BARCELONA, Spain — Nov. 14, 2006 — Today at Microsoft® Tech•Ed: IT Forum 2006, Microsoft Corp. announced the formation of the Interop Vendor Alliance, a global, cross-industry group of software and hardware vendors that will work together to identify opportunities for enhancing interoperability with Microsoft systems on behalf of their customers. Customers are telling Microsoft that interoperability is as important to them as security and reliability. Because of this, Microsoft is seeking to proactively work with partners and competitors alike to help increase customers’ return on investment in their IT solutions while reducing the cost and risk associated with integrating diverse systems. Founding members of the alliance include Advanced Micro Devices Inc., (AMD), BEA Systems Inc., Business Objects, CA, The Carbon Project, Centeris Corp., Citrix Systems Inc., GXS Inc., IP Commerce Inc., JNBridge LLC, Kernel Networks, Levi, Ray & Shoup Inc., Microsoft, NEC Corp. of America, Network Appliance Inc., Novell Inc., Q4bis, Quest Software Inc., Siemens Enterprise Communications, SOFTWARE AG, SugarCRM Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Symphony Services Corp., Xcalia, and XenSource Inc. Microsoft welcomes other organizations and vendors across the industry to explore membership in the alliance.
“Every day, enterprises across the globe face the challenges of streamlining their business processes, getting closer to customers and partners, and making mergers and acquisitions successful. These challenges typically involve making a wide variety of software from many different vendors work together,” said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. “By bringing together organizations and vendors representing a broad set of interoperability capabilities, the Interop Vendor Alliance will help identify opportunities for the creation and delivery of real-world solutions that will improve the flow of information across the enterprise.”
The goal of the new alliance is to foster interoperability across IT systems through communication and identification of opportunities for enhanced collaboration. More specifically, the alliance will focus on these goals:
Encourage vendor collaboration to foster interoperability. The alliance provides a venue for members to socialize customer feedback with an eye toward increasing technical collaboration that targets common interoperability challenges. Vendors will have opportunities to share relevant technical information with other members to improve the interoperability of their products with Microsoft systems. Collaborative activities will also include technical meetings and the sharing of customer scenarios.
Enable scenario-based testing for interoperability. The alliance members will have opportunities to work with customers to identify their top interoperability challenges. Microsoft expects these scenarios to include systems management, virtualization, identity management, data integration, storage management, portal integration and interoperability of developer tools. Microsoft plans to host testing sessions on a per-scenario basis to validate real-life conditions for customers.
Communicate vendor interoperability solutions to customers. Alliance members will have the ability to post best-practice guides created as a result of scenario-based testing to an Alliance Web site. Vendors will also have opportunities to post descriptions, white papers and case studies about their solutions that provide interoperability with Microsoft on the Interop Vendor Alliance Web site.
In addition to fostering deeper collaboration among the vendors, the alliance will bring together technology leaders to consider innovative ways to address customer interoperability challenges.
“In response to customer requests, we have worked with Microsoft in recent years to make our products more interoperable,” said Rich Green, executive vice president of software at Sun Microsystems. “Expanding this work as part of the new Interop Vendor Alliance will help us respond to our mutual customers’ needs and make it as simple as possible for their employees, customers and partners to access and act on data, regardless of the underlying IT system.”
“Over the past 10 years there has been exponential growth in connectivity throughout all information technology solutions, making interoperability and reuse of existing business logic increasingly important,” said Dr. Peter Kuerpick, member of the board at SOFTWARE AG. “The Interop Vendor Alliance provides our customers with transparency across the different platforms by sharing information aggregated in our CentraSite offering about various software assets to the Microsoft platform.”
“Customers count on Novell products and solutions to fit easily into their heterogeneous IT environments,” said Susan Heystee, vice president of Global Strategic Alliances at Novell. “Participation as a founding member in the Interop Vendor Alliance underscores the recent commitments between Novell and Microsoft and works to further extend and enhance our customers’ investments.”
For Microsoft, the Interop Vendor Alliance is yet another facet of its emphasis on delivering interoperability by design. Working with the broader community of customers and vendors is one of many ways to achieve this goal. Microsoft has increased its efforts to deliver interoperability by design with commitments to open specifications that include Web services, open document formats, virtualization, anti-spam technologies and technical collaborations with open source providers such as Novell, Zend Technologies Ltd. and XenSource, as well as significant interoperability testing for applications and hardware for Windows Vista™ and 2007 Microsoft Office system releases.
More information about Microsoft’s interoperability efforts can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/interop. More information about the Interop Vendor Alliance can be found at http://www.interopvendoralliance.org.
About the Interop Vendor Alliance
Formed in 2006, the Interop Vendor Alliance is an industrywide group working to identify and share opportunities to better connect people, data and diverse systems through better interoperability with Microsoft systems and to jointly market interoperability solutions of its members. Founding members include AMD, BEA Systems, Business Objects, CA, The Carbon Project, Centeris, Citrix Systems, GXS, IP Commerce, JNBridge, Kernel Networks, Levi, Ray & Shoup, Microsoft, NEC, Network Appliance, Novell, Q4bis, Quest Software, Siemens Enterprise Communications, SOFTWARE AG, SugarCRM, Sun Microsystems, Symphony Services, Xcalia, and XenSource. Additional information about the Interop Vendor Alliance can be found on its Web site at http://www.interopvendoralliance.org.
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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Interop Vendor Alliance Members
“AMD believes that interoperability is an essential pillar for sustaining industry growth and fostering a competitive marketplace. The Interop Vendor Alliance is an important opportunity for fostering industry collaboration and stands to benefit end users by helping to promote more coordinated, effective interoperability. AMD is pleased to be a founding member of this organization, and we look forward to contributing to the progress of its mission.”
“BEA believes the path forward for enterprise software lies in allowing developers to draw on a variety of industry-leading technologies to create business value. The Interop Vendor Alliance is designed to give us a great opportunity to build bridges between the .NET and Java paradigms and to enable customers to build the best composite business apps they can imagine.”
“Business Objects prides itself on providing industry-leading business intelligence and performance management solutions that are open and work seamlessly with the top databases and enterprise applications on the market. As a founding member of the Interop Vendor Alliance, Business Objects will work closely with other members to ensure that our software works well with Microsoft and third-party applications and technology — enabling joint customers to gain easier access to the data they need to improve business performance.”
“CA is pleased to participate in the Interop Vendor Alliance. Today’s large enterprise environments incorporate multivendor solutions on heterogeneous platforms that must be managed consistently and efficiently. We look forward to helping Microsoft customers simplify the management of both J2EE and .NET-based enterprise applications by providing them with a single, unified view of application performance.”
“Working with the alliance complements our mission to make location-based content accessible and usable to everyone, everywhere. Our flagship product, CarbonTools PRO, is a true geospatial interoperability enhancement to the .NET Framework, so joining the alliance makes sense from all angles and will help us apply CarbonTools to connect people, data and systems.”
“The alliance demonstrates Microsoft’s firm commitment to interoperability, which has become a major issue as more organizations are using or experimenting with multiple operating systems on their networks. As one of the founding members in the alliance, we have a great opportunity to share our expertise in administration and identity management, helping companies to connect Linux and non-Windows® systems with Active Directory®. We appreciate Microsoft’s invitation to join this community and look forward to helping more companies manage their heterogeneous environments.”
“Fundamentally, the Interop Vendor Alliance is about making the coordination and sharing of information within and between businesses easier. As it stands, even the most sophisticated IT professionals are challenged by the need to achieve interoperability between internal and external systems. Through its participation in the Interop Vendor Alliance, GXS intends to promote the enablement and simplification of interoperability between business systems, with the end goal of making B2B integration more straightforward and less time-consuming. GXS applauds the formation of the Interop Vendor Alliance and is pleased to have the opportunity to impact its direction.”
“Our membership in the Interop Vendor Alliance brings us that much closer to realizing our vision for an open payments system over broadband. Windows Vista and its new technologies provide the marketplace with an open, yet more secure, environment to facilitate the development and deployment of new payment-enabled services to small businesses everywhere.”
“JNBridge has focused on Java and .NET interoperability since the company started five years ago, so we’re thrilled to see that interop is gaining critical mass in the industry. We’re looking forward to working with the alliance and other members to promote interoperability and to help solve customers’ problems in getting diverse and heterogeneous systems to work together.”
“Kernel Networks is excited to join Microsoft and other industry leaders in the Interop Vendor Alliance, to demonstrate that the alliance is committed to interoperability for its customers and vendors. Successful alliance memberships are based on complementary and mutually beneficial relationships. The alliance was established to foster opportunities to connect people, data and diverse systems through better interoperability. Kernel Networks’ contribution consists of realizing connectors and implementing federation services to help ensure better interoperability across the industry.”
“At LRS, we see the alliance as a neighborhood where vendors and Microsoft can grow their families of products within an environment that enables us to all play well together. The alliance’s mission to encourage vendors to connect people, data and diverse systems through better interoperability with Microsoft systems is an important one, and one that I believe will provide tangible benefits to our customers and the broader IT industry.”
“NEC is pleased to join Microsoft in the Interop Vendor Alliance. We recognize that enterprise customers must manage complex IT environments with components and solutions supplied by many different vendors. The Interop Vendor Alliance will further promote NEC’s commitment to interoperability and the use of standards to improve manageability, reduce total cost of ownership and provide better business results.”
“Network Appliance is proud to be a founding member of the Interop Vendor Alliance. In this program, both NetApp and Microsoft can assure customers of our commitment to develop and deploy solutions that work well in diverse operating and technology environments. NetApp is committed to building products and solutions that operate well in Windows environments, and we are proud to work collaboratively with Microsoft to develop solutions that connect people, data and diverse systems throughout their organization.”
“Customers count on Novell products and solutions to fit easily into their heterogeneous IT environments. Participation as a founding member in the Interop Vendor Alliance underscores the recent commitments between Novell and Microsoft and works to further extend and enhance our customers’ investments.”
“Q4bis has always been committed to the interoperability of its leading Business Intelligence products across all platforms and builds its own end-to-end BI offering on the Microsoft tool set with Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 at its center. We are proud to join Microsoft and other leaders of the IT industry in this formation of the Interop Vendor Alliance, a development that will raise the level of interoperability throughout the diverse IT industry.”
“As Microsoft technologies become the foundation for business computing, the ability to extend those technologies to other platforms is key to success for today’s heterogeneous organizations. Microsoft has purposefully chosen to base its solutions — such as Active Directory, Microsoft Systems Management Server and Microsoft Operations Manager — on established industry standards. This approach creates an ideal platform upon which to build a unified management infrastructure for the heterogeneous enterprise. Quest provides the enabling technologies that allow organizations to get the most from their investment in Microsoft products by extending their reach across platforms.”
“Siemens’ involvement in the Interop Vendor Alliance demonstrates our ongoing commitment to open standards and interoperability. Our smart card technologies are a key component of our vision to help meet the growing need for security and strong user authentication as more applications share the enterprise network infrastructure in increasingly interoperable environments.”
“Over the past 10 years there has been exponential growth in connectivity throughout all information technology solutions, making interoperability and reuse of existing business logic increasingly important. The Interop Vendor Alliance provides our customers with transparency across the different platforms by sharing information aggregated in our CentraSite offering about various software assets to the Microsoft platform.”
“The Interop Alliance allows us to collaborate with industry leaders to further interoperability across the many platforms and technologies that our customers deploy. We look forward to working with member companies to deliver solutions that seamlessly integrate with the Microsoft platform.”
“In response to customer requests, we have worked with Microsoft in recent years to make our products more interoperable. Expanding this work as part of the new Interop Vendor Alliance will help us respond to our mutual customers’ needs and make it as simple as possible for their employees, customers and partners to access and act on data, regardless of the underlying IT system.”
“To survive and thrive in today’s global economy, enterprises must leverage the collaborative benefits that working with other companies can bring. The traditional model of building the product and then integrating it through various services protracts time to value from the perspective of the customer. This alliance can enable software vendors to identify opportunities to work through a more integrated value chain to deliver greater benefits to the customer — starting from day one. Our years of experience helping more than 70 clients build commercial-grade software products and integrate new technologies will enable us to contribute significantly to the alliance.”
“We are pleased to join the Interop Vendor Alliance, which is in line with Xcalia’s mission to provide environment and architecture interoperability. Together with other leading software vendors, we take one more step toward delivering on the IT industry’s promise of bringing together heterogeneous data sources and computing environments for businesses across the world. As proof of our commitment to this initiative, Xcalia recently announced an Xcalia Intermediation solution, enabling enterprises to make Java and .NET environments interoperable.”
“Collaboration and working with a large ecosystem is part of our open source roots, so joining the Interop Vendor Alliance was a natural extension of the work we are already doing to support the adoption of virtualization. We look forward to working collaboratively with other member companies to help ensure better interoperability across the industry.”