Microsoft Offers Solution for Service Providers to Deliver Enhanced Communication Services to Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Consumers

GENEVA, Oct. 14, 2003 — Today at ITU Telecom World 2003, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of the Solution for Hosted Exchange, a multiservice platform that allows service providers to build, deploy, deliver and manage rich e-mail communication services to small and medium-sized businesses as well as consumers. The Solution for Hosted Exchange offers service providers a single platform through which they can reduce their operating costs while increasing revenues by delivering new services that significantly increase end-user productivity such as collaboration, shared calendaring, meeting coordination and “smart” mobile device synchronization. With the multiservice platform, service providers can roll out services at a low cost to end-customer segments from consumers and small businesses to enterprise customers.

Utilizing Microsoft® technologies including Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft SQL Server (TM) 2000 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Operations Manager and Windows Server (TM) 2003 Enterprise Edition, the Solution for Hosted Exchange offers enhanced components that allow for self-provisioning, delegated administration and server consolidation. Because Exchange Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 are the first major Microsoft products to deliver on Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing initiative, Hosted Exchange also incorporates improved security. These new and compelling technologies combine to dramatically decrease operational costs for service providers. Powered by the Microsoft Provisioning System (MPS) and Active Directory®
directory service, Hosted Exchange delivers a cost-efficient way to create, manage and update individual or multiple users on multiple plans, and enables service providers to develop Web pages that allow customers to change service plans via a Web page rather than customer service.

Working closely with Microsoft, WebCentral, one of the largest Web hosting companies in the Asia Pacific region, has deployed the Solution for Hosted Exchange to serve the needs of small to medium-sized businesses in that region for hosted messaging, scheduling and collaboration.

“As a hosting company to more than 60,000 sites and domains for corporations, government organizations, and small and medium businesses, WebCentral is delighted with the prescriptive approach to deploy the Solution for Hosted Exchange as it has reduced testing and deployment time by 20 percent,” said Lloyd Ernst, CEO of WebCentral. “Working with Microsoft for the past six months on the Solution for Hosted Exchange, we’re extremely pleased with the installation guidelines Microsoft has provided and have experienced great benefits including a solid platform for advanced value-added messaging services, decreased cost of management and a seamless, rapid transition for existing customers.”

The Solution for Hosted Exchange allows service providers to offer a broad range of rich-e-mail services such as smart mobile device synchronization, shared calendaring and meeting coordination, additional storage and data backup. This range of available services is essential for service providers’ success; the value of basic e-mail services is enhanced while the total cost of ownership is lowered. The Solution for Hosted Exchange helps service providers generate higher average revenue per user (ARPU) and increase the value of their current products by including these compelling new services with broadband Internet access services or cable and wireless data packages such as Wi-Fi.

“As an important communications provider to the European market, we are excited to work with Microsoft to offer our customers the Solution for Hosted Exchange as this solution will allow us to provide them with a compelling combination of rich e-mail services in a single package,” said Martin Lippert, CEO of TDC Business.

Service providers in many industries will benefit from the Solution for Hosted Exchange because of the new and compelling services it offers for small and medium-sized businesses and consumers. With this solution, broadband service providers can add value to their current broadband offerings and retain them as strategic services; wireless service providers can increase the mix of premium services in and value to a device; and hosters can offer rich e-mail services directly through the customer or private label to wireline or wireless service providers. In addition, with the Exchange Server 2003 platform, end users will have increased mobile functionality through integration and synchronization with Microsoft Windows® Powered mobile devices and expanded device support for cHTML (iMode) and xHTML (WAP 2.0) microbrowsers as well as a new and improved Outlook®
Web Access interface.

“We are excited to empower our service provider partners like TDC and WebCentral to host and deliver new rich e-mail services such as mobile access for business professionals via Outlook Web Access, device synchronization, and collaboration tools for small and medium-sized businesses and consumers,” said Pascal Martin, general manager for the Communications and Mobile Solutions Group at Microsoft. “The Solution for Hosted Exchange is specially designed to efficiently and effectively enable the successful delivery of these services while helping services providers increase ARPU and decrease operation costs.”

To ensure that service providers can deliver the best services to their customers at the lowest possible cost, Microsoft has developed the Hosted Exchange 2003 Jumpstart Program, which includes architectural design and proof-of-concept engagements. In addition, Microsoft is continuing its work with HP, a premier technology partner, to help deploy the Solution for Hosted Exchange. Additional enhancements for Hosted Exchange will be available from Trend Micro Inc. for anti-virus and anti-spam assistance, Fenestrae for a fax and short message service gateway, and Ensim Corp. for operation support system (OSS) help to managed resellers.

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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