ATLANTA, June 5, 2001 — As telecommunications companies and other network service providers converge on SUPERCOMM 2001, Microsoft Corp. technologies will be at the forefront of solutions and opportunities specifically designed to enable the network service provider community to offer a range of next-generation network services.
“With enterprises tightening their IT budgets in the coming year, it will be increasingly challenging to balance the tradeoff between minimizing total cost of ownership and retaining a robust quality of experience,”
said Brian Richardson, a leading IT infrastructure analyst with META Group Inc.
“To enable a high-level quality of experience for customers, enterprises must continue to support infrastructure investments.”
At SUPERCOMM, in Booth 1442, Microsoft will demonstrate solutions and technologies focused on key areas of opportunity for service providers, including infrastructure, hosting, operations support systems (OSS), home networking and management. Service providers can see firsthand specifically how Microsoft® technologies can impact their efforts to deliver next-generation network services.
“Now more than ever, service providers are realizing how essential software really is to achieving their goals of delivering new services more quickly and cost effectively,”
said Pieter Knook, vice president of the Network Service Providers Group at Microsoft.
“We work every day with service providers large and small that are reaping the benefits of what Microsoft has been doing in this industry. The strength of Microsoft .NET technology, combined with the strategic relationships and the long-term vision that Microsoft has forged, gives service providers a tremendous resource in overcoming the challenges facing this industry.”
Also at the show, Microsoft and Nortel Networks announced a new solution designed to help service providers maximize availability of mission-critical applications. The Continuously Available Managed Services solution will combine Microsoft Windows® 2000 servers, Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers and Microsoft solution-based Web Services with Nortel Networks optical, content networking and intelligent IP (Internet Protocol) solutions. The Continuously Available Managed Services solution will be shown in the Microsoft and Nortel (8048) booths.
“This is the result of strong teamwork between Nortel Networks and Microsoft, the software provider for this solution, with a common goal of creating value for our customers,”
said Anil Khatod, chief marketing and strategy officer, Nortel Networks.
“With the Continuously Available Managed Services solution, service providers will have the ability to deliver hosted services to enterprise customers as if they were right down the hall – fast, simple, reliable and using native Ethernet protocol.”
Microsoft Technology for Service Providers
Microsoft’s core platform technology is centered on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server family of operating systems and includes several other technologies that can create new opportunities for service providers to deliver additional services to their customers. Microsoft technologies being demonstrated in the Microsoft booth include the following:
Windows 2000 Advanced Server is designed for business-critical and e-commerce applications and delivers all the versatility of Windows 2000 Server with increased scalability and clustering for additional reliability.
Windows 2000 Datacenter Server delivers the highest levels of scalability and availability for service providers and others who need mission-critical reliability for the most demanding business solutions.
Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server is an easy-to-manage messaging and collaboration platform that provides e-mail, calendaring, instant messaging, conferencing and services for custom collaborative applications that bring people and information together any time, anywhere. Exchange 2000 delivers enhanced reliability, scalability, manageability and performance with a lower total cost of ownership.
Server 2000, based on XML, SOAP and other Internet transports and protocols, unites in a single product enterprise application integration, business-to-business integration and business process management technology to allow companies to easily orchestrate Web services and rapidly build dynamic business processes that span applications, platforms and businesses.
Microsoft SQL Server
2000 provides extensive database programming capabilities built on Web standards. Rich support for XML and Internet standards provides the ability to store and retrieve XML data easily with built-in stored procedures.
Application Center 2000 is a deployment and management tool for high-availability Web applications. Application Center 2000 simplifies the tasks involved in software scaling, including creating clusters of Web servers, adding new servers, and deploying and managing distributed applications. Application Center 2000 makes managing groups of servers as simple as managing a single computer.
Demonstrated at the Microsoft booth via live network environments, these technologies are featured elements of solutions focused on areas such as home networking, hosted services (e.g., commerce hosting, line-of-business hosting and outsourced messaging services), and OSS solutions such as provisioning, billing and management. At its booth, in addition to highlighting a hosted collaboration and messaging solution with Compaq Computer Corp., Microsoft will feature demonstrations of real-time communications solutions enabled through Windows XP, the new Windows for home and work. It will also demonstrate solutions focused specifically on rich optical networking and broadband services. Microsoft has worked with a variety of companies to provide advanced architecture solutions that enable service providers to deliver scalable voice, video and high-speed data services.
For instance, Microsoft has teamed with companies such as Ai Metrix Inc. and Portal Software Inc. to create an end-to-end solution for delivering enhanced IP telephony and video-based services over DSL. The solution combines applications and services with state-of-the-art equipment to create a single comprehensive offering that demonstrates automated self-service provisioning and activation of DSL service. Once broadband service is activated and delivered to a home or small-business user, the combined solution shows how quickly that user can add new enhanced services such as IP telephony over the broadband connection.
Microsoft has also worked with Alcatel and Intertainer Inc. to demonstrate to DSL service providers how they can deliver value-added broadband applications and generate additional revenue from their DSL networks by providing video-on-demand services over ordinary telephone lines. Using the latest video compression and digital rights management (DRM) technology from Microsoft and the rich content library available from Intertainer, the demonstration will show how high-quality video can be delivered to DSL subscribers using as little as 700 Kbps of downstream bandwidth, a fraction of the bandwidth available on a common DSL connection.
Optical Solutions Inc. will demonstrate the streaming video capabilities of Windows XP, using Optical Solutions’ fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network to deliver Intertainer movie and music content to Windows XP-powered home computers.
Other companies joining Microsoft in its in-booth demonstrations include Accenture, Avaya Communications, Cisco, CosmoCom Inc., EMC Corp., Stratus Technologies and Unisys.
Partner Programs Provide Additional Resources to Service Providers
In addition to the technology and solutions developed for the service provider industry, Microsoft’s efforts have included the development of programs specifically designed to help service providers most effectively leverage Microsoft’s technologies and relationships. In addition to its service provider certification program, Microsoft’s Windows Telecommunications Alliance (WindowsTA) incorporates a series of initiatives that offer service providers and enterprise customers broader application choice, reduced cost and increased flexibility. Participating network equipment providers (NEPs), ISVs and systems integrators (SIs) are engaged at various levels in the development and delivery of a range of networking and telephony solutions that utilize the Microsoft platform, including customer relationship management, messaging and telephony systems. WindowsTA initiatives include these:
The OSS Working Group is focused on creating common schema or message formats that will enable application-to-application interoperability across major OSS functional areas. A key focus of Microsoft’s leadership in the industry has been its work on a range of OSS solutions that ultimately allow service providers to provision and bill for the hosted services they offer to customers.
The High Availability Initiative highlights the efforts of software and hardware companies that are building telecommunications solutions which take advantage of the Windows 2000 operating system, utilizing the scalability, reliability and flexibility inherent in Windows 2000 to meet service providers’ stringent availability requirements.
The Real-Time Communications Forum is the most recent extension to the WindowsTA program and is designed to help ISVs and independent hardware vendors (IHVs) adopt emerging RTC technologies. Available initially through Windows XP and then to be extended to additional Microsoft platforms, RTC will enable delivery of a comprehensive set of solutions for the interchange of voice, text and mixed-media messaging on PCs, Windows-based handheld devices and phones.
In addition to the WTA initiatives, Microsoft’s ASP Certification Program ensures the consistent, high-quality delivery of specific hosted or outsourcing services built on Microsoft technology. The program helps end users as well as other critical players (e.g., ISVs, SIs, xSPs or resellers) identify providers that meet a high level of service readiness, competency and capacity for deploying Microsoft technology. More information about Microsoft’s efforts with the network service provider community can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/isn/ .
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