TraininNet And ITworld.com Team With Productivity Point International To Provide One-Stop Online Access To Windows 2000 Certification

BILLERICA, MA. – MAY 16, 2000 – TrainingNet and ITworld.com today announced the single largest online marketplace of Microsoft Windows 2000 certification services by partnering with Productivity Point International, the industry's leading information technology (IT) training provider. The alliance will enable hundreds of thousands of systems engineers and IT professionals, whose Windows NT 4.0 certifications will expire by December 2000, to instantly buy Microsoft

certification courses from a single source. These services will be available through a co-branded gateway on International Data Group's (IDG) ITworld.com

Network.

Microsoft recently issued a new version of its Windows operating system, requiring system engineers to upgrade or otherwise lose their Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) certification. Productivity Point is the industry's leading Microsoft certification and IT training company. The partnership enables thousands of Microsoft system engineers, including ITworld.com's more than 350,000 IT professional members, to tap into TrainingNet's online marketplace to search, evaluate and buy Microsoft Windows 2000 certification courses.

"With Microsoft's recently available Windows 2000 upgrade, hundreds of thousands of IT professionals are suddenly in flux and need to upgrade their certification," said Dave Egan, vice president of provider relations at TrainingNet. "By partnering with Productivity Point International, we're meeting the sudden demand for instant online access to Microsoft Windows 2000 certification courses, particularly for ITworld.com's hundreds of thousands of members, while simultaneously drilling deeper into markets such as high-tech."

One source for Microsoft certification

TrainingNet's partnership with Productivity Point International, one of the largest Microsoft Certified Technical Education Centers (MCTEC) in North America, enables customers to tap into instructor-led classroom courses from an array of Microsoft certification paths. IT professionals can gain certification in several areas, including MCSE, Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) and Microsoft Certified Professional. Productivity Point also offers customers free consultation with an education consultant to guide them through the Microsoft certification process.

The TrainingNet and ITworld.com alliance will link hundreds of thousands of ITworld.com members, which include IT staff, IT management and executive-level IT management, with a single online source to buy Microsoft certification courses. Before TrainingNet's online marketplace, IT professionals sifted through hundreds of catalogs and provider Web sites to identify and buy the certification training they needed. Today, system administrators and others can instantly access TrainingNet's marketplace via the ITworld.com Network to buy Microsoft certification courseware.

About ITworld.com

Recently named by USA Today as a "Hot Site," ITworld.com is the Internet's most comprehensive Web-based information network for enterprise IT professionals, providing a wide array of informative content and business services necessary to stay current and competitive in today's market. A business unit of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading IT media and information services company, ITworld.com is the IT problem-solving network(TM).

At the core of the ITworld.com Network lies content from the IDG News Service and relevant articles from the IDG family of trusted brands, including CIO, Computerworld, InfoWorld and Network World. The site also provides original developer content from JavaWorld, LinuxWorld and SunWorld. As such, ITworld.com users have a direct path to a multi-dimensional spectrum of resources – including vendor-supplied whitepapers and product information, industry news, career solutions and training tools – providing the user with IT peripheral vision. For more information, please see http://www.itworld.com.

About Productivity Point International

Productivity Point International (PPI) of Raleigh, N.C., teaches more than one million IT professionals and knowledge workers each year at all skill levels to fully leverage their abilities in areas like local area networks (LANs), client/server computing, application development and system migration. A member of the Knowledge Universe Business Group (http://www.knowledgeu.com), Productivity Point is committed to helping organizations and individuals optimize their use of technology. The company has more than 100 locations throughout North America and 1,000 instructors teaching more than 700 courses. Productivity Point is one of Microsoft's largest Certified Technical Education Center (CTEC) training channels. In addition to Microsoft, Productivity Point also has strategic alliances with companies like Novell, Sun Microsystems, Citrix, Lotus and others.

About TrainingNet

TrainingNet is the leading business-to-business e-commerce marketplace for skills training and professional education, representing more than 1,200 providers and hundreds of thousands of course-events annually in 25-plus soft skill and information technology categories. The company is headquartered in Billerica, Mass., with technical operations in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and regional offices in London, U.K., Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago

and Raleigh. For more information, contact TrainingNet at (978) 671-7500, or visit their Web site at www.trainingnet.com.