Microsoft Incubation Centers Give Boost to Software as a Service Industry

REDMOND, Wash. — April 16, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the Microsoft® SaaS Incubation Center Program, a global initiative to help independent software vendors (ISVs) adopt the Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model. The program will provide ISVs with business and technical guidance, consulting services, and access to an established hosting channel for the reliable and security-enhanced delivery of their applications to customers. For participating hosting providers, working closely with the ISV community will foster the opportunity to develop key partnerships, help expand their customer base and drive revenue.

“The growth projections for software delivered as a service present ISVs with significant opportunities, as well as new challenges,” said John Zanni, director of Worldwide Hosting at Microsoft. “Through the SaaS Incubation Center Program, hosting providers are able to combine their traditional expertise in managing infrastructure and delivering services with business and design guidance to help ISVs embrace this new model. Building on the Microsoft Solution for Windows®-based Hosting for Applications and the SaaS On-Ramp Program, the SaaS Incubation Center Program helps bring together the world-class infrastructure, consulting services and partnerships ISVs need to be successful.”

The Microsoft SaaS Incubation Center Program has established a number of facilities operated by Microsoft partners, where ISVs are guided through a structured series of business and architectural consulting sessions to help ensure their business model and applications are ready for the challenges of service-based delivery. SaaS Incubation Center Program partners utilize the Microsoft Solution for Windows-based Hosting for Applications, which provides the platform architecture, guidance and sample scripts for service providers to host SaaS-based applications. Using the platform, hosters are able to monitor system performance and health, measure system usage, automate server builds, and manage security for ISVs. This ultimately allows ISVs to provide a strong service-level agreement (SLA) to end users — a critical component of online service-based delivery.

“As one of the pioneering SaaS application delivery companies, OpSource is well aware of the commercial, financial and technical challenges ISVs can encounter when transitioning to the SaaS delivery model,” said Richard Dym, senior vice president of marketing and business development at OpSource Inc. “Microsoft’s early commitment to helping build the SaaS industry by bringing together hosting providers and ISVs has played an important role in the growth of OpSource’s SaaS and Web application delivery business. We believe that by combining formalized technical assistance and financial incentives, the Microsoft SaaS Incubation Center Program will benefit ISVs, hosters and SaaS delivery companies like OpSource by accelerating the worldwide adoption of the SaaS delivery model.”

Phase II of the Microsoft SaaS On-Ramp Program

In addition to the Microsoft SaaS Incubation Center Program, Microsoft is announcing Phase II of the Microsoft SaaS On-Ramp Program. Based on Microsoft’s Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA), the program offers discounted licensing for eligible ISV including a Windows Server® license for up to eight central processing units (CPUs) and a Microsoft SQL Server™ license for up to two CPUs. In Phase II of the program, ISVs can now acquire discounted SKUs through enrolled hosting providers, rather than signing a licensing agreement directly with Microsoft. This empowers hosting providers to offer a complete service to ISVs and gives ISVs the ability to focus on their core competency — building their applications.

The SaaS On-Ramp Program was launched in November 2006 and will run through April 2008 as part of Microsoft’s global effort to help ISVs take full advantage of the opportunity presented by SaaS.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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