabling application service providers to offer Microsoft Exchange 2000- and Windows 2000-based services requires unique skills gained only from experience,”
said Jeff Lynn, vice president and general manager, Compaq Professional Services.
“Leveraging its strong track record in enterprise deployments, Compaq Global Services provides a broad range of life cycle services for hosted services. From initial planning to design to implementation to management to ensuring high availability, Compaq Global Services is the premiere partner for enabling service providers to offer Exchange 2000 and Windows 2000 DNA solutions.”

ASP Service Delivery Initiative Allows Industry Partners to Focus on Core Competencies

Creating a successful software-as-a-service business requires a wide variety of skills. Microsoft today announced the ASP Service Delivery Initiative, which brings together the hosting capacity provided by ASP enablers, the solutions developed by ASP aggregators, and the sales and customization skills of the Microsoft sales channel:

  • Microsoft is working with ASP enablers, including DIGEX Inc., Data Return Corp., EDS, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Cable and Wireless plc, to empower ISVs, ASPs and MCSPs to quickly and easily enter the application hosting market and offer complete solutions to customers without the need to build and manage their own infrastructure, including communication and datacenter facilities.

  • MCSPs can partner with ASP aggregators to customize and resell ASP services, dramatically increasing the ability of ASPs to reach customers.

“EDS has a long history of success in applications management and managed operations,”
said Tom Ament, vice president of EDS.
“We have been working with Microsoft to launch our Windows DNA- and Exchange-based on-demand services. We will enable channel partners to jumpstart their application service offerings with minimal investment and leverage their core competencies.”

ASP Certification Identifies Service Quality and Reliability

Microsoft announced today the ASP Certification Program. The program has been developed to provide market recognition to ASP partners that demonstrate consistent, high-quality delivery of specific hosted or outsourcing services built on Microsoft technology. The certification program will help customers and partners in the ASP Service Delivery Initiative identify ASPs that meet a high level of service readiness, competency and capacity for deploying, operating and supporting Microsoft technology. The certification program will comprise a datacenter operations readiness self-assessment followed by on-site assessments.

“Qwest’s application hosting expertise is a key ingredient in the success of hundreds of e-businesses,”
said Lewis O. Wilks, president of Internet and multimedia markets for Qwest Communications.
“The Microsoft approach to certification will enable customers and partners to identify our commitment to operational and service excellence. We are committed to working with Microsoft to ensure a successful industry rollout of this important program.”

New Licensing Options Provide More Choices for Customers

Microsoft announced today it will offer Windows 2000, SQL Server 2000, Exchange 2000 Server and Office 2000 to ASPs to be delivered as hosted services through subscription licensing. This broad-based commercial licensing program, based on feedback from industry partners that participated in a pilot program over the past nine months, provides a simplified and consistent way to commercially license all Windows DNA products, Exchange 2000 and Office 2000. These offerings provide customers with additional choices for software deployment and management.

“Data Return needs licensing options that map closely with our business opportunities and help us grow our solution set for our ASP partners,”
said David A. George, director of Business Development, Data Return Corp.
“As an application infrastructure provider, Data Return can now take advantage of Microsoft’s new commercial licensing model to help enable our ASP partners’ business models.”

More information about Microsoft’s ASP strategy, including details on licensing, certification and resources is available at .

About Fusion

Created in 1997, Fusion was originally targeted to MCSPs. This year it has been expanded to include key ISVs, ASPs, integrators and resellers, making it the largest worldwide gathering of Microsoft certified partners. Microsoft created this annual event to bring together partners from around the world to increase business opportunities and deliver innovative new ways to bring value to customers.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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, Windows and bCentral 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Companies Announcing Support for the Platform

abridean Inc.
ACCPAC International Inc.
Authentify Inc.
Best Software Inc.
BMC Software Inc.
Business Objects
C Me Run Corp.
Cable & Wireless
Citrix Systems
Cognos Inc.
Compuware Corp.
Comshare Inc.
Concur Technologies
Corillian Corp.
Critical Path Inc.
Dialogic Communications Corp.
Eprise Corp.
Fujitsu Siemens, Siemens Information and Communication Networks, and Siemens IT Service
Great Plains Software Inc.
Honeywell International Inc.
HostPro, the Internet and Web hosting subsidiary of Micron Electronics Inc.
Hewlett-Packard Co.
Interliant Inc.
Knosys Inc.
NetIQ Corp.
OneSoft Corp.
Onyx Software Corp.
Peachtree Software Inc.
Pivotal Corp.
Planet Online
Qwest Communications International Inc.
SassoText Communication
SkillSet Software
Shared Medical Systems
Solomon Software Inc.
Solutech Inc.
Surebridge Inc.
Tech Image Ltd.
Ultimate Software
United Messaging
USinternetworking Inc.
Verio Inc.
VERITAS Software Corp.
Visual Insights
Vobix Corp.
Webridge Inc.
Winstar Inc.

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