Microsoft Unveils Office Solution Accelerator Program Designed to Help Deliver Ongoing Value to Customers and Partners

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 22, 2003 — As part of its mission to deliver ongoing value to customers with the Office System, Microsoft Corp. today announced the Microsoft®
Office Solution Accelerator program, a new set of offerings built on and designed for the Microsoft Office System. The accelerators are intended to help customers quickly realize more value from their Microsoft Office System software investments, and to assist industry partners in continuing to grow their businesses into new areas.

The Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators include an integrated set of software components, templates and Microsoft-authored architectural guidance. The first seven Office Solution Accelerators will begin to become available this fall and will continue their rollout into 2004. Initial packages are designed to accelerate the development of solutions for streamlining tasks in common organizational areas such as finance, operations, sales and human resources. Many more are expected as the Office Solution Accelerator program grows.

“Office Solution Accelerators are designed to help customers build on their software investments and drive higher return on their investment in Office and other enterprise applications,”
said Peter Rinearson, corporate vice president of the Information Worker New Markets Group at Microsoft.
“By talking to customers about challenges they face, we discovered pain points our customers experience and that we can help eliminate through a combination of Microsoft Office System software and software components, templates and architectural guidance.”

Enabling Partners

Industry partners will play a critical role in delivering the complete, end-to-end solution to customers by integrating, configuring and customizing Office Solution Accelerators. They will have the opportunity to quickly expand their business into new areas with minimal investment. For example, time previously spent on integrating Microsoft products can be dedicated to higher value-added services in their specialties.

“The Office Solution Accelerators will allow us to quickly relate customer pains to demonstrable solutions; this capability was always expensive and time-consuming in the past,”
said Rob O’Dell, National Solutions Director at Immedient Corp., a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that specializes in solution deployment and integration.
“They enable customers to quickly leverage their investments in the Microsoft platform, while being assured of the best architectural approach and ongoing enhancements in functionality. This will positively impact the top and bottom line for customers.”

Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators

Over the next several months, Microsoft will release seven Office Solution Accelerators that will help partners build solutions in areas such as finance, operations, sales and human resources. These offerings will take partners one step further in providing customers with solutions that address the day-to-day needs of specific job functions.

  • The Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Recruiting reduces inefficiencies associated with recruiting functions. It is designed to help customers reduce costs and administrative burdens stemming from the lack of integration between recruiting tools, while enabling companies to improve service levels and optimize their recruiting processes.

  • The Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Proposals enables organizations to compose winning proposals with greater speed, effectiveness and compliance. It streamlines the proposal creation process, leveraging the corporate knowledge base, enabling effective document management and collaboration, and helps ensure project control.

  • The Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for XBRL enables organizations to streamline their financial reporting process by utilizing Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). By standardizing both internal and external financial information management processes using XBRL, organizations will increase financial transparency, improve decision-making and support new financial compliance legislation.

  • The Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley helps organizations quickly and cost-effectively achieve compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Based on industry best practices, the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Sarbanes-Oxley enables organizations to address key compliance needs such as business process documentation and distributed certification.

  • The Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Six Sigma provides the visibility, insight, control and flexibility companies need to achieve and sustain breakaway business results. It is designed to help an organization manage Six Sigma projects more effectively, provide deeper insight into the financial impact of Six Sigma projects, and enable organizations to learn from previous knowledge gathered across the enterprise.

  • The Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Business Scorecards is a new business intelligence offering that enables organizations to manage key performance initiatives, help ensure timely and accurate decision-making, and utilize strategic assets more efficiently. By simplifying scorecard management, firms gain visibility into key performance metrics, leading to timely decisions aimed at reducing costs and improving business performance.

  • The Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for Excel Reporting is a new business intelligence offering that enables executives and information workers alike to extend the reporting capabilities of Microsoft Excel in creating rich, customizable reports. By improving dynamic analysis and report creation, organizations can achieve productivity gains by enabling their employees to quickly identify, analyze and respond to business opportunities and make timely decisions.

About Microsoft

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“MSFT”
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