On July 14, 2000, at the Fusion 2000 business symposium, Microsoft Corp.
announced new tools and programs to support the growing application hosting
market. Application service providers (ASPs) can take advantage of new
technical resources, partnerships, licensing and certification programs
in offering software as a service on the Microsoft platform, including
Microsoft Windows 2000, SQL Server™ 2000, Exchange 2000 and Office
is enabling Independent software vendors (ISVs) and Microsoft Certified
Solution Providers (MCSPs) to bring hosted solutions to market. These
programs are based on feedback from industry partners and customers and
are an initial step toward Microsoft's recently announced .NET strategy.
Over 65 ASP, ISV and systems integrator partners have announced support
for Microsoft's platform and applications.
Partners and Support to Help Develop and Deploy Applications:
to Developing and Hosting Web Applications - To facilitate the development
and deployment of hosted Web applications on the Microsoft platform, Microsoft
is offering their Guide to Developing and Hosting Web Applications. The
guide was created for ISVs, customer application developers, hosting and
other companies offering hosted application services. It provides a set
of documentation, guidelines and best practices for developing and deploying
applications in a hosted ASP environment.
Partners - Independent Software Vendors (ISV) that offer Windows DNA-based
applications for hosting include Solomon, Shared Medical Systems Corp.,
Pivotal Corp. and many others. Operational support and management ISVs
include Xevo Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Evidian and Full Armor Corp.
Services - Microsoft is working with systems integrators such as Compaq
Computer Corp., EDS and marchFirst Inc. to offer professional services
to ASPs and ISVs planning to deploy ASP services. Microsoft will also
provide technical readiness resources for ASPs, including Microsoft Consulting
Services and Product Support Services, to assist in developing their online
offerings on the Windows DNA platform, Office 2000 and Exchange 2000.
Service Delivery Initiative:
announced an ASP Service Delivery Initiative, which brings together the
hosting capacity provided by ASP enablers, the solutions developed by
ASP aggregators, and the sales and customization skills of the Microsoft
is working with ASP enablers, including DIGEX Inc., Data Return Corp.,
EDS, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Cable and Wireless, to empower ISVs, ASPs
and MCSPs to enter the application hosting market. MCSPs can partner with
ASP aggregators to customize and resell ASP services, increasing the ability
of ASPs to reach customers.
announced an ASP Certification Program. The program has been developed
to provide market recognition to ASP partners that demonstrate consistent,
high-quality delivery of specific hosted or outsourcing services built
on Microsoft technology. The certification program will help customers
and partners in the ASP Service Delivery Initiative identify ASPs that
meet a high level of service readiness,
will offer Windows 2000, SQL Server 2000, Exchange 2000 Server and Office
2000 to ASPs to be delivered as hosted services through subscription licensing.
This broad-based commercial licensing program, provides a way to commercially
license all Windows DNA products, Exchange 2000 and Office 2000.
With industry leaders such as AT&T, Nortel, WorldCom, SAP, IBM and others
offering programs supporting the Application Service Provider market,
it is no surprise to see Microsoft's involvement. The Microsoft "stamp
of approval", or certification program may prove interesting. Not only
does the certification program validate the ASP market, it will improve
the adoption rate for ISV's and ASP clients. Organizations may be more
willing to participate if they know Microsoft is involved. This coupled
with similar programs, such as AT&T's "ecosystem" (which allows ISVs and
ASP's to advertise using a "co-brand" methodology) will help establish
a strong mix of brand-recognized offerings.
Independent Software Vendors (ISV), Application Service Providers (ASP)
and Microsoft Certified Service Providers (MCSP) who support Microsoft's
platforms may find the recent announcements positive. It is clear Microsoft
is embracing the outsourcing model and is providing tools/services to
help drive business.
information is needed on the licensing architecture, as well as the depth
and availability of these services. While in its infancy, the promise
of Microsoft's .NET initiative is positive for ASP's who support Microsoft