Microsoft Announces New Gold Certified Partner Program For Security Solutions

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 20, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a new partner security solutions certification program, which reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to provide customers with the technologies, tools and resources to help them get secure and stay secure. The Microsoft®
Gold Certified Partner Program for Security Solutions is designed to help customers easily identify solution providers with proven expertise in upholding the highest industry standards and best practices for secure systems.

“We have been working with industry partners for years on developing and implementing security best practices that help protect our customers,” said Steve Lipner, director of security assurance at Microsoft. “The launch of this partner program dedicated to security solutions further underscores Microsoft’s commitment to work with others in the industry to ensure that every customer can work, communicate and do business securely over the Internet.”

Customers can be assured that, to join this new program, solution providers must meet the following criteria, demonstrating a commitment to the highest standards in service quality:

  • Applicants must submit at least three project references to join the program. The references will be verified with customers and must be kept current to maintain Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status.

  • Participants must have at least four MCSE- or MCSD-certified technicians on staff to enroll in the program. In addition, at least two of the technicians must have passed at least three specific Microsoft Certified Professional exams.

  • Participants must be active members of the Microsoft Certified Partner program in 2002.

The industry partners participating in the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Program for Security Solutions will be longtime leaders in the security industry that follow industry-leading best practices to protect their customers and computer users in general. In the new program, these practices have been formulated into a code of conduct so that customers can easily identify members as part of an elite group of solution providers that follow specific steps to minimize the risks that security vulnerabilities pose.

To ensure the highest standards of technical quality, all security projects that qualify a Microsoft Certified Partner for Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Security Solutions status must utilize the latest available Microsoft technology. Solutions must include at least one of the following Microsoft products: Windows®
2000 Server operating system, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, Exchange 2000 or Microsoft SQL Server (TM) 2000. Microsoft ISA Server 2000 is highly recommended in business security implementations.

Microsoft Gold Certification Program Momentum

The Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Program for Security Solutions is the ninth category of the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner program. The other categories are Business Intelligence, Collaborative Solutions, E-Commerce Solutions, Enterprise Systems, Hosting and Application Services, Learning Solutions, Software Products, and Support Services. The Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Program was unveiled in January 2001. Since then, more than 850 Microsoft Certified Partners have achieved Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status in more than 60 countries worldwide.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.

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