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Dell Joins the ASP Party

Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq:DELL) advanced another step into the thick of the ASP industry Tuesday (Oct 10) with the launch of a packaged server platform incorporating technology from Portal Software Inc. and Xevo Corp. that streamlines the provision and management of Microsoft Exchange 2000 as an ASP offering.

The partnership will enable service providers to offer Exchange 2000 in a hosted environment using Portal's Infranet customer care and billing solution software and Xevo's ASP Workbench service management platform on Dell PowerEdge servers and PowerVault storage products.

"Managed messaging and collaboration, and the corresponding need for superior customer management, service management and billing, are ground-breaking opportunities for ASPs. With the release of Exchange 2000, and our relationships with Portal and Xevo, we will be able to help our ASP partners capture and benefit from this new revenue stream," said Judi L. Webster, VP and general manager, Dell's Internet Partner Division.

The announcement, made at the Microsoft Exchange and Collaboration Solutions Conference in Dallas, adds Dell's muscle to Xevo's, which is a highly regarded infrastructure software provider for the ASP industry, and already had an alliance with Portal and Microsoft. Xevo's only hardware vendor partner until now had been Compaq.

"Xevo provides the essential glue between the customer management and billing software from Portal and the applications from Microsoft hosted on Dell systems," said Mark Hynes, Xevo VP business development. "We are pleased to be part of this team of industry leaders that offers ASPs such a reliable and scalable hosted Microsoft Exchange 2000 solution."

Xevo's ASP Workbench service management platform provides ASPs with the tools they need to enable automatic user provisioning, subscriber management and the development of multiple pricing models and service packages based on each end user's needs.

Infranet is Portal Software's (Nasdaq:PRSF) customer management and billing platform that enables ASPs to support services, manage customer accounts and collect payment from businesses of all sizes, from small organizations to large distributed enterprises, using the Exchange 2000 platform. Infranet takes advantage of the technology included in Exchange 2000 Hosting Pack, specifically its provisioning services design to ease the administration of hosted Exchange services.

ASPs will benefit from application testing and validation on Dell hardware. White papers will be developed to help customers with sizing, capacity planning and implementations based on Dell's Internet architecture to maximize performance and availability. Dell Technology Consulting (DTC) and the alliance partners will develop a set of "best practices" for the implementation of these ASP solutions on Dell hardware.

In addition, Dell and the alliance partners will participate in co-marketing programs and joint selling activities for the products and services.