Microsoft Names First Gold Certified Partners In New Application Infrastructure Provider Certification Program

REDMOND, Wash., April 8, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Digex, divine inc., Genuity Inc., Intel Online Services Inc. and Loudcloud Inc. are the first companies to meet the stringent criteria of the new Gold Certification Program for Application Infrastructure Providers (AIPs). AIP Gold Certification distinguishes these partners’ quality of services and commitment to customers, ensuring that companies seeking infrastructure solutions through them will receive premier levels of quality.

“Microsoft is proud to introduce Digex, divine, Genuity, Intel Online Services and Loudcloud as our first Gold Certified AIP partners,” said Enrique Fernandez-Laguilhoat, director of certified partner programs for Microsoft. “We share their commitment to providing our mutual end customers with a highly available, scalable, secured and controlled environment. The rigorous competency requirements for this certification are solid evidence of the partners’ ability to deliver consistent, high-quality hosted and outsourcing services based on Microsoft®

Delivering Confidence for Outsourcing End Users

Microsoft’s new AIP Gold Certification is designed specifically for AIPs that deliver a full set of infrastructure services including managed Web hosting, managed Web applications and Microsoft .NET services for service providers and end users. IT decision-makers evaluating service providers to host or outsource their services can look to Microsoft’s AIP Gold Certification, which distinguishes those that have passed intensive on-site assessments delivered by highly trained and certified, independent assessors. Selecting AIPs that have passed this rigorous certification process is assurance that they will provide the industry’s highest levels of customer service and satisfaction with top-of-the-line operations, technologies, services and solutions.

Microsoft Gold Certified Partners: Maximized Operations and Marketing Opportunities

Setting benchmarks against industry best practices for hosted solutions and focusing on IT service quality and risk evaluations, Microsoft Gold Certified partners have identified those areas in which they could maximize their operation performances, provide better service to customers, and position themselves to best compete in the marketplace. In today’s competitive industry, passing stringent certification standards differentiates these leading service providers and provides elite brand recognition to promote their top-of-the-line operations, technologies and solutions to customers.

Microsoft Gold Certified partners also receive support with business development, sales support training and priority lead referrals, as well as other joint market and sales opportunities that contribute to their success. Microsoft and Gold Certified partners can develop joint programs to enhance their brand recognition and market channel, resulting in a broader revenue base and enhanced network utilization. In addition, with first access to new Microsoft technologies, priority placement in the Microsoft Hosted Application Partner and Microsoft Certified Partner Referral directories, and exclusive ability to post Web content on the Gold Certified Partner Web site, Microsoft’s Gold Certified AIPs are well positioned to compete in the marketplace.

Continuing a Commitment to Quality

Microsoft’s new Gold Certification Program for AIPs builds on the momentum and reputation established by the prestigious Gold Certified Partner Program for Hosting and Application Services. Because the rapidly evolving market created a new brand of service provider, Microsoft expanded its Gold Certified Partner Program for Hosting and Application Services to evaluate and recognize AIPs. The Gold Certification Program for AIPs evaluates service providers, based on their qualifications, in up to three categories: Managed Web Hosting, Managed Application Services and .NET Hosted Services.

  • Managed Web Hosting applies to service providers that specialize in providing managed server solutions used for creating e-businesses on the Internet. The focus of the service offering is on providing business-class hosting solutions with an emphasis on maintaining high levels of server availability, reliability, scalability, security and performance.

  • Managed Application Services applies to providers of application-utility-like services, including management of the application infrastructure, support services to the ISV and ASPs, and monitoring of the application. Managed application services provide the enabling application infrastructure to allow software to be delivered as a service via the ASP model.

  • .NET Hosted Services applies to service providers that specialize in providing .NET solutions used for creating e-businesses on the Internet. The focus of the service offering is on providing business-class hosting solutions with an emphasis on maintaining high levels of server availability, reliability, scalability, security and performance.

Having closely evaluated their operations, demonstrated results and ability to scale, Microsoft has honored five leading service providers. Digex has achieved certification for Managed Application Services; and divine, Intel Online Services, Genuity and Loudcloud have each achieved certification for Managed Web Hosting.

Additional details regarding eligibility, the assessment process and benefits are available at

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