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Microsoft, Compaq Offer 2 Certifications in 1

If two certifications from two industry giants is good, than one joint certification from those two companies should be better, faster and cheaper. That's the thinking behind the Joint Certification Program for service providers, which Microsoft Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. announced today.

The one-stop program, which will be managed by Compaq Global Services, is designed to encourage hosting, infrastructure and application providers to embrace the .NET framework and Compaq hardware platforms.

The program, which combines Microsoft Gold Certification and Compaq SP Signature Certification programs into a single on-site assessment, is designed to provide a review and validation of a service provider's capability to provide high-quality hardware, operating system, applications, databases, networks and IT management practices.

"Microsoft and Compaq's Joint Certification Program offers service providers the opportunity to gain two prestigious certifications in a single service engagement delivered by Compaq's Business Critical Consultants," said Jerry Coffey, director of Business Critical Services at Compaq.

Woburn, Mass.-based network service provider Genuity Inc. is the first company to achieve joint certification status through the new program. divine Managed Services, the hosting sphere of Chicago-based divine inc., also has qualified for both Microsoft and Compaq certifications.

"This certification gives customers the assurance that our Black Rocket Hosting platform will provide them with high-quality managed hosting infrastructure as they deploy Microsoft .NET Web services. It also confirms that we have achieved tight integration for Microsoft operating system and application software and Compaq hardware platforms," said Karl Weintz, vice president of product management at Genuity.

The Joint Certification Program also offers xSPs a way to differentiate their services for customers and provides market recognition to organizations that use Compaq and Microsoft .NET Framework, according to the two companies.

Compaq Global Services will deliver Microsoft Gold Certification assessments in the following categories:

  • Application infrastructure providers
  • Managed Web hosting
  • Managed application services
  • .NET hosted services
  • Application service providers
  • Hosted Exchange
  • E-commerce
  • Office online

The Compaq SP Signature Certification applies to any provider running on a full range of Compaq platforms, including storage, and joint certification can be applied to any of the Microsoft categories listed above.

According to Talla Kebe, Microsoft certification manager, a service provider that is not currently signed up for either certification program will save about $30,000 over obtaining the two certifications separately.

If the service provider is not already certified by either company, the following fees apply:

  • A $10,000 sign-up fee.
  • Compaq will conduct the joint certification for $70,000, plus reasonable expenses

    If the service provider is already Microsoft Gold certified, Compaq will conduct the on-site Compaq Signature assessment for $20,000, plus reasonable expenses.

    If the service provider is already Compaq SP Signature certified, they can upgrade to Microsoft Gold for a sign-up fee of $10,000. Compaq will conduct the on-site assessment for $20,000, plus reasonable expenses.


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