Microsoft Announces First U.S. Gold Certified Partners For Hosting and Application Services

REDMOND, Wash., March 12, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Inc., Qwest Communications International Inc. and USinternetworking Inc. (USi) are its first U.S. ASP partners to have met the exacting, predefined eligibility, service-quality and operational-readiness criteria of the prestigious Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner Program for Hosting and Application Services. Membership in the program is awarded to ASP partners that consistently deliver high-quality specific hosted or outsourced services built on Microsoft technology, as validated by a rigorous on-site assessment. These companies have surpassed the high benchmarks set by Microsoft and have proven their ability to architect, develop, deploy and manage Web and infrastructure solutions.

“With stringent criteria weighted on service readiness, competency and the capacity for deploying Microsoft technology through the hosted or outsourcing model, Microsoft is endorsing these key ASP partners’ services via our ASP certification process,”
said Rosa Garcia, general manager of the Worldwide Partner Programs Group at Microsoft.
“These Gold Certified Partners are an excellent choice for companies seeking high-quality hosted solutions, as well as for those companies looking to partner with others in the ASP value chain.”

The Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Program for Hosting and Application Services represents an important next step in the global relationship between Microsoft and the ASP community. Efforts by these leading U.S.-based ASP partners to achieve certification further represents the quality of services and commitment they provide to the end customer.

Further, certification will allow ASP partners to differentiate themselves within a particular area of specialization, thus enabling customers to more easily identify an ASP partner that has demonstrated its expertise in a core area. The areas of specialization qualifying for ASP certification include Hosted Exchange, Office Online, Managed Desktop, Windows Media™
, E-Commerce and Application Hosting based on Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers. Each of the three ASP partners achieved certification for delivery of a specific service or services. USi achieved certification for three separate areas: Hosted Exchange, E-Commerce and Application Hosting; achieved certification for Application Hosting; and Qwest received certification for Hosted Exchange.

“To be recognized by Microsoft as an ASP leader is an extraordinary assurance for partners and customers that we meet the highest levels of service readiness, competency, capacity and scalability for deploying Microsoft, Siebel and Great Plains applications,”
said Dan Taylor, CEO of
“Certification of our Managed Operations Services better positions our partners, establishing a trusted place where midmarket businesses can access a new generation of interconnected applications and services.”

“We are pleased that we have received certification for Managed Exchange Services, which runs on our Apptimum platform,”
said Kevin Kosche, vice president of Microsoft Development at Qwest. Apptimum is a Qwest service that enables traditional software developers to quickly and affordably turn an existing application into a service available over the Internet.
“This certification underscores the reliability, scalability and commitment to operational excellence that we have followed in building the platform and sets a benchmark for all future applications that will be deployed on Apptimum.”

“This certification is further validation of our company’s demonstrated ability to deliver the industry’s best ASP services built on the Microsoft platform,”
said Andy Stern, CEO of USi.
“It is a testament to the efforts of the world-class team of employees that USi has assembled, and I am delighted that USi has earned this benchmark of excellence from Microsoft.”

In addition to market recognition, the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Program provides business development, sales support training, priority lead referrals and other joint marketing and sales opportunities. The certification process also aims to help ASPs develop their customer and employee commitment through assessment and feedback. Additional details regarding eligibility, the assessment process and benefits are available at .

About USi

USinternetworking Inc. (Nasdaq
), a leading application service provider, delivers e-commerce and enterprise software as a service. The company’s iMAP portfolio of service offerings delivers the functionality of leading software from Ariba, BroadVision, Lawson, Microsoft, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Siebel as a continuously supported, flat-rate monthly service via an advanced, secure global data center network. In addition, USi’s AppHost managed application hosting services provide the most advanced solutions for enterprises, software companies, marketplaces and system integrators that are seeking a better way to deliver solutions over the Internet to their customers and end users.

About is an application service provider for midsize businesses, with a complete Managed Operations service for Siebel Systems, Great Plains, Microsoft and other integrated e-business applications. Founded in 1987, the company operates a secure and reliable 24×7 data center from its Bedford, N.H., headquarters. A founding member of the ASP Industry Consortium, is a Great Plains Strategic ASP Partner, a Siebel Systems Strategic Platform Partner, a Microsoft Certified Solution Provider Partner and a Cisco Powered Network member. is ranked No. 206 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing U.S. companies, No. 27 among the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 fastest-growing technology companies in New England, and has been named one of the top 10 companies to work for in New Hampshire. More information about is available at .

About Qwest

Qwest Communications (NYSE
) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. The Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking equipment for speed and efficiency, spans more than 104,000 miles globally. More information can be found at the Qwest Web site at .

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 and Windows Media 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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