RealTime IT News

Microsoft Unveils Hosted Exchange Platform

Tuesday at ITU Telecom World 2003 in Geneva, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) debuted its Solution for Hosted Exchange, a multi-service platform that allows providers to build, deploy, deliver and manage Microsoft's tools for messaging, scheduling and collaboration.

The platform offers new services aimed at increasing end-user productivity such as collaboration, shared calendaring, meeting coordination and "smart" mobile device synchronization. Service providers can roll out services at a low cost to end-customer segments from consumers and small businesses to enterprise customers.

The Solution for Hosted Exchange offers enhanced components that allow for self-provisioning, delegated administration and server consolidation. These technologies combine to decrease operational costs for service providers. Powered by the Microsoft Provisioning System and Active Directory, Hosted Exchange providers can create, manage and update individual or multiple users on multiple plans, and develop customer self-service Web pages to handle changes in service plans.

The Solution has been deployed in the Asia Pacific region by Web host WebCentral. "We 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," said Lloyd Ernst, CEO of WebCentral.

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 new services with broadband Internet access services or cable and wireless data packages such as Wi-Fi.

"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," said Pascal Martin, general manager for the Communications and Mobile Solutions Group at Microsoft.

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 technology partner HP 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.