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Vertical Communications Attains Gold Certified Partner Status In Microsoft Partner Program

Vertical TeleVantage Award-winning IP-PBX Further Distinguishes Itself by Earning Microsoft Competency in ISV/Software and Networking Infrastructure Solutions

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (August 18, 2005) -- Vertical Communications (ASFT.OB), a leading provider of next-generation, IP-based phone systems and applications that help businesses better serve their customers, today announced it has attained Gold Certified status in the Microsoft Partner Program with competencies in ISV/Software and Networking Infrastructure Solutions, recognizing Vertical’s expertise and total impact in the technology marketplace. As a Gold Certified partner, Vertical Communications has demonstrated expertise with Microsoft technologies and proven ability to meet customers’ needs. Microsoft Gold Certified Partners receive a rich set of benefits, including access, training and support, giving them a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Vertical TeleVantage is the company’s award-winning IP-PBX phone system, which Vertical designed to work seamlessly with Microsoft solutions that are in use in small and medium-sized businesses. Feature-rich and standards-based, TeleVantage helps organizations enhance customer service, increase operational productivity and improve business results.

“Becoming a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner reflects our recognized expertise and proven success in incorporating Microsoft technology into our IP-PBX solutions, and in delivering next-generation phone systems and voice applications to Microsoft customers,” said Chris Brookins, senior vice president of Development at Vertical Communications. “The benefits provided through our Microsoft Gold Certified status will allow us to continue to enhance the solutions we deliver to Microsoft customers.”

“Customers are looking for partner companies that can bridge the gap between their business demands and technology capabilities. They need to trust in someone that can act as an expert advisor for their long-term strategic technology plans. Microsoft Gold Certified Partners, which have certified expertise and direct training and support from Microsoft, can build a positive customer experience with our technologies,” said Allison Watson, vice president of the Worldwide Partner Sales and Marketing Group at Microsoft Corp. “Today, Microsoft recognizes Vertical as a new Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for demonstrating its expertise in providing customer satisfaction with Microsoft products and technology.”

As one of the requirements for attaining Gold Certification Status, Vertical had to declare a Microsoft Competency. Microsoft Competencies are designed to help differentiate a partner’s capabilities with specific Microsoft technologies to customers looking for a particular type of solution. Each competency has a unique set of requirements and benefits, formulated to accurately represent the specific skills and services that partners bring to the technology industry.

Vertical Communications declared and achieved competency in both ISV/Software and Networking Infrastructure Solutions. Vertical also was certified as compliant with the “Designed for Microsoft CRM,” “Windows Server” and “SQL Server” platform tests. Testing of Vertical products was conducted by Microsoft’s independent testing organization, VeriTest®, a division of Lionbridge® Technologies, Inc.

The Microsoft ISV/Software Solutions Competency recognizes the skill and focus partners bring to a particular solution set. Microsoft Gold Certified Partners that have obtained this competency have a successful record of developing and marketing software based on Microsoft technologies.

“Solutions Competencies are an important way for Microsoft to better enable ISVs to meet customer needs,” said Sanjay Parthasarathy, corporate vice president of the Platform Strategy & Partner Group at Microsoft. “They allow ISVs to keep and win customers with their deep knowledge of solutions-based Microsoft platform technologies. Microsoft has a long history of working closely with ISV partners to help deliver compelling solutions and applications to our mutual customers, and the Solutions Competencies are an important step in continuing to enhance vital relationships with ISVs worldwide.”

Microsoft Gold Certified Partners enrolled in the Networking Infrastructure Solutions Competency have proved their competency in implementing technology solutions based on either the Microsoft Windows Server Ô 2003 or Windows Ò 2000 Server operating system, with a particular focus on Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 and Windows Small Business Server 2003. These implementations may include crafting solutions that connect Windows-based servers, PC locations and the Internet; installing a server farm; or building a small-business Windows Server stand-alone solution that includes fine and print capabilities.

The Microsoft Partner Program was launched in December 2003 and represents Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to the success of partners worldwide. The program offers a single, integrated partnering framework that recognizes partner expertise, rewards the total impact that partners have in the technology marketplace, and delivers more value to help partners’ businesses be successful.

About Vertical
Vertical Communications, Inc. is a leading provider of next-generation IP-based voice and data communications systems for business. Vertical combines voice and data technologies with business process understanding to deliver integrated IP-PBX and application solutions that enhance customer service and business productivity. Vertical's customers are leading companies of all sizes - from small to large and distributed - and include CVS/pharmacy, Household International and Apria Healthcare. Vertical is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. and delivers its solutions through a worldwide network of systems integrators, resellers and distributors. For more information, please visit the company's website at


"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Statements regarding the future growth and potential opportunity of the IP-PBX telephony market and future market demand for our products and services in Europe, our prospectus for future expansion of our international presence, our ability to provide our customers, particularly our European customers, with products, services and customer support they consider beneficial and cost-effective, our revenue growth as a result of responding to the market opportunity presented, our ability to expand our position as an industry leader, as well as other statements that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements.” These forward-looking statements rely on a number of assumptions concerning future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. These include, but are not limited to, uncertainties surrounding whether the IP-PBX telephony market will grow as projected and present opportunities in the future, particularly in Europe; whether market opportunity will present itself in the United States and Europe and whether we will be able to capitalize upon such opportunity; whether we will be able to successfully execute our business strategies; whether our customers will perceive our products, services and customer support as valuable and beneficial; volatility in our stock price as a result of the matters discussed above; the volatility of gross margins, to reduce operating expenses, and to manage cash flows (and the timing and degree of any such improvements in gross margins, reductions in operating expenses and management of cash flows); failure to integrate in an efficient and timely manner acquired companies; and failure to retain and attract key employees.

Trademark Information
Vertical Communications and the Vertical Communications logo and combinations thereof are trademarks of Vertical Communications, Inc. Artisoft, TeleVantage, InstantOffice and Vertical Networks are registered trademarks of Artisoft, Inc. All other brand and product names are used for identification only and are the property of their respective holders.

Press Contact:
Stephanie Fallon
Emerge Public Relations